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Gender, sexuality in autism a largely unexplored area of research

For Autism Acceptance Month, KP Research Radio talks with 2 researchers working to fill in the gaps


Autism is often thought of as a condition of childhood, but there is an increasing population of autistic teens and adults with unique health care needs. The Autism Research Program at the Division of Research (DOR) is pursuing a new federally funded project to identify gaps in the research on these needs: specifically, gender, sexuality, and reproductive health.

KP Research Radio talks with the 2 DOR investigators co-leading this work. The podcast features Lisa Croen, PhD, who leads the Autism Research Program, and Maria Massolo, PhD, the program’s senior manager.

They discuss their part in the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health initiative, based at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Croen and Massolo explain why autistic people may have different experiences around gender, sexuality, and reproductive health than non-autistic people. They also update us on issues around preferred language describing autistic people and the meaning of neurodiversity acceptance.


To learn more about DOR’s Autism Research Program, see these previous Research Spotlight stories:

Clinicians need to build bridges to transition care for young adults with autism

Caring for adults with autism



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