What Does It Mean To Say That A Person With Autism Has An Extreme Male Brain?
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About The Author

Ros Ridley, MA (Cantab), PhD (London), ScD (Cantab) retired as Head of the Medical Research Council (United Kingdom)'s Comparative Cognition Research Team in the Department of Psychology, Cambridge, UK, in 2005. She was a Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1995 – 2010 and Vice-Principal from 2000-2005. She now holds the Privileges of a Fellow Emerita at Newnham College.

                       

What Does It Mean To Say That A Person With Autism Has An Extreme Male Brain?

This article is about whether the concept of an ‘extreme male brain’ has any explanatory power for autism. Clinical autism is more common in men than women, and amongst people who do not have a diagnosis of autism, men score somewhat higher than women, on average, on questionnaires which assess behaviors that are common in people with autism. These questionnaires score interests in how things work, known as ‘systemizing’ as ‘male’ and interests in other people’s emotions and thoughts, known...

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