PurposeThere has been growing concern among stakeholders about individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sex offending as research supports an indirect association. The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, bring more awareness of the sexuality and deviant/criminal sexual behavior among those with ASD to stakeholders in the criminal justice system (CJS); second, demonstrate that much of the deviant or sexual offending behavior exhibited among those with ASD is often a manifestation of their ASD symptoms and not malice; and third, demonstrate the necessity to address specific needs of individuals with ASD who enter the CJS due to criminal sexual behavior.Design/methodology/approachThis paper provides an overview of the ASD symptomology, including the diagnostic changes, a review of the literature on ASD and sexuality, which includes deviant sexual behavior and sexual offending.FindingsThe author linked examples of deviant or sexual behavior in the research literature to the ASD symptomology and described how the symptomology explains such behavior.Originality/valueSexual offending among those with ASD has received little research outside the mental health field. This review is of particular importance to those in the CJS unfamiliar with ASD, as they should handle them differently with regard to formal interviewing, measures of competency, capacity, and sentencing.
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 12, 2016