Brief Report

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 301-306

First online:

Brief Report: Female-To-Male Transsexual People and Autistic Traits

  • Rebecca M. JonesAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Psychiatry Department, Cambridge UniversityDepartment of Neuroscience, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences Email author 
  • , Sally WheelwrightAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Psychiatry Department, Cambridge University
  • , Krista FarrellAffiliated withAddenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • , Emma MartinAffiliated withGender Identity Support and Research Division, Lima House Group
  • , Richard GreenAffiliated withImperial College
  • , Domenico Di CeglieAffiliated withGender Identity Development Service, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
  • , Simon Baron-CohenAffiliated withAutism Research Centre, Psychiatry Department, Cambridge University

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The ‘extreme male brain’ theory suggests females with Autism Spectrum Conditions are hyper-masculinized in certain aspects of behavior. We predicted that females with Gender Identity Disorder (who are masculinized) would have elevated Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores. AQ scores from five groups were compared: (1) n = 61 transmen (female-to-male transsexual people); (2) n = 198 transwomen (male-to-female transsexual people); (3) n = 76 typical males; (4) n = 98 typical females; and (5) n = 125 individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS). Transmen had a higher mean AQ than typical females, typical males and transwomen, but lower than individuals with AS. Transmen have more autistic traits and may have had difficulty socializing with female peers and thus found it easier to identify with male peer groups.


Autism Spectrum Conditions Gender Identity Disorder Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Co-occurrence