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


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

Derek Glidden et al. Sex Med Rev.


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.

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