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In total, 40.6 % of invited mothers consented to participate.

The cohort comprises 114,500 children and 95,200 mothers.

The first data were collected during pregnancy, and each mother received several questionnaires containing items from a number of age-appropriate scales for their participating child with follow-ups at 6, 18 and 36 months as well as at 5, 7, 8 and 13 years of age.

Diagnoses of ASD were obtained from the Autism Birth Cohort´s (ABC) clinical records, in our sample, assessed at 3.5 years (Stoltenberg et al. A child’s diagnose were rendered completely blinded for ratings in Mo Ba-questionnaires and with no knowledge about any previous diagnosis by specialized services.

This perspective is consistent with the Research Domain Criteria (RDo C: Insel et al. The overall aim for the present study is to examine sex differences in ASD-relevant behaviors as endorsed by parents in a cohort of children between 17 and 30 months of age. Mo Ba is a prospective population-based pregnancy cohort study established by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Participants included pregnant mothers recruited during the years 1999–2010 at ultrasound examinations at approximately week 18 of pregnancy.

) suggested ASD could be considered an extreme expression of normal male, compared to female, phenotypic profiles.

severity) should be controlled for in the subsequent analyses to better understand sex-specific phenomena taking into account symptom severity.

Each item in M-CHAT was scored 0 = non failure, 1 = failure according to the manual (Robins et al.

to establish an overall measure for presence of autistic-like behavior.

Due to smaller sample size in the ASD female group, we did not include an interaction term between the severity score and diagnosis or sex (depending on analysis) in the subsequent logistic regression models.

Including the interaction item introduced high collinearity between predictors for several item analyses leading to instability in parameter estimates.

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