Though Alexis Wineman didn't reign victorious in last night's Miss America competition, the comely 18-year-old's story gained a lot of media traction in recent days. This is because she has a form of autism diagnosed at age 11. She overcame obstacles to become Miss Montana and the youngest competitor for the 2013 Miss America crown.
A girl whose autism probably would not have fulfilled the criteria for a diagnosis less than twenty or even ten years ago and may lose her diagnosis when the DSM-V shortly comes out is a beauty queen. I wonder if anyone else besides me sees an irony in this story.
As an almost always celibate male on the spectrum at the advanced age of 57, I took interest in Ms. Wineman's platform with the tired cliche about normal being a setter on a dryer. Also, I was piqued by her statement that since autism is not a sickness so it can't be cured autistics can be helped to achieve their full potential.
I wonder if Alexis would like to help out some lonely celibate autistic male achieve his full potential by dating him. I suspect the answer is no.
One of the tired and pat solutions I hear for our celibacy by those averse to "mixed marriages" is that we should find an autistic girlfriend. This begs the question as I believe most studies that have explored the question have found an approximately 10:1 ratio of autistic males to females, at least at the higher functioning end.
Neurodiversity proponents have repeatedly dismissed the validity of these findings, claiming that the prevalence of female autism is underestimated. In spite of the fact they never seem to present any actually published findings documenting this, they claim we have nothing to worry about. The hidden horde of female autistics who will decelibitize us is out there if we look hard enough.
I do realize there are autistic females out there and most of them are neither national beauty pageant competitors nor exactly resemble matinee idols. I still don't think this solution is feasible.
My friend, Jerry Newport, wrote a rather interesting essay detailing the reasons why this is not workable.
The media does not seem to care about the celibacy of many of us. Alexis' story is far sexier than ours. Of course we get to hear about married males on the spectrum such as John Robison, Steve Shore and Tim Page, while those of us lower functioning then these august individuals languish in obscurity.
I wonder if anyone else sees the irony in this that I do. I reckon not.