Brief Report: Sexual Orientation in Individuals with Autistic Traits: Population Based Study of 47,000 Adults in Stockholm County

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Feb;48(2):619-624. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3369-9.


We examined the association between autistic traits and sexual orientation in a general adult population (N = 47,356). Autistic traits were measured with the ten items Autistic Quotient questionnaire using a cut-off score of ≥ 6. Sexual orientation was assessed by self-report. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for sexual orientation categories. Participants with autistic traits were more likely to identify as bisexual (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.01-2.9) and to feel that their sexual orientation could neither be described as hetero-, homo- nor bisexual (OR 3.05; 95% CI 2.56-3.63), compared to individuals without autistic traits. Autistic traits are associated with minority sexual orientation, and perhaps with uncertain self-identification and/or a defiance of traditional ways of categorizing sexual identity.

Keywords: AQ-10; Bisexuality; Epidemiology; Homosexuality; Sexual orientation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autistic Disorder*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Sexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult