Mother of Temple Grandin criticised for linking viewing child pornography with Autism


CC BY-NC-ND by dianecordell

Temple Grandin‘s mother  has been blasted by online news site Forbes, for writing an article about a link between Autistic males and online child pornography.

Writing on The Daily Beast  on August 5, Eustacia Cutler writes in her vitriolic rant, that there is evidence to suggest that development of Autistic males, especially during adolescence can veer them towards searching the internet for child pornography.

Ms Cutler explains:

“[side effects of Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASDs] make computers and ASDs perfect pals for each other—particularly for boys. Many ASD boys lack muscle tone and the physical drive that goes with it. It’s easy for them to skip outdoor exercise and sit for hours in front of a computer screen figuring out logic systems, a skill that today’s culture honors and pays money for, and also a great way to feel smart when the other boys call them dumb.”

She continues:

“Though now equipped with a full-grown body and full-grown sexual drive, many ASD males are stuck emotionally at a prepubescent age. They look like grown men, but inside they’re only 10 years old. They don’t want adults to show them how sex is done; they want 10-year-olds to show them. Back in school when they were little and the other kids played “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine,” ASDs were left out. Now at last they’ve found a way to join the old childhood game and it’s with their trusty friend, the computer.”

She continues to describe the number of young Autistic males searching out child pornography online as a ‘disturbing trend” although there is no corroborating evidence, medical or lawful to prove that the number of arrests made of young Autistic males for downloading child pornography is on the increase.

Writing for Forbes, contributor, Emma Willingham does not hold back in her opinion of the contentious article. She writes:

” it weaves without an iota of evidence a horror story of unfathered autistic men trapped in a preadolescence of sexuality that leads them to pursue child pornography as a salve for their sexual urges. As if it weren’t egregious enough to imply all of this–again, without an iota of evidence–Cutler also introduces that debunked “divorce rates of 90%” in autism families and tosses in some infantilization of grown autistic men while she’s at it.”

There is a vast amount of  research out there to demonstrate how autistic males view sex and sexual relationships, and no evidence to prove that they may be attracted to watching child pornography.

John Elder Robinson, a Psychologist with  High Functioning Aspergers writes for Psychology Today:

Sex crime is a distasteful subject, and the last thing I want is a negative association between autism and such behavior. Autistic people ARE NOT by nature sexual predators of any sort. I feel I must speak up.  I say it here, and I’ll repeat it later:  Very few autistic people will ever have trouble with sex crimes.  Very few NT people get involved in sex crime either, for that matter.  But those that do are highly visible and the autistic ones I have met needed help much more than punishment.  Ignoring that reality is like ignoring the teachers who locked autistic people in basements at school when I was a kid.”

In his experience, and voicing his opinion for the first time, his related article, discusses that autistic males may seek out child pornography for entirely non-sexual reasons.

Comments on the Forbes article by members of the Autism Community and Forbes commenters were in agreement. One commenter, named  ‘The Hill Family’ said simply:

“It seems this “Ms. Cutler” has an uncontrollable desire to bring pedophilia into a larger discussion that involves her, she goes quite far out of her way as well as out of realities way to fantasize correlations and causation with zero evidence except her own penetrating interest in pedophilia and child pornography. In short, I think she is projecting her own sexual frustrations and possible deeply hidden desires on a group of people who will not rise up against her “article” or her written accusations. It seems she may have some sexual issues of her own that she might want to seek therapy for.”