Autistic gender identity differences – Resisting the social schema?

Reubs Walsh

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology

Reubs Walsh is a PhD Candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology, where she studies social cognition in adolescents, and the biological correlates of this developmental process. As well as research on the intersection between transgender identities and social development, in typical and atypical populations, Reubs has been heavily involved in a range of trans* and LGBT+ advocacy projects in the UK and internationally, working with the NUS, GIRES, UNAIDS, and UK government organisations like the NHS and the Civil Service, and more recently in a leadership role at the newly formed trans* 'PATH' (TPATH). Reubs is also increasingly visible as a populariser of science, particularly in a feminist context.Reubs' work can be found on her and ResearchGate pages, and in such journals as Feminism & Psychology, Frontiers, and The Lancet Psychiatry.


The relationship between gender identities incongruent with assigned sex, and autism spectrum conditions (referred to collectively here as ‘ASC’) has predominantly been investigated by recruiting samples of gender variant... [ view full abstract ]


In this study we examine the rates of gender identities incongruent with assigned sex in a large sample of autistic adults, and whether and how these individuals’ autism severity (Autism Quotient; AQ) and sensory sensitivity... [ view full abstract ]


675 adults (52% assigned female) with a diagnosis of autism completed the AQ, the SPQ and demographic questions including age, assigned gender, and gender identity. We categorized the participants as cisgender, binary-trans... [ view full abstract ]

Main Outcome Measures

The main outcome measures are: -The proportions of cisgender, binary-trans and non-binary-trans individuals in the sample, and within the assigned-male and assigned-female sections of the sample. -The between-group... [ view full abstract ]


14.8% of the participants identified as trans; 22% of those assigned female at birth and 8% of those assigned male at birth were classified as transgender. Within those, only 4% and 12% respectively identified as... [ view full abstract ]


The high rate of gender nonconforming identities in our sample versus the general population supports the existing evidence that both autism diagnosis and AQ are strongly positively correlated with the likelihood of gender... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Reubs Walsh (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology)
  2. Sander Begeer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology)
  3. Lydia Krabbendam (Vrije Universtiet Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology)

Topic Area

Oral & Poster Topics: Mental health


OS-2A » Mental Health II: Autistic Spectrum Symptomatology and Non-binary Genders (11:00 - Friday, 7th April, Baltic)

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