Is there a connection between Aspergers and homosexuality?

Currently, there is no known link between Aspergers and homosexuality that research has been able to determine. However, there is a growing body of subjective evidence that Aspergers adults are more likely than those without Aspergers to self-identify with sexualities other than heterosexuality (e.g., asexuality, pansexuality, polysexuality, bisexuality).

Some research suggests that male homosexuality is inherited and caused by a lack of testosterone in the mother's blood during pregnancy (or an excess of it if the baby is female). Since it is easier for a woman to lack testosterone (the male hormone only found in low levels in females), this could explain the higher incidence of homosexuality among men than women.

Aspergers has many possible causes, and similar to homosexuality, there is a hereditary factor with the influence of testosterone on the fetus possibly being the most important factor. The incidence of Aspergers is also much greater among males, but unlike male homosexuality, it is allegedly not caused by a lack of testosterone – but an excess of it.

Researchers have discovered a link between high levels of testosterone in babies still in the womb and Aspergers traits in children. Babies exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb appear to be at greater risk for autistic characteristics. While researchers are careful to note that although they cannot prove testosterone exposure in the womb causes Aspergers, they strongly believe it may one day be implicated as one of the main factors related to this disorder. Children with Aspergers do seem to have an exaggeration of the typical male profile because they have a very strong interest in systems, like numbers, but have difficulties with empathy.

In could be said that, whereas a male homosexual's brain is too feminine due to a lack of testosterone during its formation, an autistic's brain is too masculine – even for a man. Thus, if there is a link between Aspergers and sexuality-preference, the link would most likely NOT be homosexual.

Most people with Aspergers are heterosexual, but many do not get married. Similarly, a gay male with Aspergers is likely never to have a long standing domestic partnership (let alone a “marriage”). 

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

•    Anonymous said… Although I consider myself heterosexual I see people as people not necessarily genders so I wouldn't rule out a homosexual relationship if the person made me happy, I was attracted and it felt right. I'm now living with my long term partner and hope this lasts but I do think it's possible that people on the spectrum like myself just see people as people x
•    Anonymous said… Complete non sense
•    Anonymous said… I agree with you guys...my child told me many times that gender isn't an issue. I'm at a stage that as long as my child is happy, I'm also happy.
•    Anonymous said… I have more of an interest in aspie children who are gender questioning because there appears to be a high percentage. I woulder f this is because
•    Anonymous said… I heard there's a connection between Aspies and twins
•    Anonymous said… I think it's the confusion in social situations that may cause people with aspergers to choose a same sex partner...getting put off, not understanding, awkwardness towards opposite sex
•    Anonymous said… If anything my son is too interested in the opposite sex for his age...
•    Anonymous said… Interesting. One of our observations as parents has been the blindness to society's taboo subjects - so open (often intense) curiosity about subjects many people never question themselves about.
•    Anonymous said… Is because of the black and white way our children see things and so feel that whatever way they feel they should just be accepted.
•    Anonymous said… Mine has always been interested in girls.....I mean always!!! He finds them all attractive. I don't know what's more worrying lol x
•    Anonymous said… Mine is in the early teen years and says he can tell when someone is attractive. He also says he is not interested in either gender. I've read this is also common in Aspies . He recognizes himself as an Asexual
•    Anonymous said… My son says all girls are beautiful but still makes sexual remarks about boys, I just see it as "it is what it is"
•    Anonymous said… My son sees no difference in gender. I think as he gets older it will be completely individual who he falls in love with. I don't believe he will look for a girlfriend in particular.
•    Anonymous said… My undergraduate thesis was related to this topic and I presented at IMFAR on it in 2012. Email me at llgilmou@ualberta.ca for a copy of the article by Gilmour, Schalomon, and Smith (2012).
•    Anonymous said… No, not really!
•    Anonymous said… Only so far as Aspies get called 'gay' at school.
•    Anonymous said… PS, I'm 70 and still suffer from it.
•    Anonymous said… So the way I live my life is seriously uncommon and not expexted? Gay marriage, almost 10 yrs relationship, with Asperger... Well tell me something new smile emoticon
•    Anonymous said… There's a definite link between Aspergers and loving people for who they are, rather than their genitalia.
•    Anonymous said… Well I'm Gay and have Aspergers and did all my life. I think it's tougher on Gays since we have much less support especially when I was growing up.
•    Anonymous said… YES, there definitely is!! These are two things which happen to human beings! Connection identified, next subject please.

Post your comment below…


Jim Hlavac said...

It's more like not too many people have looked for a connection, or conceived of gayness on the autism/asperger scale, rather than that there is no evidence; evidence not looked for is never found, after all. Meanwhile, there are astounding overlaps, including that there are 5 to 6 gay boys for every 2 gay girls, just like with autism; there are sensitivities to sights, sounds and smells; there is a difference in serotonin uptake drug reactions; there's physical clumsiness, left handedness, and there's more, more than a blog post can present. Including the fact that I personally asked some 400 gay guys I know about their perceptions of themselves through a typical Asperger diagnosis test, and virtually all were able to see something of Aspergers in themselves. What there is, of course, is that gayness is viewed through a moral/religious lens, and of "sin" and "choice," and societal disdain, while people with Autism/Aspergers are mollycoddled and given special care. And there is certainly the fact that most Autism/Asperger families do not want their boys to be seen anywhere near gayness.

Andrew said...

Interesting post. I am currently exploring this issue as part of my graduate studies. Any references to the research, researchers, or resources from which this information (both post and comments)is taken would be extremely helpful. Thank you.


Autism Advocate said...

Jim is an idiot! Kids with Autism are "mollycoddled"? Most families that have children who are Autistic don't want "their boys to be seen anywhere near gayness"?? WTH are you talking about? I have a child who is Autistic and I have a child who is gay. Same mom, same "birth" environment. Both of my son's are physically gifted and very athletic...not "clumsy". I'm not going to sugar-coat your ignorance by asking for your references. (That was very nice Andrew.) I'm just going to call you out.

Lisa Graas said...

I'm a Catholic with Asperger. I happen to think Asperger is conducive to being Catholic. I would explain all of this but would most certainly tick people off in doing so, and it is an explanation far too long for a comment thread, so I won't. Just know that there are people who disagree with some of the things that are written here. I would agree with the idea that there has to be a rational basis for something to be held as true. On this, we agree, and for that agreement, I am grateful. Otherwise, there is a lot here to disagree with. May God bless you all on your journey.

Anonymous said...

I do not have a child with aspergers or autism but I looked up this topic because it was on my mind..I am in my 40s and have cared for more than 10 boys with apergers on a Mon-Fri basis over the years (summer and afterschool)The boys were very different in some ways...some talked a lot and were extreamy intelligent, others were borederline and had poor communication skills. Some had a fixated topic or interest and others did not. However they all had the same problem of violent outbursts at times no empathy and acted like a girl..whiny voice and hands on the hips, walking like a girl, although none of them seemed to prefer girly things..all liked trucks and legos..So I have never written about this topic before because most people are attacked on these sites but I am interested if anyone else seems to ntoice this?

L I M said...

If anyone is interested in an LGBT group for those with Aspberger's, check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/LGBTAspies/

Happy Mom said...

That's rude. All of us with Aspie kids have different experiences. People should share them, not be judged for them like we have to do RESEARCH on this or something!!! We are living this every day. Be supportive !

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