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J Clin Med. 2019 Mar 28;8(4). pii: E425. doi: 10.3390/jcm8040425.

Sexual Dysfunctions and Their Association with the Dual Control Model of Sexual Response in Men and Women with High-Functioning Autism.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany. daniel.turner@unimedizin-mainz.de.
2
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. daniel.turner@unimedizin-mainz.de.
3
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. briken@uke.de.
4
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. d.schoettle@uke.de.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. d.schoettle@uke.de.

Abstract

Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, repetitive and stereotyped interests and behaviours as well as hyper- and/or hyposensitivities. These disorder specific symptoms could be associated with the development of sexual disorders. The Dual Control Model of Sexual Response presents one approach that is frequently used to explain the emergence of sexual dysfunctions. The aim of the present study was to assess the extent of symptoms of sexual dysfunctions in men and women with ASD and to evaluate their association with the individual propensity of sexual excitation and inhibition as defined by the Dual Control Model. Both men and women with ASD were more likely to report about sexual dysfunctions than individuals from the control group. In men with ASD, sexual inhibition was significantly correlated with the emergence of sexual dysfunctions, while there was no association between sexual functioning and sexual excitation. In women, the opposite pattern was found. Especially the peculiarities in sensitive perception could be responsible for the observed problems with sexual functioning in individuals with ASD. The present findings highlight the great need for specialized treatment programs addressing the frequently observed sexuality-related problems in individuals with ASD. However, up to now such treatment programs are lacking.

KEYWORDS:

Asperger syndrome; autism; erectile dysfunction; lubrication; sexual desire; sexual dysfunction; sexual excitation; sexual inhibition; sexual intercourse; sexual satisfaction

PMID:
30925683
DOI:
10.3390/jcm8040425
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