Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) appear to have a higher rate of gender variance than the general population, according to researchers at Children’s National Medical Center. The new study published March 12 showed children diagnosed with ASD were eight times more likely and ADHD children were seven times more likely to wish they were of the opposite sex.
Gender variance is defined by the researchers as one wishing to be another gender as in a boy wishing to be a girl or a girl wishing to be a boy. This wish may be expressed by masculine or feminine behaviors not characteristic of the inherent genital biological organs.
Gender identity is defined as the psychological identification of either male or female whereas gender variance (gender identity disorder) is the understanding that the brain is inconsistent with the biological characteristics suggesting the identity is opposite of the innate organs.
The researchers postulate the increase of gender variance in children with ASD and ADHD may be due to the symptoms of both disorders. The societal expectations and/or social pressures to conform in a society are lessened with afflicted children of ASD and ADHD.
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