Brief Report: Female-To-Male Transsexual People and Autistic Traits
- 1.6k Downloads
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.
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Conditions Gender Identity Disorder Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Co-occurrence
We are grateful to the MRC (UK), the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, and the Gates Cambridge Trust for funding during the period of this work. RJ presented this work at the IMFAR Conference, London, May 2008. We are grateful to Melissa Hines, Rebecca Knickmeyer, Bonnie Auyeung, Emma Chapman, and Vivette Glover for valuable discussions; and to the participants who kindly helped us with this project.
- APA. (1994). DSM-IV Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
- Auyeung, B., Taylor, K., Hackett, G., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2010). Foetal testosterone and autistic traits in 18 to 24-month-old children. Mol Autism, 1(1), 11.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., & Hammer, J. (1997). Is autism an extreme form of the male brain? Advances in Infancy Research, 11, 193–217.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Scahill, V., Lawson, J., & Spong, A. (2001a). Are intuitive physics and intuitive psychology independent? Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders, 5, 47–78.Google Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Skinner, R., Martin, J., & Clubley, E. (2001b). The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 5–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baron-Cohen, S., Richler, J., Bisarya, D., Gurunathan, N., & Wheelwright, S. (2003). The Systemising Quotient (SQ): An investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism and normal sex differences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B., 358, 361–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chakrabarti, B., Dudbridge, F., Kent, L., Wheelwright, S., Hill-Cawthorne, G., Allison, C., et al. (2009). Genes related to sex steroids, neural growth, and social-emotional behavior are associated with autistic traits, empathy, and Asperger syndrome. Autism Res, 2(3), 157–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Di Ceglie, D. (1998). Reflections on the nature of the “atypical gender identity organization”. In D. Di Ceglie & D. Freedman (Eds.), A stranger in my own body: Atypical gender identity development and mental health (pp. 9–25). London: Karnac.Google Scholar
- Soper, H., Satz, P., Orsini, D., henry, R., Zvi, J., & Schulman, M. (1986). Handedness patterns in autism suggests subytpes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 16(155–167).Google Scholar
- Wheelwright, S., Auyeung, B., Allison, C., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2010). Defining the broader, medium and narrow autism phenotype among parents using Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). Molecular Autism, 1(10), 1–9.Google Scholar