Revisiting the Link: Evidence of the Rates of Autism in Studies of Gender Diverse Individuals

John F. Strang*, Aron Janssen, Amy Tishelman, Scott F. Leibowitz, Lauren Kenworthy, Jenifer K. McGuire, Laura Edwards-Leeper, Carla A. Mazefsky, Dana Rofey, Julia Bascom, Reid Caplan, Veronica Gomez-Lobo, Dianne Berg, Zosia Zaks, Gregory L. Wallace, Harriette Wimms, Elyse Pine-Twaddell, Daniel Shumer, Kelly Register-Brown, Eleonora SadikovaLaura G. Anthony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Turban and van Schalkwyk assert in their Translations article, “‘Gender Dysphoria’ and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Is the Link Real?,”1 that an over-representation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in gender dysphoria is unsupported based on current evidence. They suggest that increases on ASD-related measures in transgender and gender-diverse groups are likely due to the nonspecificity of ASD screening tools (ie, false positives). They posit that findings of apparent ASD increases in gender-diverse youth might stem from “environmental factors related to social deprivation,” namely “a high prevalence of minority stress, poor peer relationships, and familial non-acceptance.” They suggest that in this context these social characteristics “could represent a reversible condition, because these patients do not have the intrinsic social cognitive deficits that underlie ASD.”1

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-887
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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