Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 2217–2223 | Cite as

The Co-occurrence of Gender Dysphoria and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: An Analysis of Cross-Sectional and Clinical Chart Data

  • Gunter HeylensEmail author
  • Lore Aspeslagh
  • Jesper Dierickx
  • Kariann Baetens
  • Birgit Van Hoorde
  • Griet De Cuypere
  • Els Elaut
Brief Report


Quantitative studies indicate an overrepresentation of ASD in individuals with GD. This study aims to determine the prevalence of autistic traits or ASD in adults with GD using two different data collection methods: (1) cross-sectional data using the social responsiveness scale-adults (SRS-A) and the autism quotient (AQ) (n = 63). (2) Clinical chart data (n = 532). Mean SRS-A scores were significantly higher compared to a norm population. Almost 5% of the patients with GD scored above the cut-off as measured by the AQ. In 32 patients (6%), a certain ASD diagnosis was found in the patient files, which is sixfold higher compared to the general population. Significantly more “birth assigned male” were affected compared to “birth assigned female”.


Autism spectrum disorder Gender dysphoria Comorbidity 



The authors would like to thank Prof. Dr. G. T’Sjoen for his support in the realization of this study.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the conception and design of the study, and acquisition of data; GH, LA, JD conducted analyses and wrote the first draft of the manuscript; GH, KB, BVH, GDC, EE contributed to manuscript revision and approved the submitted version.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Sexology and GenderGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium

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