fight for truth: fight simon baron-cohen

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Callista
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28 Dec 2010, 11:15 am

Yeah, especially since male and female brains don't differ drastically enough that we could call one way of thinking "typically male" or "typically female".

Yes, it's true that males tend to be "systemizers", etc., but this is partially due to culture, and the part that isn't due to culture is actually only a mild tendency, not a drastic difference--something like the way males average out in the 49th percentile and females in the 51st percentile in language; a very slight difference that really doesn't characterize males and females nearly as much as we think it does.

So if the "extreme male brain" theory is true (I doubt it because of all the autistics who are extremely empathic), then "extreme male brain" is a bad name for it. It would be better called "extreme systemizer" or something of that sort.

The issue I have with calling it "extreme male", on first hearing, is that autistics naturally don't pick up the culture around us, and so female autistics (and male autistics) don't pick up the cultural ideas that we are supposed to be gender-typed one way or another. (Well, we pick them up to some degree; but not to the degree that NTs do.) This means that suddenly all that cultural difference between males and females decreases drastically and the people who are comparing us are comparing not just the effects of autism but the difference between the culture around us and what happens when you grow up affected to a much smaller degree by that culture.

If you want to characterize the autistic brain, you're just making it much more complicated for yourself by putting gender into the picture. Gender issues are complicated enough as-is without adding autism; and autism's complicated enough without adding gender too. We simply don't know enough about the differences between men and women to apply that idea to any other field yet. And he's using "extreme male brain" as though everybody knows what a male brain is and how it works?


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Verdandi
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28 Dec 2010, 12:51 pm

theexternvoid wrote:
Extreme male brain theory: This poorly theory makes sense to me. He identified a true gender difference between males and females. Yes, brain gender differences do exist in the overall gender populations even though there are individual exceptions. It's a generality, not an absolute. Getting past the religious faith in modern unscientific egalitarianism is a barrier for many to understand this.


There's research that counters a lot of this. The idea of extremely divergent male and female neurological development is largely debunked and I believe a lot of research that supports that many of the alleged differences are the result of socialization. As someone else pointed out, he ignores a lot of research about gender to label his conclusions.

This isn't a matter of religious faith. The idea that men and women are so starkly different is, however.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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28 Dec 2010, 12:58 pm

antonblock wrote:
Dear,

i really annoys me and hurts me how much nonsense is written still about autistic people. That they have no feelings and that they are not social, just want to sit in front of their computer and so on.

And i also hate people like simon baron-cohen and his "extreme male brain" theory. I feel much more deeply than most woman, and there comes this stupid wannabe-researcher and gets famous by producing a theory according to which autistic don't feel, because they are so extremely male.

This is not only nonsense, this tells other people lies about what and how we are, and there people again hurt us. I don't want this! Why don't any autistic people meet together and try to effectively complain about this nonsense and fight for a better world for them?

bye,
anton

Although there are some with autism who feel like socializing, many do not like to. I actually love sitting in front of the computer. It's relaxing and fun and I would sit here forever if I could. Why is it when people don't like to socialize it's not accepted and thought of as a bad thing? It's not. Respect people's right to socialize or not and view asociality not as a negative stereotype or myth but a legitimate lifestyle choice that can have benefits.



nthach
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28 Dec 2010, 2:36 pm

I'm sorry, I can't take Simon Baron-Cohen seriously since his cousin Satcha is the same guy who plays Bruno, Borat and Ali G. And yes, Bruno did compare autism to chlamydia.



Kon
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28 Dec 2010, 2:45 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
Although there are some with autism who feel like socializing, many do not like to. I actually love sitting in front of the computer. It's relaxing and fun and I would sit here forever if I could. Why is it when people don't like to socialize it's not accepted and thought of as a bad thing? It's not. Respect people's right to socialize or not and view asociality not as a negative stereotype or myth but a legitimate lifestyle choice that can have benefits.


Non-autistic introverts also do not like socializing. Introverts get energy from inside themselves (ideas and concepts in their own minds), verus extroverts that get energy from outside of themselves (interacting with other people). They are also made to feel uncomfortable because by and large the world tends to be controlled by extroverts. And introverts represent a sizable proportion of the population. Their voices though are less likely to be heard probably because they just don't care to be heard or are less likely to reach positions of power/authority because they don't care for it.



Last edited by Kon on 28 Dec 2010, 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kea
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28 Dec 2010, 2:47 pm

Verdandi wrote:
As someone else pointed out, he ignores a lot of research about gender to label his conclusions.


Exactly. A scientist who wants to discuss a theory about 'male brains' has NO excuse for being completely ignorant of research showing that such a thing is difficult if not impossible to define. Gender research is a broad field. One example of an experiment: take 2 lecture theatres full of mathematics students; give one class a five minute confidence building exercise before their exam. The results of the exam: the females in the confidence building class have significantly higher results than those in the other class. The males results do not change. Moreover, in some countries young women now outperform men in all subjects. Clearly such a radical change in 30 or 40 years cannot be biological in origin.



