Autism is not pink or blue

Updated: Mar 16

Autism is a spectrum


Autism is not gendered.


There are no such things as “male Autism” or “female Autism”.


Yes, there are different presentations of Autism, which the diagnostic criteria tend to ignore. But there are not two discrete boxes of Autism that apply to Autistic people.


The history of Autism means that the diagnostic criteria are influenced by the history of those diagnosed, rather than the way Autism is actually expressed by Autistic people. In other words, until very recently research used white, western, male men as the participants. Those creating the research were also white, western men. So, of course outcomes are skewed. The whole of western science and medicating is still coming to grips with this bias.

The concept of Autism being Male/female ignores something fundamental about Autistic people. Gender diversity. It is much more common than in the general population. The accepted figure for being transgender alone is 7-8% compared to 1% in the general population. A binary Autism is just illogical.


Very broadly, Autism has internalised and externalised presentations. This could also be seen as masked and unmasked Autism.

Autism is not linear, and presentation are not either, or are static. Some Autistic people may move between presentations, in the same way that they move up and down the support levels in day to day life.

This tendency to a binary Autism has grown out of the acceptance that girls and women can be Autistic, but that they may present differently. There seems to be a lazy grouping of “female” and “presentation” that has led to this.

It ignores the fact that girls and boys are socialised, from the moment of conception, both differently consistently. For example, from the tiniest age girls are socialised to be polite, courteous, self-effacing. While boys are rewarded for the opposite behaviours - the “boys will be boys” clause. This alone could account for some of the difference between presentations.

In any case, a gendered concept of Autism only harms ALL Autistic people. We know that in the past women were refused diagnosis. It still happens. But the same happened to men too. If they presented in the same way as Autistic women, they could not be diagnosed.

And boys and girls are still experiencing the same ignorant bias. Parents of boys are being told they cannot be Autistic if they mask, because only girls mask. And girls are still being excluded because they are too social.

The concept of Autism being Male/female ignores something fundamental about Autistic people. Gender diversity. It is much more common than in the general population. The accepted figure for being transgender alone is 7-8% compared to 1% in the general population. A binary Autism is just illogical.


We encourage people to challenge the gendered approach to Autism, because it makes life even harder than it already is for Autistic people, whether diagnosed or not.

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