The Neurodivergent Are More Likely To Be Gender Diverse

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Friday was World Autism Awareness Day and no one is more queer than the neurodivergent.

According to Pride Media CEO and Editorial Director Diane Anderson-Minshall, “On World Autism Day, I wanted to remind you that Autistic people are more likely than neurotypical people to be gender diverse, several studies show, and those who are gender-diverse, genderqueer, non-binary, gender fluid (even those femme men and butch women) are all more likely to have autism than traditional cisgender folks. So hello, I see you, especially my friends on the spectrum!”

Above: Gay actor Jim Parsons played Sheldon Cooper, who had Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism on the long running hit show The Big Band Theory on CBS.

The study she mentions was published last November in Spectrum News: People who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth are three to six times as likely to be autistic as cisgender people are, according to the largest study yet to examine the connection1.

What is a Neurodiverse person? “Neurotypical” is a newer term that’s used to describe individuals of typical developmental, intellectual, and cognitive abilities. … Individuals who live with autism, are on the spectrum, or who have other developmental differences are referred to as “neurodiverse.”

Gender-diverse people are also more likely to report autism traits and to suspect they have undiagnosed autism. Researchers often use ‘gender diverse’ as an umbrella term to describe people whose gender identities — such as transgender, nonbinary or gender-queer — differ from the sex they were assigned at birth. Cisgender, or cis, refers to people whose gender identity and assigned sex match.

Gender-diverse people also report, on average, more traits associated with autism, such as sensory difficulties, pattern-recognition skills and lower rates of empathy — or accurately understanding and responding to another person’s emotional state.

What conditions are considered Neurodivergent?Neurodivergence includes those who live with DyslexiaAutismADHDDyspraxia and other neurological conditions. According to the neurodiversity movement, these conditions should be accepted, respected and recognised as a social category alongside any other human variation i.e. ethnicity or gender.

And they are five times as likely to suspect they have undiagnosed autism as cis people are, based on one dataset of 1,803 people whose survey included this question.

And: Autistic people are more likely than neurotypical people to be gender diverse, several studies show, and gender-diverse people are more likely to have autism than are cisgender people2,3.

Read the full study here.