School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Diana Tan

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 4508

Start date

Jul 2013

Submission date

Jul 2017

Curriculum vitae

Diana Tan CV
[doc, 1,970.03 kb]
Updated 06 Aug 2014

Diana Tan

Diana Tan profile photo


Sexual dimorphism in the autism spectrum


My research investigates the extent of sexual dimorphism in cognition and physical features such as facial features and voice characteristics. This research is largely based on the extreme male brain theory proposed by Baron-Cohen (2001) which suggests that characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be described as being hypermasculinised caused by increased exposure to high levels of prenatal testosterone. However, a recent study by Bejerot et al. (2012) has challenged this notion and presented evidence based on several physical features which suggested that ASD is better described as being androgynous instead of hypermasculinised. My study explores whether hypermasculinisation or androgyny account better describe physical and cognitive features of ASD. Additionally, as levels of sex steroids such as testosterone play a part in influencing the extent of sexual dimorphism; such data will also be collected as part of the study.

Why my research is important

My research will give us a better understanding of the characteristics of ASD.


  • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2013 - 2016)
  • UWA Top-Up Scholarship (2013 - 2016)
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (2013 - 2016)


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Friday, 23 January, 2015 3:27 PM