Can Sibling Sex Ratios Be Used as a Valid Test for the Prenatal Androgen Hypothesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Sibling sex ratios have been applied as an indirect test of a hypothesized association between prenatal testosterone levels and risk for autism, a developmental disorder disproportionately affecting males. Differences in sibling sex ratios between those with and without autism would provide evidence of a shared risk factor for autism and offspring sex. Conclusions related to prenatal testosterone, however, require additional assumptions. Here, we used directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) to clarify the elements required for a valid test of the hypothesis that sibling sex ratios differ between children with and without autism. We then conducted such a test using a large, population-based sample of children.
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- Public Library of Science ONE
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- Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics
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- April 24, 2019