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Autism - Sex Differences

Description:
Professor David Skuse explains that boys are far more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism, especially in those individuals with high IQ scores.
Transcript:
One of the most intriguing, to me the most intriguing, aspects of autism, from the point of view of a potential cause, is the fact that this is a condition that is much more commonly recognized in boys than girls. It’s more common in boys, and those with the lowest IQs, the ratio is about 2:1. But in people with very high IQ, the ratio is more like 10:1 or even more. Why is there this sex difference? And the answer is, we just don’t know. But, it would appear that, in some way, girls are protected from showing autistic symptomatology as a consequence of being a girl because, perhaps of their genetic make up, or because of their hormonal make up. Another possibility is that boys, by their genetic constitution or their hormonal constitution, are made more vulnerable to being autistic. There has to be an explanation there, at the moment we don’t understand what that explanation is.
Keywords:
genetic constitution, high iq, symptomatology, boys and girls, autism, proportion
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