Autism isn’t necessarily something to do with vaccinations, you know. Simon Baron-Cohen sees connections with the male brain:
One needs to be extremely careful in advancing a cause for autism, because this field is rife with theories that have collapsed under empirical scrutiny. Nonetheless, my hypothesis is that autism is the genetic result of “assortative mating” between parents who are both strong systemizers. Assortative mating is the term we use when like is attracted to like, and there are four significant reasons to believe it is happening here.
FIRST, both mothers and fathers of children with autism complete the embedded figures test faster than men and women in the general population.
Second, both mothers and fathers of children with autism are more likely to have fathers who are talented systemizers (engineers, for example).
Third, when we look at brain activity with magnetic resonance imaging, males and females on average show different patterns while performing empathizing or systemizing tasks. But both mothers and fathers of children with autism show strong male patterns of brain activity.
Fourth, both mothers and fathers of children with autism score above average on a questionnaire that measures how many autistic traits an individual has. These results suggest a genetic cause of autism, with both parents contributing genes that ultimately relate to a similar kind of mind: one with an affinity for thinking systematically.
Read it all to see how Larry Summers fits into the story.
3 thoughts on “Autism and the male condition”
Am I wrong in thinking that Summers thing went something like this:
That thing that people said Summers said but he really didn’t say? It’s definitely not true.
That thing that Summers said? Looks like it could be.
Comments are closed.