Prejudicial stereotypes and testimonial injustice: autism, sexuality and sex education

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Autistic people frequently confront prejudicial stereotypes that they are asexual, hyper- or hypo- sexual, child-like, and/or uninterested in sex. These stereotypes are fed by common autistic characteristics that autists, for example, are ‘unemotional’ and are uninterested in romantic relationships. Autistic people are less likely than their non-autist peers to receive sex and sexuality education, or an education in sex and social relationships that addresses their needs. They are, therefore, susceptible to injustice in their capacity as knowers of their own sexual experiences, and because their testimonies are rarely solicited or granted credibility in sex education. Schools need urgently to provide sex and sexuality education that acknowledges autists as sexual beings, thereby helping to instate epistemic virtue in educational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Issue number1
Early online date20 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Autism
  • sex and sexuality
  • testimonial injustice
  • stereotypes

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