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Differences between male and female autism:

 26 Aw Sam Weston, Wed, 5th Mar '14 8:29:17 AM from Minnesota Nice Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up][up] @Bonsai: That's exactly how I feel about any set of rules: If I don't understand why it's there, I'll question the hell out of it until I get a convincing answer. Until then, I tend to just ignore them.

I've also set up rules for myself that aren't in the books, but that make sense to me: "No alcohol" (I'm afraid of what kind of monster I'd become), "no rape" (just... ew), "if someone works full-time, they should be paid enough to live comfortably" (which is why I refuse to work at Walmart)...

But that's a whole different can of worms. Let's not discuss that unless it has to do with Autism.

 27 Bonsai Forest, Wed, 5th Mar '14 11:17:44 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
That is said to be a very common Aspie "value" - not trusting rules unless we think there's a good reason for them. Related to that, not looking up to authority figures until we see why they have their authority.
 28 De Marquis, Wed, 5th Mar '14 11:48:28 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
And expecting fair treatment while ignoring the politics of a situation (esp at work).
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Tea Time
I've also set up rules for myself that aren't in the books, but that make sense to me: ... "no rape"
I'm fairly sure that rule is in the books.tongue

There may be some androgyny in the brains of people on the autism spectrum, but I think there's yet another reason autistic people might be less likely to conform to gender stereotypes than neurotypicals. This would be because people on the autism spectrum tend to be oblivious to social norms in general, and that would include gender role norms as well.
That's exactly what I suspect being the case.

 30 De Marquis, Wed, 5th Mar '14 5:29:34 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
A sort of "accidental androgyny"
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 31 Bonsai Forest, Thu, 6th Mar '14 6:18:15 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
@Antitielchen Are you saying that gender roles are entirely nurture and not nature? Or very heavily nurture and not nature? Let's not forget that there has been shown to be different brain wiring between typical males, typical females, and autistics. Therefore, ignoring nurture, by their very nature, autistics are androgynous.
 32 De Marquis, Thu, 6th Mar '14 6:26:33 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Almost everything humans are and do is a result of an interaction between biological and environmental influences.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Tea Time
Of course there are biological differences. Yet, different brain wirings could also be the result of using different parts of the brain in varying amounts and not the cause. If you never train your spacial abilities they will simply not develop as much as when you use them. This can also mean that there are biological differences who get more pronounced by being used more (someone who is good at one thing will be more likely to train it and get even better at it).

Furthermore the differences are not hard and fast rules. Like height there's a statistical difference but not every male brain is equally different from every female brain. Thus I have a bit of a reservation to call a specific wiring a "male" brain if there are women who have a similar one and men who don't have that specific wiring. It would be like calling 1.85m a male height.

 34 De Marquis, Thu, 6th Mar '14 1:34:02 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
We can separate the influence of environmental vs. "inborn" biological factors with research methodologies like twin studies.

edited 6th Mar '14 1:34:19 PM by DeMarquis

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 35 Bonsai Forest, Fri, 7th Mar '14 8:09:45 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
Twins tend to often live surprisingly similar lives even if separated. The degree to which they do can be very freaky.
Tea Time
Treating girls and boys differently is commonplace. To seperate the environmental differences you would at least have to have twins growing up in wildly different cultures. Say one girl grows up in Iceland the other in Saudi Arabia. Even better would be a controlled experiment, of course.tongue

 37 Bonsai Forest, Mon, 10th Mar '14 7:48:44 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
One thing I'd read about Aspergers in girls is that one of the common traits (not that all of them have it, or anywhere near, but it's common), is a lack of an real sense of identity, a tendency to change/try on different identities in an attempt to find oneself.

I know someone who I strongly suspect is on the spectrum, and is female. I asked her to take the Aspie Quiz (which is flawed - I'm a former low-functioning autistic and I scored 120, whereas someone I know who was diagnosed late with Aspergers scored 134), and her score turned out - 93 Aspie, 97 NT "You have a mix of Aspie and NT traits."

So what is she like? She was bullied a lot in school and in her church. She never understood why. She has a very distinctive voice (having a weird or unusual sounding voice is common with autism/Aspergers, but it's not true for everyone). She tends to latch onto one obsession, then like a year or so later, another. First she was obsessed with a certain book series and movie. Then it was a certain cartoon chaacter, to the point of dressing up as that character and taking selfies while cosplaying. Then she was obsessed with a certain character who appeared in TV commercials, and is now theming herself (complete with some cosplay) after him. She has also tied on different religious identities - first wiccan, then Satanist, and now atheist. She also has terrible spelling (I've encountered Aspies with excellent spelling and grammar, but there are those whose spelling is atrocious).

So much screams Aspergers, and yet she was never diagnosed.
 38 De Marquis, Mon, 10th Mar '14 10:55:32 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
It happens.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 39 Bonsai Forest, Mon, 10th Mar '14 11:52:01 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
What do you mean?

