What does it mean to you to be a woman with Asperger's?

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anna_p13
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08 Nov 2012, 9:58 pm

I'm curious as to what other people have to say. Do you think there is any truth to the "extreme male brain theory" of AS? Do you relate well to other women? How about to men?



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08 Nov 2012, 11:58 pm

I relate better to men than I do to women. I identify more with men, than I do with women.


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09 Nov 2012, 2:02 am

I don't think I have an "extreme male brain." I don't really think about gender or sex. Of me or other people. People are just people. I mean, biologically I'm female, and I'm heterosexual, but in general I'm not particularly feminine or masculine and I don't really think of people that I know like that either.

I think I'm more compassionate/empathetic towards others than the average male but less than the average female- in terms of caring about/relating to other people. I think I'm more compassionate towards animals than most other people are- male or female.

I get along with both men and women equally and my friends are pretty even male/female. 5 of my best friends are males, and 5 are female. And then, other then best friends, I have more male friends just because I know people from the music scene and most musicians in rock bands are males.



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09 Nov 2012, 11:09 am

My gender never really felt that relevent to me. I was brought up to believe that being female didn't mean anything in terms of job prospects, I was brought up to believe I would do something professional that I would be a Doctor or a Barrister. I spent a large amount of my childhood fighting feminine stereotypes...I struggle to accept that being 'girly' isn't something that would make me weak. I was bullied at school and made to believe I was butch and ugly. The result is that as an adult I am uncomfortable with a number of aspects of being female. I am gay and get on better with women, I struggle with my contradictions and hypocrisy inside. I think having AS and viewing things as binary hasn't helped this.



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09 Nov 2012, 11:29 am

I tend to find it easier to get along with men than with women. I don't really understand women, especially the social aspects of adult female friendships. I don't really subscribe to the "extreme male brain" theory even though I'm much less stereotypically feminine than the average female. My lack of interest in make-up, dressing up, being girly, etc is more related to my sensory sensitivities, not especially caring what others think of how I look and being practical (seems like women waste a lot of time on make-up/hair/etc.).


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09 Nov 2012, 11:51 am

I looked like a boy when I was a child, partly because my mother was never feminine and bought me the most terrible clothes. Now I look totally feminine, and I always felt comfortable as a woman. I have a lot of "male" traits, I love video games, I am for total equal rights (without women getting extra treatment for being special snowflakes), and I look down on women who limit themselves to the female stereotype. I tend to get along with guys better, because sadly, women tend to be shallow and fake.



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09 Nov 2012, 12:41 pm

Try this brain gender test (click). I score firmly in the male category. I also have an elongated ring finger compared to my index finger (evidence of testosterone exposure in the womb). I get along better with men, and I am a tomboy too, yet I am married (to a man) and have a son. There is a feminine side to me, when I choose to show it.



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09 Nov 2012, 1:00 pm

I took the test and was about halfway between 0 and the average female score on the female side, so more female than male. However, I think have AS skews the results somewhat because the multiple choice questions were closely related to AS diagnostic questions in many ways and I'm guessing the "I'm not a nurturer" puts you in the male category, which feels strereotypical.


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09 Nov 2012, 1:51 pm

Wow, apparently my brain is more masculine than most men I know. I scored 50 on the male side. Surprisingly, I did pretty well at the eyes part, I scored 7 out of 10, that's even better than the usual NT.

It's interesting that I was very good at the 3D shape part.



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09 Nov 2012, 2:00 pm

I don't know I always feel weird about gender, like I simply don't like using it as a way to identify myself. I have a physical female body but I don't think of myself in terms of female or male.......or at least I've tried but it just doesn't click with me. I mean considering there can be woman with male brains and vice versa couldn't one who is physically female or physically male have more of an in between brain.

On top of that I am rather unsure of my sexuality as far as what I am attracted to I guess partially because I can't even pick the gender I am comfortable with since its not male or female.....I always hesitate on sites that ask for gender and only have the options male and female I go with female since I figure that is the closest based on physical gender but its like I wouldn't refer to myself as a man or woman.

