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Gender differences in self-reported camouflaging in autistic and non-autistic adults

Hull, L; Lai, M-C; Baron-Cohen, S; Allison, C; Smith, P; Petrides, KV; Mandy, W; (2019) Gender differences in self-reported camouflaging in autistic and non-autistic adults. Autism 10.1177/1362361319864804. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Social camouflaging describes the use of strategies to compensate for and mask autistic characteristics during social interactions. A newly developed self-reported measure of camouflaging (Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire) was used in an online survey to measure gender differences in autistic (n = 306) and non-autistic adults (n = 472) without intellectual disability for the first time. Controlling for age and autistic-like traits, an interaction between gender and diagnostic status was found: autistic females demonstrated higher total camouflaging scores than autistic males (partial η2 = 0.08), but there was no camouflaging gender difference for non-autistic people. Autistic females scored higher than males on two of three Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire subscales: Masking (partial η2 = 0.05) and Assimilation (partial η2 = 0.06), but not on the Compensation subscale. No differences were found between non-autistic males and females on any subscale. No differences were found between non-binary individuals and other genders in either autistic or non-autistic groups, although samples were underpowered. These findings support previous observations of greater camouflaging in autistic females than males and demonstrate for the first time no self-reported gender difference in non-autistic adults.

Type: Article
Title: Gender differences in self-reported camouflaging in autistic and non-autistic adults
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1362361319864804
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319864804
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: adult, autism, camouflaging, compensation, females, gender differences, masking
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080352
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