Studies concerning gender differences in autism, a pervasive developmental disorder that affects four boys per one girl, did not provide a clear and congruent picture. There is a vast evidence that autism in females tends to assume a more severe form when it does occur. This study presents an attempt to analyze gender differences in the development of the ability to imitate, perception, motor skills, visual-motor coordination, cognitive functioning and speech. Ninety two children (67 boys and 25 girls) aged from four to nine years, were tested with the polish version of Psychoeducational Profile (Revised). The results obtained in this study overwhelmingly show similarities between boys and girls as compared with few differences which were also obtained. Individual differences play a main role in this picture. It was found however, that girls scored higher in imitating, cognitive functioning and active speech. The gender differences did not occur, when compared boys and girls were matched for the stage of developmental age. Therefore this study does not support the widely spread view, that the social and cognitive functioning in girls is worse than in their male counterparts
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.