Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Caitlyn Gumaer

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Women with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are disproportionately less represented in research in comparison to their male counterparts. Some propose that this is as a result of more men having ASD and therefore the diagnostic criteria being further indicative of their gender, but regardless, it remains apparent that the need for supporting women with Autism Spectrum Disorder is just as crucial (Kreiser & White, 2014). For both genders, though, deficits in social skills and the presence of repetitive and restrictive behaviors often lend themselves to conduct seen as inappropriate or awkward within the neurotypical dating world (Hodges et al., 2020). Nevertheless, many individuals with ASD, particularly those who are high functioning, remain interested in engaging in sexual activities and romantic relationships (Scarpa et al., 2013). Unfortunately, many high functioning women with ASD who utilize skills such as “camouflaging”, may go undiagnosed or their need for support and treatment may be underestimated, which is in part support for a separate women’s sexual health and romantic relationships group (Hull et al., 2020). Additionally, although the literature underscores that men are in need of and would benefit from a similar program, the differing education on the topic of sexual health and relationships in the context of gender makes for a clear need to establish programs attuned to the separate gender identities. Moreover, with the literature indicating that women with ASD experience harrowingly high rates of sexual assault, it appears necessary that components of specific education on consent and empowerment are necessary for a thorough and useful manual on the aforementioned topics (Hentoff, 2016). In response to a careful review of the literature, a proposed manual has been developed by means to support the specific needs of high functioning women with ASD.