Aspergirls and Sexual Assault

I found this video on Facebook; it discusses how girls and women with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome are more vulnerable to sexual assault and rape. I don’t have AS, but have always been interested in autism. My question is: Do you feel that people with OCD, OCPD, Tourette’s, or other mental disorders are also more vulnerable? Why, or why not?

I can see how the social difficulties of AS would present problems with women being taken advantage of. It’s something that people should probably be a lot more aware about.

People with any kind of mental or developmental disorder often get bullied for being “strange” or “different.” In this way all of us should be able to band together, and relate to what the other is going through, no matter what our disorder is labeled as.

One thing that frustrates me about society is that women seem to be more ostracized for being less social. The woman’s role is automatically seen as that of having and taking care of children, and that’s fine; I actually love interacting with, and taking care of my children. But other than that, I am not a very social or outgoing creature — and for women, this seems to be more unusual, and looked on as strange. People seem to look at it as, “Something is wrong with her that needs to be fixed” rather than “That’s just the way she is.” I think as women, we should be free to be either outgoing or introverted, smile more or smile less, without that being a tool to measure our femininity by. I don’t believe we should feel like we have to walk around smiling and giggling all the time, lest we not be “ladylike.”

4 thoughts on “Aspergirls and Sexual Assault

  1. Alice Atwell says:

    Excellent. I have no social disorders that I am aware of, but I have always felt like “society” calls on women to entertain or support the social functions within a community. As you indicated, this is a role that society has deemed to women. I can see where this would place someone with autism or AS as highly vulnerable in a society that already places women “under the microscope” in their social skills.

  2. willitbeok says:

    Exactly. And, I should point out, I have no problem with natural gender roles; whether one believes in God or evolution, or both, it’s easy to see that certain tasks are better suited for either men or women. However, I believe we should use this as a guideline, not a strict limitation. The problem is not only for women, either. Men told that they can accomplish much less as far as child-rearing, and I believe this is wrong, too. Men are told it’s uncool for them to settle down and start a family; even after that, men are told it’s uncool for them to change diapers.

    Those with AS have told me, there is more to it than just the lack of social skills; but I think that’s a big part of it. AS can also involve problems with motor coordination, and things like depth perception; and of course “stimming” behavior such as rocking back and forth. It’s also interesting because everyone does “stimming” to a degree; we’ve all tapped our fingers on a desk, chewed on a pencil, or something of that nature. But certain kinds of this behavior are more or less socially acceptable, and autistic people seem to do these things in excess compared to neurotypical people.

    • girlunedited says:

      I find part of what you just said to be very interesting, as I have recently found myself diagnosed with AS. I didn’t know that my “stimming” was part of that! I’ve always just known my little “tics” to be quirks and a lot of people love me for it. I’ve always known I was different. I’ve always felt somehow different from other people, like I didn’t fit in but I couldn’t understand why not. I look the same as everyone else, so what could possibly make me stand out? I’m glad to have finally figured it out. Thank you for this blog.

      As for the question your blog introduces of whether or not girls with AS are more susceptible to sexual assault, I think (although I have not, thankfully, ever been assaulted) that is a definite possibility. I believe my AS especially as a child made me more trusting and vulnerable to all people. I let everyone walk all over me and was very passive about it. Knowing this about myself, I do believe I could have also been quite vulnerable to sexual assault. I trust people too much and I don’t pick up on social cues easily. That makes a lot of sense.

  3. willitbeok says:

    Sometimes there’s a very fine line between compulsions, tics, and “stimming.” I’ve always felt different, too. People think I’m nervous a lot (and sometimes I am, but not always) because of my gasping/sighing tic.

    Sometimes I can be very socially passive, too. I used to suspect I had AS before OCD, because I identify strongly with some of the traits. I probably don’t have enough traits to actually qualify for AS, but at the very least I can relate to it on some level.

    Congratulations on your diagnosis. I wish you the best in your journey with AS and OCD; I hear the comorbidity between the two may be very common.

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