Not Just a Boys’ Club: Gender Disparity in Autism

For a condition that affects the lives of so many, startlingly little is known about autism. Even something so seemingly fundamental as exact causes remains a mystery. Despite these limitations, what is known is that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) disproportionally affects males, with males diagnosed outnumbering females approximately 4:1 (Werling, 2013). This has led to a widespread belief—conscious or unconscious—that autism is a disorder that almost exclusively affects men. While true that there is medical evidence supporting the increased prevalence of ASD in males, it is also believed that ASD in females is very underdiagnosed, due in part to male-biased diagnostic models and differences in symptom expression across genders.