• Autistic traits in treatment-seeking transgender adults

      Nobili, Anna; Glazebrook, Cris; Bouman, Walter P.; Glidden, Derek; Arcelus, Jon (2018)
      The present study aimed to compare prevalence of autistic traits measured by the self-reported autism spectrum quotient-short (AQ-short) in a transgender clinical population (n = 656) matched by age and sex assigned at birth to a cisgender community sample. Results showed that transgender and cisgender people reported similar levels of possible autistic caseness. Transgender people assigned female were more likely to have clinically significant autistic traits compared to any other group. No difference was found between those assigned male. High AQ scores may not be indicative of the presence of an autism spectrum condition as the difference between groups mainly related to social behaviours; such scores may be a reflection of transgender people's high social anxiety levels due to negative past experiences.
    • Gender dysphoria and autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature

      Glidden, Derek; Bouman, Walter P.; Jones, Bethany A.; Arcelus, Jon (2016)
      Introduction: There is a growing clinical recognition that a significant proportion of patients with gender dysphoria have concurrent autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Aim: The purpose of this review is to systematically appraise the current literature regarding the co-occurrence of gender dysphoria and ASD. Methods: A systematic literature search using Medline and PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase was conducted from 1966 to July 2015. Main Outcome Measures: Fifty-eight articles were generated from the search. Nineteen of these publications met the inclusion criteria. Results: The literature investigating ASD in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria showed a higher prevalence rate of ASD compared with the general population. There is a limited amount of research in adults. Only one study showed that adults attending services for gender dysphoria had increased ASD scores. Another study showed a larger proportion of adults with atypical gender identity and ASD. Conclusion: Although the research is limited, especially for adults, there is an increasing amount of evidence that suggests a co-occurrence between gender dysphoria and ASD. Further research is vital for educational and clinical purposes. Copyright © 2016 International Society for Sexual Medicine.