Gender differences in autism

Project Details

Autism is now diagnosed in around 2.5% of children in Australia. Despite the variability present in autism one of the most consistent findings across countries and cultures is that females are much less likely to have autism, with four times as many males than females affected. We are exploring various hypotheses including the androgen theory of autism to understand while fewer females than males have autism. We are currently exploring the overlap of autism and gender dysphoria with the Royal Children’s Hospital gender service.


  • Professor Katrina Williams, APEX Australia Chair of Developmental Medicine, Paediatrician and Public Health Physician
  • Dr Tamara May, Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Postdoctoral Fellow & Psychologist
  • Dr Kristine Egberts, Lorenso and Pamela Galli Postdoctoral Fellow in Systematic Reviews
  • Ms Amanda Brignell, Research Assistant & Speech Pathologist
  • Dr Felicity Klopper, Research Assistant & Neuropsychologist
  • Ms Francesca Lami, PhD student
  • Ms Charmaine Bernie, PhD student & Occupational Therapist
  • Dr Rebecca Mitchell, PhD student & Paediatrician
  • Ms Marijke Mitchell, PhD student enrolling for 2017 & Nurse


We collaborate with a range of different groups including those from the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Djerriwarrh Health Services (DjHS) Melton, and the Living with Autism Cooperative Research Centre.


We are funded through the NHMRC, ARC and various philanthropic organisations.

Research Outcomes

  1. May, T., Pang, K., & Williams, K. J. (2016). Gender variance in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder from the National Database for Autism Research. International Journal of Transgenderism, 1-9.

Research Group

Autism Research Team

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.