Autistic and non-autistic transgender youth are similar in gender development and sexuality phenotypes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The British journal of developmental psychology




autistic; gender; sexuality


Increasing rhetoric regarding the common intersection of autism and gender diversity has resulted in legislation banning autistic transgender youth from accessing standard of care supports, as well as legislative efforts banning all youth gender care in part justified by the proportional over-occurrence of autism. Yet, no study has investigated whether autistic and non-autistic transgender youth present fundamentally different gender-related phenotypes. To address this gap, we extensively characterized autism, gender diversity, and sexuality among autistic and non-autistic transgender binary youth (N = 66, M = 17.17, SD = 2.12) in order to investigate similarities and/or differences in gender and sexuality phenotypes. Neither autism diagnostic status nor continuous autistic traits were significantly related to any gender or sexuality phenotypes. These findings suggest that the developmental and experiential features of gender diversity are very similar between autistic and non-autistic transgender adolescents. Future research is needed to determine whether the similarity in profiles is maintained over time into adulthood.


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences