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Unwanted Sexual Contact: Students with Autism and Other Disabilities at Greater Risk
Journal of College Student Development (2017)
  • Kirsten R Brown
  • Edlyn V Pena, California Lutheran University
  • Susan R. Rankin, Pennsylvania State University
The limited literature on sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact indicates that students with disabilities, and specifically students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), are an at risk population. This study uses data from a multi-institution climate assessment to examine the prevalence of unwanted sexual contact. Findings indicate that students with non-ASD disabilities and students with ASD were twice as likely to report unwanted sexual contact, than their non-disabled peers were. Women students with ASD are particularly at risk. Implications for postsecondary institutions, recommendations for student affairs professionals, and areas for future research are discussed. 
  • autism,
  • sexual assault,
  • disability,
  • Title IX,
  • sex education
Publication Date
Citation Information
Brown, K., Peña, E., & Rankin, S. (2017). Unwanted sexual contact: Students with autism and other disabilities at greater risk. Journal of College Student Development. 58(4), 771-777.