Eine interessante Studie zu der Theorie das Geschlechtsunterschiede im Gehirn einem Schema folgen, nach dem maskulinisierte Gehirne eher in Systematisierend arbeiten und feminisierte Gehirne eher im Bereich Empathie.
The Empathizing–Systemizing (E-S) theory of typical sex differences suggests that individuals may be classified based on empathy and systemizing. An extension of the E-S theory, the Extreme Male Brain (EMB) theory suggests that autistic people on average have a shift towards a more masculinized brain along the E-S dimensions. Both theories have been investigated in small sample sizes, limiting their generalizability. Here we leverage two large datasets (discovery n = 671,606, including 36,648 autistic individuals primarily; and validation n = 14,354, including 226 autistic individuals) to investigate 10 predictions of the E-S and the EMB theories. In the discovery dataset, typical females on average showed higher scores on short forms of the Empathy Quotient (EQ) and Sensory Perception Quotient (SPQ), and typical males on average showed higher scores on short forms of the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ). Typical sex differences in these measures were attenuated in autistic individuals.
Analysis of “brain types” revealed that typical females on average were more likely to be Type E (EQ > SQ) or Extreme Type E and that typical males on average were more likely to be Type S (SQ > EQ) or Extreme Type S. In both datasets, autistic individuals, regardless of their reported sex, on average were “masculinized.”
Finally, we demonstrate that D-scores (difference between EQ and SQ) account for 19 times more of the variance in autistic traits (43%) than do other demographic variables including sex. Our results provide robust evidence in support of both the E-S and EMB theories.
Die ermittelten Werte:
Und diese noch:
In der letzten Tabelle steht der Typ E für das Empathisiernde Gehirn, Typ B für das „Ausgeglichene Gehirn“ und Typ S für das Systematisierende Gehirn
Wie man sieht ist das extreme E-Gehirn bei Männern deutlich seltener als bei Frauen, bei dem Extremen S-Gehirn ist es anders herum. Auch bei dem „normalen“ E-Gehirn sind deutlich weniger Männer als Frauen und bei dem „Normalen“ S-Gehirn mehr Männer als Frauen. Es wird insofern auch deutlich, dass Es keine absoluten Unterschiede sind. Sondern eher verschobene Normalverteilungen.
Bei den Autisten ist alles sehr stark zum Systematisierenden Gehirn verschoben, aber bei den Männern noch stärker als bei den Frauen. Es gibt aber auch hier noch welche, die eher ein E-Typ sind und auch sehr wenige, die sogar ein extremer E-Typ sind.
Aus einem Beitrag über die Studie:
In the paper, the authors discuss how it is important to bear in mind that differences observed in this study apply only to group averages, not to individuals. They underline that these data say nothing about an individual based on their gender, autism diagnosis, or occupation. To do that would constitute stereotyping and discrimination, which the authors strongly oppose.
Further, the authors reiterate that the two theories are applicable to only two dimensions of typical sex differences: empathy and systemising. They do not apply to all sex differences, such as aggression, and to extrapolate the theories beyond these two dimensions would be a misinterpretation.
Finally, the authors highlight that although autistic people on average struggle with ‘cognitive’ empathy – recognizing other people’s thoughts and feelings – they nevertheless have intact ‘affective’ empathy – they care about others. It is a common misunderstanding that autistic people struggle with all forms of empathy, which is untrue.
Dr Varun Warrier, from the Cambridge team, said: “These sex differences in the typical population are very clear. We know from related studies that individual differences in empathy and systemising are partly genetic, partly influenced by our prenatal hormonal exposure, and partly due to environmental experience. We need to investigate the extent to which these observed sex differences are due to each of these factors, and how these interact.”
Dr David Greenberg, from the Cambridge team, said: “Big data is important to draw conclusions that are replicable and robust. This is an example of how scientists can work with the media to achieve big data science.”
Dr Carrie Allison, from the Cambridge team, said: “We are grateful to both the general public and to the autism community for participating in this research. The next step must be to consider the relevance of these findings for education, and support where needed.”
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge who proposed these two theories nearly two decades ago, said: “This research provides strong support for both theories. This study also pinpoints some of the qualities autistic people bring to neurodiversity. They are, on average, strong systemisers, meaning they have excellent pattern-recognition skills, excellent attention to detail, and an aptitude in understanding how things work. We must support their talents so they achieve their potential – and society benefits too.”