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Behavioural and cognitive sex/gender differences in autism spectrum condition and typically developing males and females

Hull, L; Mandy, W; Petrides, K; (2017) Behavioural and cognitive sex/gender differences in autism spectrum condition and typically developing males and females. Autism , 21 (6) pp. 706-727. 10.1177/1362361316669087. Green open access

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Abstract

Studies assessing sex/gender differences in autism spectrum conditions often fail to include typically developing control groups. It is, therefore, unclear whether observed sex/gender differences reflect those found in the general population or are particular to autism spectrum conditions. A systematic search identified articles comparing behavioural and cognitive characteristics in males and females with and without an autism spectrum condition diagnosis. A total of 13 studies were included in meta-analyses of sex/gender differences in core autism spectrum condition symptoms (social/communication impairments and restricted/repetitive behaviours and interests) and intelligence quotient. A total of 20 studies were included in a qualitative review of sex/gender differences in additional autism spectrum condition symptoms. For core traits and intelligence quotient, sex/gender differences were comparable in autism spectrum conditions and typical samples. Some additional autism spectrum condition symptoms displayed different patterns of sex/gender differences in autism spectrum conditions and typically developing groups, including measures of executive function, empathising and systemising traits, internalising and externalising problems and play behaviours. Individuals with autism spectrum conditions display typical sex/gender differences in core autism spectrum condition traits, suggesting that diagnostic criteria based on these symptoms should take into account typical sex/gender differences. However, awareness of associated autism spectrum condition symptoms should include the possibility of different male and female phenotypes, to ensure those who do not fit the ‘typical’ autism spectrum condition presentation are not missed.

Type: Article
Title: Behavioural and cognitive sex/gender differences in autism spectrum condition and typically developing males and females
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1362361316669087
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1177/1362361316669087
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2016
Keywords: Autism spectrum conditions, diagnosis, gender differences, sex differences
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/1532099
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