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28 Dec 2010, 2:48 pm

I think the Intense World theory of hyper-functionality=debilitation is a lot closer to what I feel every day. Sometimes I actually find it easier to concentrate when I've consumed some substance that causes my mentation and sensory intake to slow. A lot of times I get incredibly frustrated because my cognition is so much faster than my body can keep up with.

For example, I can read (comprehension) much faster than I can physically move my eyes.



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28 Dec 2010, 2:53 pm

Kea wrote:
Moreover, in some countries young women now outperform men in all subjects. Clearly such a radical change in 30 or 40 years cannot be biological in origin.


Bad logic. If the style of teaching has changed it is possible that female neurology is more responsive to the new methods.

What has changed that has resulted in better female performance? Without examining that, you can't say anything about causality.


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Kea
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28 Dec 2010, 2:55 pm

Malisha wrote:
I think the Intense World theory of hyper-functionality=debilitation is a lot closer to what I feel every day.


Yes, this is how I feel all the time. Of course no two word label could ever capture the essence of autism, but IW is better than the other options being thrown around.



Kea
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28 Dec 2010, 2:57 pm

wavefreak58 wrote:
What has changed that has resulted in better female performance?


As I said, I am referring to a LARGE body of academic research. Please inform yourself about it before jumping to conclusions.



wavefreak58
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28 Dec 2010, 3:16 pm

Kea wrote:
wavefreak58 wrote:
What has changed that has resulted in better female performance?


As I said, I am referring to a LARGE body of academic research. Please inform yourself about it before jumping to conclusions.


I did not jump to a conclusion. You posted something that was logically faulty. It is up to YOU to provide corroboration when you make a statement that is such a broad generalization.

Shall I spell it out for you?

You said:

Quote:
in some countries young women now outperform men in all subjects.


There is no reason to challenge this as anything but fact, so lets proceed to your claim:

Quote:
Clearly such a radical change in 30 or 40 years cannot be biological in origin.


The word "cannot" is an absolute. Logically, you are saying for it is not possible for biology to be a cause. I simply pointed out a scenario where it COULD be a cause therefore your absolute is proven false. Again, your logic is faulty.

If you wish to be accurate, then change your statement to something like "research has shown female biology to be very unlikely".

If you wish to be reactionary, continue using absolutes and words like "clearly" and "radical".


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28 Dec 2010, 3:22 pm

If women are allegedly biologically inferior at certain tasks than men, how exactly do you tailor teaching methods (which have not changed signficantly over this time) to favor women over men in subjects that men allegedly have a biological advantage in?

The research is out there, you can find it. But here's one that Kea referenced to get you started:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype_threat

Yes, it's wiki, but the article has citations at the bottom.



wavefreak58
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28 Dec 2010, 3:26 pm

Verdandi wrote:
If women are allegedly biologically inferior at certain tasks than men, how exactly do you tailor teaching methods (which have not changed signficantly over this time) to favor women over men in subjects that men allegedly have a biological advantage in?


Who said anything about biologically inferior? ALL I SAID was the statement was logically faulty.

I'm sorry. My Aspie is showing ...


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Verdandi
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28 Dec 2010, 3:46 pm

wavefreak58 wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
If women are allegedly biologically inferior at certain tasks than men, how exactly do you tailor teaching methods (which have not changed signficantly over this time) to favor women over men in subjects that men allegedly have a biological advantage in?


Who said anything about biologically inferior? ALL I SAID was the statement was logically faulty.

I'm sorry. My Aspie is showing ...


This is the historical claim as to why so few women were entering the fields of math and science. I'm sorry I failed to separate the long-term arguments about this from your own statement. The statement is logically sound in context with existing research, however.

The stereotype threat information is still applicable, I think.



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28 Dec 2010, 4:18 pm

antonblock wrote:
Callista wrote:
Can you link us to an article where Baron-Cohen says this about us "not feeling" things? I've heard the extreme-male-brain idea, and don't agree with it; but I've never thought that it was actually malicious or anything, just an incorrect guess about why we're autistic.


read the description at

look on Wikipedia on "Extreme_male_brain"

there you can find for example:

"Baron-Cohen developed the E-S model in the context of his research into autism. Baron-Cohen argues that about two-thirds of people with autism or Asperger syndrome have an extreme S-type brain, with intact or strong systemizing alongside below-average empathy."

below-average empathy, .... yet again, i hate to hear it!!

let's do something against this crap!


S.B.C. made a statistical claim. Have you any evidence to indicate flaws in his statistical methods.

ruveyn