Objectum sexuality: a sexual orientation linked with autism and synaesthesia

Simner, Julia, Hughes, James E A and Sagiv, Noam (2019) Objectum sexuality: a sexual orientation linked with autism and synaesthesia. Scientific Reports, 9 (a19874). ISSN 2045-2322

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Objectum-sexuality (OS) is a sexual orientation which has received little attention in the academic literature. Individuals who identify as OS experience emotional, romantic and/or sexual feelings towards inanimate objects (e.g. a bridge, a statue). We tested 34 OS individuals and 88 controls, and provide the first empirical evidence that OS is linked to two separate neurodevelopmental traits - autism and synaesthesia. We show that OS individuals possess significantly higher rates of diagnosed autism and significantly stronger autistic traits compared to controls, as well as a significantly higher prevalence of synaesthesia, and significant synaesthetic traits inherent in the nature of their attractions. Our results suggest that OS may encapsulate autism and synaesthesia within its phenomenology. Our data speak to debates concerning the biological underpinnings of sexuality, to models of autism and synaesthesia, and to psychological and philosophical models of romantic love.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 08:26
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 08:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89615

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