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Informed Consent Form
Autism and Sexual Identity


What is it about?
We invite you to take part in a study investigating the sexual and gender identity of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Who is doing it?
The study is being conducted by Sandra Byers, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Brunswick, Shana Nichols, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and Director of ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development in Melville, NY, and Lori Brotto, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia.


What will I have to do?
If you choose to participate, you will complete an online questionnaire. You will be asked questions about your sexual experience and your gender and sexual identity. Most people take between 15 and 20 minutes to answer all the questions.


The main study findings will be published in academic journal articles.


Why might I not want to do it?
We do not expect that you will feel uncomfortable during the study but sometimes people are upset by answering questions about sexuality. In order to provide you with more information that can answer your questions, we have provided websites and resources that will provide you with more information about sexuality on the debriefing page.


What will I get for participating?
There is no compensation for participating. However, your answers will provide information that is important for understanding and enhancing the sexual well-being of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.


What are my rights as a participant in this survey?
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. If at any time you feel you do not want to continue for any reason, you can just close your browser.You can also choose not to answer a specific item and continue the survey. The researchers can only use your data after you click submit at the end of the survey.

How will you keep my answers private and confidential?
No personal identifying information will be collected from you (e.g., name, address, email address). All information obtained in this study will be kept strictly confidential. The online questionnaire data are collected through the Checkbox survey platform, which is hosted by Integrated Technology Services at the University of New Brunswick, and the data are stored on a secure server at the University of New Brunswick. The server is protected by a firewall. Data will also be stored on password-protected computers at the University of New Brunswick and only the researchers will have access to it. If we use any of your written answers in publications or presentations, any potentially identifying information will be removed.


Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions, at any time, about this research, please contact Dr. Shana Nichols, at, Dr. Sandra Byers at or Dr.Lori Broto at


This project is on file with the Research Ethics Board(REB#H15-03127) at the University of British Columbia. If you have concerns or complaints about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, contact the Research Participant Complaint Line in the UBC Office of Research Ethics at 604-822-8598 or if long distance e-mail or call toll free 1-877-822-8598.

This project is also on file with the Research Ethics Board at the University of New Brunswick (REB#2016-116). If you have questions or concerns about your rights or treatment as a participant please contact the Chair of the UNB Department of Psychology Ethics Board at

If the questionnaire is completed, it will be assumed that consent has been given.