The Extreme Male Brain Theory of Autism and the Potential Adverse Effects for Boys and Girls with Autism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (1):93-103 (2012)
Autism, typically described as a spectrum neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in verbal ability and social reciprocity as well as obsessive or repetitious behaviours, is currently thought to markedly affect more males than females. Not surprisingly, this encourages a gendered understanding of the Autism Spectrum. Simon Baron-Cohen, a prominent authority in the field of autism research, characterizes the male brain type as biased toward systemizing. In contrast, the female brain type is understood to be biased toward empathizing. Since persons with autism are characterized as hyper-systemizers and hypo-empathizers, Baron-Cohen suggests that, whether they are male or female, most possess an “extreme male brain profile.” We argue that Baron-Cohen is misled by an unpersuasive gendering of certain capacities or aptitudes in the human population. Moreover, we suggest that this may inadvertently favour boys in diagnosing children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. If this is correct, it could also have rather serious consequences for treatment and services for girls (and women) on the Autism Spectrum
|Keywords||Autism Gender Sex Brain Stereotyping Diagnosis Empathy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Simon Baron-Cohen (1995). Mindblindness an Essay on Autism and "Theory of Mind". Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Madison Powers & Ruth Faden (2008). Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy. OUP Usa.
Simon Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flusberg & D. J. Cohen (1994). Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives From Autism. Oxford University Press.
Genevieve Lloyd (1993). The Man of Reason: "Male" and "Female" in Western Philosophy. University of Minnesota Press.
Anne Fausto-Sterling & Edward Stein (2004). Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. Hypatia 19 (3):203-208.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ruth Sample (2013). Autism and the Extreme Male Brain. In Jami L. Anderson Simon Cushing (ed.), The Philosophy of Autism. Rowman and Littlefield
Jami L. Anderson & Simon Cushing (eds.) (2013). The Philosophy of Autism. Rowman & Littlefield.
Sanjida O'Connell (1998). Mindreading: An Investigation Into How We Learn to Love and Lie. Doubleday.
Marcus P. Adams (2013). Explaining the Theory of Mind Deficit in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Philosophical Studies 163 (1):233-249.
Tony Charman (2001). Understanding the Imitation Deficit in Autism May Lead to a More Specific Model of Autism as an Empathy Disorder. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):29-30.
Simon Baron-Cohen (2001). Consciousness of the Physical and the Mental: Evidence From Autism. In Peter G. Grossenbacher (ed.), Finding Consciousness in the Brain: A Neurocognitive Approach. Advances in Consciousness Research. John Benjamins 61-76.
Francesca Happ & Uta Frith (eds.) (2010). Autism and Talent. OUP/the Royal Society.
Simon Baron-Cohen, John Lawson, Rick Griffin & Jacqueline Hill, The Exact Mind: Empathising and Systemising in Autism Spectrum Conditions.
Simon Baron-Cohen (1998). Superiority on the Embedded Figures Test in Autism and in Normal Males: Evidence of an “Innate Talent”? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (3):408-409.
Anne E. McGuire & Rod Michalko (2011). Minds Between Us: Autism, Mindblindness and the Uncertainty of Communication. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (2):162-177.
Somogy Varga (2010). Explaining Impaired Play in Autism. Journal für Philosophie Und Psychiatrie 3 (1):1-13.
R. Eric Barnes & Helen McCabe (2012). Should We Welcome a Cure for Autism? A Survey of the Arguments. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (3):255-269.
Marcus P. Adams (2011). Modularity, Theory of Mind, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):763-773.
Added to index2012-01-07
Total downloads63 ( #70,171 of 1,911,671 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #144,539 of 1,911,671 )
How can I increase my downloads?