The sadness will last forever


According to an influential and controversial theory, autism is the manifestation of an “Extreme Male Brain.” The reasoning goes something like this - the condition is far more prevalent in males than females; people with autism think in a distinctive style that’s more commonly observed in men than women (that is, high in systematising and low in empathising); and greater testosterone exposure in the womb appears to go hand in hand with an infant exhibiting more autism-like traits in later childhood.

Simon Baron-Cohen, the psychologist who first proposed the theory, always conjectured that there may also be such a thing as an “Extreme Female Brain.” Now in a new paper, a pair of researchers in the USA have made the case that the Extreme Female Brain exists, it’s highly empathic, and it comes with its own problematic consequences, in terms of a fear of negative evaluation by others, and related to that, a greater risk of eating disorders (which are known to be far more prevalent in women than men).

{ BPS | Continue reading }

photo { Andrew Miksys }