Short report: Recommendations for education, clinical practice, research, and policy on promoting well-being in autistic youth and adults through a positive focus on sexuality and gender diversity

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Autism : the international journal of research and practice




autism; gender diversity; policy; recommendations; sexual health; sexuality


In this article, we propose recommendations on what we can do to promote that autistic people can enjoy their sexuality and gender identity, because that contributes to overall well-being.First, we briefly summarize the existing research on sexuality and gender diversity in autistic individuals.Next, we propose recommendations for how to promote sexual and gender diversity-related health and well-being. Based on what is known about sexuality, gender diversity, and relationships in autistic adolescents and adults, we convened an international group of autistic and non-autistic researchers, advocates, parents, and professionals to develop recommendations to promote sexual and gender health in autistic people.The resulting recommendations were checked through an online survey distributed to autistic people across the world. The online participants endorsed the importance of eight final recommendations related to:1. Providing education and information on sexuality, relationships, and gender diversity to autistic individuals and their families;2. Improving expertise in and accessibility to healthcare for sexuality, relationships, and gender-related questions, with specific attention to prevention of and support after sexual victimization; and3. Meaningfully including the autism community in future research that addresses well-being relating to sexuality, relationships, and gender diversity.These community-driven recommendations aim to promote sexual health and well-being in autistic individuals internationally.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences