Adult women with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder: Perspectives on the menarche/menstruation experience
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Framed in select MWGS feminist theories, this study’s 335 adult women/assigned-female-at-birth responded to the Autism Spectrum Quotient-10 (AQ-10, 2012) and Menstrual Attitude Questionnaire-2nd version (MAQ, 1980a, 1980b). Although without statistical significance (α = .05), 29/335 (8.7%) reported high AQ-10 scores (6+) suggesting further ASD testing. The high 8.7 percentage perhaps is a product of AQ-10’s screening purpose or underreporting/misdiagnosis due to the female ASD phenotype’s camouflaging abilities. Higher AQ-10 (6+) scores had somewhat higher mean MAQ scores for four (Debilitating/Bothersome/Natural/Predictable) and one lower (Denial) MAQ subscales. Exploratory analysis of participants’ disclosure of co-occurring gynecological, medical, and mental health concerns highlighted potential impact of such conditions on women’s health across ethnicity, age at menarche, and age groups. This study sought to expand MWGS’s inclusion of women with disabilities/ASD, empowering all women utilizing a holistic womanist approach. Research on menstruation and autism should replicate this study and devise a female/assigned-female-at-birth-only AQ-10 version.