Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adults with autism at higher risk of sexual victimization, study shows

Date:
August 14, 2014
Source:
York University
Summary:
Adults with autism are at a higher risk of sexual victimization than adults without, due to lack of sex education, but with improved interventions that focus on sexual knowledge and skill building, the risk could be reduced, according to a study. 'Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder gain more of their sexual knowledge from external sources such as the internet and the television whereas social sources would include parents, teachers and peers,' says one author.

Adults with autism are at a higher risk of sexual victimization than adults without, due to lack of sex education, but with improved interventions that focus on sexual knowledge and skill building, the risk could be reduced, according to a recent study by York University researchers.

"Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) gain more of their sexual knowledge from external sources such as the internet and the television whereas social sources would include parents, teachers and peers," says Professor Jonathan Weiss in the Faculty of Health and the CIHR Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research.

The study, conducted by Weiss, and clinical developmental psychology PhD candidates Stephanie Brown-Lavoie and Michelle Viecili, found that the lack of sexual knowledge in adults with autism played a role in increasing the risk of sexual victimization -- experiences of sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, attempted rape or rape.

The researchers used an online survey involving 95 adults with ASD and 117 without, ranging in age from 19 to 43.

Of the 95 participants with ASD, 78 per cent reported at least one occurrence of sexual victimization compared to 47.4 per cent of the 117 adults without ASD who participated in the study.

Brown-Lavoie points out that the study participants were asked about specific situations, not just a general "have you been sexually victimized" question. "Some may not know that the experience they had is actually classified as sexual victimization. But if you give them a specific situation, like someone touching you inappropriately after you said no, they may be more able to identify that it has happened to them."

Viecili reports, "Although the participants cannot be considered representative of the entire population, I think we have a good picture of what rates could look like with a survey approach."

Sexual Knowledge and Victimization in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, published in the September print edition of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

The researchers hope that the study results will also lead to more programs aimed at teaching sex education to individuals with disabilities, in hopes of decreasing the risk of victimization. Already the pair has taken their research back to the community, where they held a workshop for 60 clinicians and another one for parents.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by York University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. M. Brown-Lavoie, M. A. Viecili, J. A. Weiss. Sexual Knowledge and Victimization in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2014; 44 (9): 2185 DOI: 10.1007/s10803-014-2093-y

Cite This Page:

York University. "Adults with autism at higher risk of sexual victimization, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814192243.htm>.
York University. (2014, August 14). Adults with autism at higher risk of sexual victimization, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814192243.htm
York University. "Adults with autism at higher risk of sexual victimization, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814192243.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins