This is an excellent article reviewing research on gender and autism. I highly recommend it.
Gender and Autism: a Preliminary Survey Post on the blog “Musings of an Aspie.”
The author discusses the “extreme male brain” theory of autism and suggests some alternatives.
She also talks about factors that might influence how people with autism spectrum disorders experience gender:
“This raises the question of what role being autistic might play in the formation of our personal experience of gender. For example, autistic children are less sensitive to social cues than typical children and may not make friends with or become part of groups of same-gender peers. If we’re not tuned in to what the social norms for children of our gender are, we’re less likely to adopt them early in life.
There may also be an aspect of autistic-related body dysmorphia in general that factors into gender dysphoria for some autistic individuals. Many autistic people have difficulty feeling connected to their physical selves or being physically comfortable with their body.
Finally, there is the issue of sensory sensitivities. Dressing or presenting androgynously may be a result of gender dysphoria or it may be related to avoiding sensory triggers associated with certain types, textures or styles of clothing.”
Enjoy the article!