Research methods at the intersection of gender diversity and autism: A scoping review

Autism. 2024 Apr 25:13623613241245595. doi: 10.1177/13623613241245595. Online ahead of print.


Research has increasingly focused on the intersection between gender diversity and autism. To better understand this literature, this scoping review systematically searched five databases for peer-reviewed literature on gender diversity and autism published between 2018 and 2023. Included studies (N = 84) were of English language, featured original qualitative or quantitative findings, and examined a psychosocial connection between autism and gender spectra variables. Most studies focused on measuring prevalence of autism among gender-diverse individuals. While the overall study rigor was acceptable, weaknesses in measurement, sample selection, and definition of key terms were noted. Promisingly, studies in this area appear to be shifting away from a pathologizing lens and towards research methods that engage in meaningful collaboration with the autistic, gender-diverse community to investigate how to best enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of this population.

Keywords: autism; autism spectrum conditions; autism spectrum disorders; gender diversity; gender dysphoria; methodological quality assessment; research methods; scoping review; trans; transgender.

Publication types

  • Review