Sexuality and Autistic-Like Symptoms in Juvenile Sex Offenders: A Follow-Up After 8 Years

J Autism Dev Disord. 2016 Aug;46(8):2679-2691. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2805-6.


Juveniles who have committed a sexual offense (JSOs) are thought to have abnormal sexual development, as well as increased ASD symptoms. In the current study, sexual development and behavior, as well as stability of ASD-like symptoms were assessed in a sample of 44 male JSOs (mean age 24.7 ± 1.5 years) 8 years after their sexual offence. JSOs exhibited less knowledge of sexuality, less positive attitudes towards pornography and more often reported having been a victim of verbal sexual intimidation than a matched normal population sample. ASD symptoms were relatively stable over the 8 years follow-up, indicating that social difficulties in JSOs may be part of life-long autistic-like traits. However, ASD symptoms were not related to alterations in sexual development or behavior.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Longitudinal research; Sexual development; Sexual offending juveniles.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Aggression
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Criminals / psychology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Male
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Young Adult