Update, August 8, 2013: In response to an inquiry by Autism Investigated concerning Dr. Temple Grandin’s possible role in her mother’s article that associated autistic men with child pornography, a liaison of Dr. Grandin’s replied: “Dr. Grandin was not consulted on the article and was not aware of it’s publication until she saw it on the internet.” However, there is still no response from Tina Brown or anyone else at The Daily Beast.
Editor’s Note: It is appalling that The Daily Beast would run a damaging, unsubstantiated and offensive article falsely alleging that autistic men are more likely to look at child pornography than the rest of the population. The story was written by Temple Grandin’s mother of all people, who does not even have an autistic son – only an autistic daughter. She applies her false logic to autistic men but not to autistic women. Jonathan Mitchell, autistic author of the Autism’s Gadfly blog, wrote a great response re-posted below. However, I have removed the hyperlink to the article from his blog post because I do not want to publicize the Daily Beast story. Anyone who wishes to find it can do so. To make matters even worse, IACC member John Elder Robison publicized the article in the first sentance of his Psychology Today blog. I echo Jonathan Mitchell’s call to write the editors of The Daily Beast to protest this story at firstname.lastname@example.org and also urge readers to protest this story to Temple Grandin herself from her personal website’s contact page: http://templegrandin.com/ask.html Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown has written in Newsweek that she has a son with Asperger Syndrome. She can be reached on Twitter @TheTinaBeast.
Are autistic men pedophiles? Bizarre stuff from Temple Grandin’s mom
I’ve just read a very offensive, at least to me, article written on the Daily Beast allegedly by Temple Grandin’s mother who implies that many autistic men are pedophiles who spend their time looking at child pornography and end up being registered sex offenders. Nearly three years ago, I wrote about Nick Dubin, a neurodiversity activist who as a matter of public record was arrested by the FBI for downloading and looking at child porn. Dubin, a licensed clinical psychologist and one-time director of a school for special needs children, has made the somewhat dubious (at least to me) claim that he himself is on the autism spectrum. I’m not sure what happened to his case, whether he plea bargained, was convicted or acquitted. Other than this I don’t know of a single documented example of an autistic pedarest (or wannabe child molester). I wish Ms. Cutler would provide one but she does not.
Ms. Cutler makes the entirely alleged (with the emphasis on alleged) claim that an autistic man brought his computer into a repair shop and the technicians found child porn on his hard drive. No name is given, no link or documentation whatsoever is provided as to the veracity of this story.
She goes on to make the bizarre and bigoted claims (with no evidence) that autistic men as a general rule have abnormal sex drives and need children to teach them to have sex and this somehow drives them to download child pornography yet does not give a single example (other than her alleged one) of this phenomenon in practice. She claims to quote University of North Carolina professor Gary Mesibov who seems to somehow concur that as a rule many autistic men are pedarests and pedophiles. She provides no documentation of where Mesibov has said this.
I wish she’d give some sort of documentation of this or some sort of published study that claims that autistics have a tendency toward pedophilia. Or if anyone else reads this blog and wishes to comment on an example I’d be interested in hearing about this.
I hope people can understand why I find this most offensive. I wonder if ASAN will get involved with this, since they seem to take offense at something like the Ransom notes campaign which would seem to be considerably trivial compared to this. I’ve written an email to the Daily Beast urging them to retract this article or at least apologize for it. email@example.com I hope other people will do so also. Somehow I think this is more offensive than some deragatory song lyrics or other (at least to me) lesser or more trivial matters that petitions have been started over.