Parent report and adolescent self-report data on lifetime sexual experience in adolescents with ASD were compared in 43 parent-adolescent dyads. Parents tended to underestimate the lifetime sexual experience of their sons, particularly solo sexual experiences such as masturbation and experience with orgasm. Parental underestimation and unawareness of adolescents’ sexual experience may influence communication and education about sex and sexuality in families. These findings have implications for the interpretation of earlier research, based on parent and caregiver reports, on sexuality in adolescents with ASD.
...Parent-adolescent agreement about sexual experiences was higher with respect to romantic relationships and partnered sexual experiences than solo sexual experiences. The majority of the boys with ASD in this study had been in a romantic relationship, and most parents were aware of this; nevertheless about a third of parents underestimated their sons’ partnered sexual experience. The underestimation of sexual experience of their sons’ might reflect limited discussion of sexual experiences between adolescents and parents. It is also possible that assumptions about their sons’ lack of sexual experience temper parents’ inclination to discuss partnered sexual behaviours with their sons. The taboo on discussing romantic relationships is possibly less strong than the taboo on talking about the sexual aspects of relationships. The higher level of agreement about partnered sexual experience might also be explained by the generally lower frequencies of partnered experiences. Given parental underestimation, the probability of agreement on the absence of a behaviour is higher in the case of low-frequency behaviours (Mollborn and Everett 2010). It would be interesting to examine parent-adolescent agreement on the partnered sexual experiences of older boys with ASD as it is possible that a higher proportion of them will have had partnered sexual experiences.
The number of boys who reported having forced someone else to do sexual things or having been forced to do sexual things themselves was low. Slightly more parents stated that they did not know if their son had coerced someone into sexual behaviour than reported that they did not know if their son had been victimised sexually. This finding should be interpreted with care, given the exploratory nature of this study; however parents could have doubted about the possibility that their sons coerced others to sexual behaviours...
|Relational or sexual behaviour||Adolescent report||Parental report||Parental awarenessa|
|Agreement on occurrence||Agreement on non-occurrence||Do not know|
|Petting above clothes||24||55.8||16||66.6||12||63||11||25.6||28||65.1|
|Making love to a boy||1||2.3||0||0||39||93||3||7||39||90.7|
|Forcing someone else to do sexual things||2||4.7||1||50||35||85||7||16.3||36||83.7|
|Being forced to do sexual things||3||7||1||33.3||37||92||1||2.3||38||88.4|
aParents correctly aware of the presence or absence of sexual behaviour
Full article at: http://goo.gl/nWdOMu
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