Gender and Autism- Statistics

Autism is statistically diagnosed in males, more than females. There is little known about the reason why, it could be that women are harder to diagnose with autism traits, than their male counterparts. This article offers a little insight into autism and the 2 sexes.

Why May Girls Not Be Diagnosed With Autism More than Boys?

Medical studies performed in the UK show that the ratio of men versus women that are diagnosed with autism traits is a ratio of 2.1 to 16.1 that means that around 80% more men are diagnosed with autism! Some would even go as far to say 15 males to one female.

What is known though, is that girls are socially more able to mimic the behaviour that they see around them. They need to interact a little more than men, and can play more. Girls also follow more and are more likely to have one particular friend that they can bond with more. Their ‘best friend’, society as a whole doesn’t generally accept women to be anything less than social in their communication. The ones that do not chat and make comments are looked at as weird.

Perhaps we just have higher expectations in society of girls, than we do of boys, especially in UK culture. That could also be why more men are actually diagnosed with autism, as girls feel the need to cover it up. Girls are medically known to have a wilder imagination and also be able to play and pretend more. They can often times escape the real world and the problems that they are faced with and live in a more made up scenario, away from their problems.

Interests that girls have, like horse riding, make up, painting etc. All of these traits are somewhat expected, so even if a child with autism is obsessive with horse rising ( let’s use this as an example) it could be overlooked as being a hobby, where by a male that is obsessed could be easily be diagnosed as men are not expected to be interested in just one thing.

Why Are More Boys Diagnosed With Autism?

Aside from the above reason that girls are obviously seen as more socially interactive in society, there are numerous theories and ideologies that go into the thought process of why more males have autism than women. It is really never something that has been medically proven. Some think that men are not able to communicate well; anyway, apart from having autism, they just cannot generally express themselves in society, especially towards their female counterparts. Also, more is expected of men in general. They are expected to be the bread winner, speak up, be manly, not be quiet, and withdrawn. Personality can play a huge role too. Another theory is about the chromosomes made up in the process of fertilisation, none of these so called theories have ever been proven though, and in the old days it was commonly believed that autism was only something that males could have. Until there is more medical research, and proofing conducted, I guess we will never know the real reason that lies behind the uneven statistics when it comes to males versus females and autism diagnosis. A full medical study may never even take place.