, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 301-306
Date: 30 Mar 2011

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

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Abstract

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.

The research protocol was approved by the Cambridge University Psychology Research Ethics Committee. This work was conducted in association with the NIHR CLAHRC for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.