21.07.21

EVENT: Sexuality in Neurodivergent Individuals

Categories: School of Health and Society

Join PhD researcher Magdalena Smusz for a two-part event exploring sexuality, romantic relationships, sex education and sexual offending behaviour in neurodivergent people.

Madgalena Smusz

Across the series, six academics from around the world will share their research on sexuality in autistic individuals and individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  

There will also be a panel debate on the challenges encountered while carrying out research in the field, and some of the barriers to overcoming them.

The series will be of interest to autistic people and people with ADHD, their families, researchers, educational professionals, health professionals and students.

Part one of the series will take place online, on Wednesday 1 September 2021 between 17:00 and 20:00 (BST), meanwhile part two will take place online, on Wednesday 8 September 2021 between 8:00 and 11:00 (BST).

Book your free tickets and find out more about the speakers and topics for part one here, and part two here.

Magdalena says there has been little research so far on the subject, but that the existing research is important.

She explains: “Sexuality and romantic relationships are essential parts of life for many people. A relatively modest amount of research has been conducted on sexuality and romantic relationship experiences, as well as sex education in autistic individuals and even less so for those with ADHD.

“The existing research, however, indicates that many neurodivergent young people encounter challenges with creating and maintaining their romantic relationships, and the current sex education provided in schools and colleges for all youth is not always appropriate for those with autism and ADHD.

“Research also highlights that, compared to their neurotypical peers, neurodivergent young people tend to receive much less support on sexual topics from their parents, who often feel that they lack appropriate skills to help their children with some sex-related issues.

“Literature also indicates that some neurodivergent young people lack a full understanding and appreciation of the social nuances of dating and intimacy, which is crucial for developing and maintaining healthy romantic relationships.”

Image: Magdalena Smusz

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