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Helek_Aphel
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06 Dec 2008, 6:58 pm

There's Baron-Cohen's theory in which all aspies, including female aspies, have extreme male brains.
And there's this little detail in biology in which, because of the amount of testosterone in fetal development, people with a longer index finger than a ring finger have female brains, and people with a longer ring finger than an index finger have male brains.
I asked a female aspie (known on WP as Brook-lynn20) which finger was longer, and we looked to see that her index finger was longer than her ring finger.
This suggests that Baron-Cohen's theory was wrong.
Or does it?
Please contribute to this little test.



Orwell
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06 Dec 2008, 7:05 pm

Finger lengths may not be the best thing to go by here if you want to know who has "male brains." Measured fetal testosterone levels are appreciably higher in autistics than in NTs.


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andantespianato
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06 Dec 2008, 7:17 pm

I dont think he literly meant female aspies have male brains, but maybe he was refering to the fact that aspies are usually 'systemisers'. In the general population thats probably attributed more to men than women, but women with aspergers could have more of a systemising brain than an emphatic one, or more than you might usually expect, due to having aspergers.

Those are just my thoughts anyway..I hope I made sense!



melissa17b
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06 Dec 2008, 7:28 pm

Some day in the future when much more is known about the genome, embryogenesis and other fine points of human development, it seems likely that we will find that there are numerous factors contributing to both autism spectrum conditions and to characteristics that are dimorphic by sex. These factors combine to produce many "tracks" of development, with several groups of people strikingly similar in presentation but each group very different.

Today, it is hypothesised, with growing but far from conclusive evidence, that many sex-dimorphic characteristics are determined by much more than the simple high-school-biology "XY=boy, XX=girl" rule. Forgetting for the moment about other atypical karyotypes, mosaicism, chimerism, etc., the XX or XY karyotype only predisposes a person to be female or male. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the predisposition verifies without incident. This discussion is not about those 99,950 out of 100,000 people (or whatever the number is) - it is about the other 50. Genes on these chromosomes must be present and intact, which is not always the case. Then they must be expressed, which is also not guaranteed to happen. Even when they are, the expression calls for a long, complex series of differentiations, at specific gestational ages, often determined by the concentration of testosterone (T) present. Sometimes, certain receptors are defective and do not respond to the T. Other times, T levels are effective for one differentiation but not for another, for whatever reason.

Given the number of things that can go wrong, it is not surprising to find people with a full spectrum of gender identities, sexual identities, typically male or female thought patterns, etc. I always thought that AS was in many cases more of a "selective" male brain rather than an "extreme" male brain. Otherwise, there would be no feminine Aspies.

For the record, in deference to the OP, one hand has a longer index finger; the other a longer ring finger. Just what you'd expect from someone with differently-coloured eyes!



Vulcan
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06 Dec 2008, 8:02 pm

cool, what eye colors?



Helek_Aphel
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06 Dec 2008, 9:56 pm

Orwell wrote:
Finger lengths may not be the best thing to go by here if you want to know who has "male brains." Measured fetal testosterone levels are appreciably higher in autistics than in NTs.

Umm... okay, a bit of a disclaimer might be necessary.
I'm only a student.
Meaning I don't really have access to much of anything aside from finger length.
Also, this is only an idea that popped into my mind while I was with said female aspie earlier on this evening. It wasn't a long period of time between wondering about it and writing about it.



Shiggily
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06 Dec 2008, 10:08 pm

melissa17b wrote:

For the record, in deference to the OP, one hand has a longer index finger; the other a longer ring finger.


me too. though they are almost the same size. one on one hand is a little longer, and it is switched on the other hand.



capriwim
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06 Dec 2008, 10:17 pm

I've heard this theory before about people on the autistic spectrum having extreme male brains.

I'm female. In some ways my brain works according to the stereotypical male, and in other ways like the stereotypical female. If I do those silly 'Is your brain male or female?' tests, I come out as in the middle. I'm good at spatial stuff (supposedly a male thing), but I have no sense of direction or where north is (which males are supposed to be good at). I'm good at language (which is supposedly a female thing) and seeing which colours match (also supposedly a female thing).

However, my personality type is ENTP/INTP - a mix of the two because I'm halfway between introvert and extrovert - and both these types are supposedly predominantly male.

I also have no sense of gender identity. The fact that I'm female means nothing to me. I really don't see myself in terms of gender at all.

But... my index finger is longer than my ring finger. And I have never heard any male/female theories about finger lengths before!



pakled
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06 Dec 2008, 10:27 pm

my index finger is ...oh...about a half inch longer than all my fingers. I have to be careful not to 'shoot the finger' sometimes...;)

The Missus says everyone thinks I'm gay, which is a bit surprising to me...;) I'm pretty sure I'm not (at my age, you've pretty much figured out which way your hammer swings...;)

I'm just me...;)



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07 Dec 2008, 12:44 am

I heard about this finger length thing back in about 2000, that was as some difference which someone claimed existed between gay men and heterosexual men.

I would like to know how one should measure the length of the finger. Is it the tip to the knuckle joint or tip to the edge of the palm. I have just tried a quick measurement on y hands and I get opposite results depending on how I define the length of a finger.


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07 Dec 2008, 12:47 am

Yes, me too.


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Brook-lynn20
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07 Dec 2008, 1:08 am

See what you got started? haha



gbollard
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07 Dec 2008, 3:06 am

Certainly you're not using the best measuring instrument... there's no substantial evidence to support the fingers theory.

I don't really support Baron-Cohen's theory either. I think the description of extreme male is just because many female aspie symptoms are similar to males. Not the same.



melissa17b
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07 Dec 2008, 3:51 am

Vulcan,

Whilst they change colour on a daily basis, my left eye is usually brown with occasional shades of bluish-grey; my right eye is usually green, with varying shades of brown.



BKBJONES
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07 Dec 2008, 4:00 am

Is that Baron-Cohen or Sasha Cohen? :roll:

I am proudly male, but have what many term to be an effiminate side. Not gay, not bi or really anything sexual.

I also have index > ring on one had, ring > index on the other.