Lack of diagnosis is a bigger problem for females than males, from what I read. They do a better job of faking fitting in without truly understanding other people, so they are less likely to be noticed, to stick out.
 40 Yam, Mon, 10th Mar '14 12:33:18 PM Relationship Status: Less than three
I'd like to propose a theory that the lower amount of females getting diagnosed might be in part motivated by the stigma of being disabled impacting their chances of getting married. In other words doctors know there is a problem but keep it vague because a woman's sexual attractiveness is more important for their social status than a man's is.

 41 Aw Sam Weston, Mon, 10th Mar '14 12:58:12 PM from Minnesota Nice Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
[up] And if your theory is correct, I'm gonna stuff that in the "Reasons I Hate Humanity" box.

 42 Bonsai Forest, Tue, 11th Mar '14 6:33:53 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
I don't believe that at all. Aspie women have better personalities than NT women, I'd have to say. (Of course, I'm a straight Aspie man)

But seriously, I really do think the lack of diagnosis is more about genuinely not noticing it. I think people are looking for more obvious, more overt signs. Female Aspies can be subtle (so can male, but I'm talking about in person). I've gotten really good at recognizing it when I see it (I asked a few people I suspected had Aspergers if they had it themselves or knew they had it; some said yes, some said they weren't sure, a couple said no; I asked some to take the Aspie Quiz and they got scores implying they're on the spectrum). Still, much of society looks even at the more obvious males who have it and don't recognize the signs.

Also, incorrect usage of the word "theory". In science, a theory is something that is only declared after a good amount of testing. You came up with a "hypothesis". Nobody proposes theories.

edited 11th Mar '14 6:34:40 AM by BonsaiForest

 43 Yam, Tue, 11th Mar '14 11:10:20 AM Relationship Status: Less than three
But if a doctor is on the fence about wether or not a person has hereditary traits that make certain aspects of life difficult for them it could make them hesitant to give a diagnosis if you are associating them with their possible future family and children.

Right, I know that word. Darn.

 44 Bonsai Forest, Tue, 11th Mar '14 11:38:23 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
Not giving the diagnosis can fuck the person up later in life by not helping them when they need help now. I see what you're saying, and people don't always do the smart thing. Though I want to know how you'd know that this is indeed happening.
Euo will do!
[up][up]Considering that women are likely to be diagnosed more for things like depressions and anxiety, I think that's a load of bull. If mental illness makes you somehow "weaker" and women are supposed to be the "weaker" gender... how the heck is being diagnosed with autism suddenly going to turn you into less of a potential mate than being diagnosed with anxiety issues? Or anorexia?

Unless you're suggesting that the perceived "masculine" condition and "wiring" of autism suddenly makes a girl a terrible potential mate, I think you're on some really dodgy ground. -_-

(By the way, that whole "wiring" thing is also a bunch of bull, personal opinion: just because picking up social cues is seen as "more feminine" doesn't mean not picking up on them makes you "masculine" — which is why I brought up orientation: that's the thing that tells you what's up. <_< One culture's idea of a masculine trait is often another's idea of a feminine: may I point out Japanese Bishōnen or Shotas and have done? They're very masculine over there... but, not in the Wild, Wild West.

Tertiary sexual characteristics: about as reliable as the Daily Mail for working out what's what.)

edited 11th Mar '14 5:33:30 PM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 46 demarquis, Tue, 11th Mar '14 5:31:06 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
No, but it isnt all that unlikely that social stereotyping convinces people to think that they do- and therefore girls are more likely to admit (even to themselves) that they suffer from more so-called "gender appropriate" disorders like bulemia than "inappropriate" ones like autism. And that could easily lead to a difference in diagnostic rates.

I am not discounting, however, the possibility that there is a genuine difference in the rates at which each gender suffers from some form of HFA.

edited 11th Mar '14 5:31:24 PM by demarquis

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Euo will do!
[up]Just as a lad with bulimia will either try to make the problem something else... or not get seen for what he is (it's easier to focus on the gym-addiction he's probably exhibiting... or the steroid abuse... rather than the root cause). <_< Because of stupid sexual stereotyping of conditions and problems.
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 48 demarquis, Tue, 11th Mar '14 5:43:09 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Exactly. You can tell, by the way, from the way rates change as disorders become better known by the mainstream culture. If the gender disparity changes as a result of publicity, well....
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 49 Bonsai Forest, Wed, 12th Mar '14 7:55:26 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
I wish we knew what the true rate of HFA is in both sexes.

Many of the female Aspies I've known have had "male" interests, such as tournament fighting video games, Team Fortress 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and so on, but also acted "feminine" in other ways. There's a lot of androgyny or gender fluidity in the condition.
 50 Bonsai Forest, Tue, 22nd Apr '14 8:30:10 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
Someone I know on the spectrum, a teen girl, mentioned on deviantART that she tends to mostly create male characters.

I did a quick search online and found a small poll asking people on wrongplanet.net (a forum for people on the spectrum) which sex they prefer the casual company of - same sex, opposite sex, or both/neither. The winning result? 40% said they preferred the casual company of the opposite sex.

This is only one poll, but it is apparently very common for autistics to relate more to the opposite sex. I wonder what such a poll would find among regular people.
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