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Sex Med Rev. 2016 Jan;4(1):3-14. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2015.10.003. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

Gender Dysphoria and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

Author information

1
Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
2
Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, Nottingham, United Kingdom. Electronic address: walterbouman@doctors.org.uk.
3
Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, Nottingham, United Kingdom; School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom.
4
Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, Nottingham, United Kingdom; Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Gender Dysphoria; Systematic Review; Transgender; Transsexualism

PMID:
27872002
DOI:
10.1016/j.sxmr.2015.10.003

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