Autism, social skills classes and gender conformity

In Chapter 5 of Jordynn Jack’s Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks, the author considers how autistic people consider gender and sexuality.

On her book blog Jack writes:

For some, gender is a confusing social construct; for others, it is an opportunity for experimentation and play. I consider how autistic people consider gender and sexuality and find that for many, mainstream concepts of gender and sexuality simply do not make sense. I describe this as a “gender copia”–an opportunity to think of gender not in terms of male/female or masculine/femininity, but as a range of options for self-identification.

Do social skills classes further confuse an issue for autistic children? Jack suggests that parents who sign their children up for them–seek to shape autistic people into the “ideal” or “average” child–and that means a child who conforms to gender stereotypes.

You can read more about how an autistic perspective complicates traditional perspectives in Autism and Gender.



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