News Stories

In Love With an Object

Instead of a person - In the TV series Boston Legal, one of the characters was in love with an inanimate object. It turns out this is no joke: it really happens. It's called "objectum sexual" (OS) and for some reason, it mainly affects women. A German woman feels as if she was married to the Berlin Wall (now that it's been torn down, she must feel like an abandoned woman). A French woman is having an affair with the Eiffel Tower.

A Discover website blog quotes psychologist Amy Marsh as saying, "What I'm finding is not much history of sexual abuse, and actually not much in the way of psychiatric diagnoses either. I'm finding they're very happy, and they don't want to change. I am also finding out that quite a few of them have a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome or autism, but not everybody."

Interestingly enough, the Boston Legal writers did their homework: their OS character, besides being in a relationship with an object, was also in love with a man who had Asperger's.

Besides lacking social skills, or placing their affections on objects instead of people, autistics may be more prone to the self-starvation disease of anorexia, as well as other eating disorders. In New Scientist, Linda Geddes quotes psychiatrist Janet Treasure as saying, "Eating disorders and autism spectrum disorders are obviously not the same thing, but they do have some things in common."

Researcher Simon Baron-Cohen suspects that some anorexics may actually have undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome. Geddes quotes him as saying, "We have always known that Asperger's syndrome was diagnosed more often in males. The new question is whether it takes a different form in females, and can account for at least a subgroup of those who are diagnosed with anorexia."

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