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The sex difference in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be magnified by sex differences on diagnostic measures. The current study compared autistic males and females on items on the gold-standard diagnostic measure, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2). In a sample of 8-to-17-year old autistic individuals from research (n = 229) and clinical settings (n = 238), females were less likely to show atypicalities on most items related to social-communication behaviors and on total and subscale scores. When controlling for overall intensity of symptomatology, no sex differences survived statistical corrections. Diagnostic criteria and/or gold-standard assessments may be less sensitive to female presentations of ASD and/or autistic females may exhibit fewer or less intense behaviors characteristic of ASD. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


Hannah M Rea, Roald A Øien, Frederick Shic, Sara Jane Webb, Allison B Ratto. Sex Differences on the ADOS-2. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022 Apr 22

PMID: 35451672

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