I suppose a fitting term could be gender neutral, that may be a good way to put it to my therapist because this actually came up with her she said I seemed like a nice but quite lost 'girl' and I tried expressing I don't really do the gender thing but it got akward so next meeting I could just say I identify more as gender neutral though not sure that is the most accurate term for it.



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09 Nov 2012, 3:12 pm

Is this a trick question? :?

Being a woman with Asperger's means A. I am a woman, and B. I have Asperger's.

:roll:



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09 Nov 2012, 6:45 pm

anna_p13 wrote:
I'm curious as to what other people have to say. Do you think there is any truth to the "extreme male brain theory" of AS? Do you relate well to other women? How about to men?


Interesting piece of info:

When you scan a guy who has AS, their brain shows up as markedly different than normal.
When you scan a girl with AS, their brain shows up as a male NT's would (as opposed to female), with a few slight and minor differences.
(this is one of the reasons that girls are often not diagnosed when they are younger)

I don't think I subscribe to the "extreme male brain" theory.
I know that most AS women tend to be a more even balance of female and male, or more gender neutral.
Just because we happen to be an even balance, yes we are more "male brained" than your average NT female, but it doesn't mean that the extreme male brain theory is correct.
If it were, we would expect to see markedly more biased towards the male side, and that isn't happening. Also - Baren-Cohen has really only studied males, so for us women, we're not even really being counted or considered when theories like this are proposed.


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09 Nov 2012, 8:18 pm

anna_p13 wrote:
I'm curious as to what other people have to say. Do you think there is any truth to the "extreme male brain theory" of AS? Do you relate well to other women? How about to men?

I fit with the EMB theory in the sense that I'm more of a systemiser than an empathiser, and come out as an Extreme Type S, which is what the theory is about. I relate better to men than other women, due to having a more simplified, rational, non-emotional-based way of thinking.

As for the BBC's gender test, I come out as more female-minded, but closer to the middle than the average female. My results are all over the place in terms of whether they are male/female, but that's mostly because I scored above average on all the tasks. So if you do well (or poorly) on all the tasks you are going to get both male and female results. It's actually something I like about the EMB theory. It doesn't matter how much empthising and systemising you show, just how much discrepancy there is between the two. This BBC test doesn't allow for that.



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10 Nov 2012, 12:54 am

Sanctus wrote:
Wow, apparently my brain is more masculine than most men I know. I scored 50 on the male side. Surprisingly, I did pretty well at the eyes part, I scored 7 out of 10, that's even better than the usual NT.

It's interesting that I was very good at the 3D shape part.


I scored pretty much the same, 50 on the male side. I scored 7 out of 10 on the eyes test, and 10 out of 12 on the 3D shape test. 18 out of 20 on the angles test.

I noticed that one of the experts who collaborated with the BBC to create this Sex ID test was Dr Simon Baron-Cohen.



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10 Nov 2012, 1:16 am

So I took the gender test a while ago and I scored a bit towards the male side but I wasn't firmly in the masculine catagory. Gender-wise I have a bit of both. I do feel that I worked very hard to conform to certain female standards. I used to think of it as becoming more NT and it was, I just didn't seem to realize that males get away with way more then females do. There are many female stereotypes I don't fit: I am not that caring, I dont like children, I have poor hygeine (for a female), girl talk bores me most of the time, I rarely wear makeup, Im argumentative, I dont have a whole lot of female friends, etc. I dont know if autism is a case of extreme-male brained? It could be more of a mis-interpretation. I think autism would sorta go off the gender scale and cant really fit that well in general.



Rattus
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10 Nov 2012, 1:23 pm

I did that test and got firmly in the male area...not entirely suprised as I tend to be pretty good at tasks that are considered more stereotypically male. Did well in the eyes test but I did guess nearly all of them so I guess I can't really take credit for that score, it was really hard.