Sometimes I feel like autism is a third gender identity

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CosmicKitten89
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14 Apr 2015, 8:47 pm

Before somebody steps in and lectures me by saying "Autism is a neurological condition, NOT a GENDER IDENTITY!" remember that male and female, as originally defined, were just biological sexes and not gender identities. Autistic people in general don't occupy the same gender roles as their same-sex peers. Autistic men aren't expected to marry a woman and get a job, for example, and autistic women aren't expected to have babies or be a homemaker. Of course, there are autistic people that don't fit these stereotypes, just as there are men and women that identify with traits stereotypically associated with the opposite gender without identifying as that gender. Autistics are also stereotyped to be better at math than NTs, just as men are stereotyped to be better at math than women; again, there are exceptions to this stereotype.

Autistic people often like things that neither NT men nor NT women stereotypically like; those could be considered autism-gendered interests. Neurotypical people that like those things are considered "geeks", somewhat analogously to cis-females that like male things being considered "tomboys" and cis-males that like girly things are considered, well, some rather perjorative things; taken in extreme context, a neurotypical that identifies very strongly with geek culture and not with male or female things might be considered transautismgender. Conversely, the autistic person who wants too badly to be normal and has very normal (if obsessively normal) interests may be trans... hmm, what would be a good term for that?

As for the relationship with sexuality... well, "sapiosexual", which is attraction to intelligence, or attraction to geeks in general could be considered a form of skoliosexuality; an attraction to the autismgender, but usually to just autistic males or autistic females. Which is to say, most autism gendered people may identify not completely as autismgender but just as demiautismgender and demiguy or demigirl, whatever their biological gender is, or isn't if they're trans. As for the default sexuality of autismgendered peoples; if the default (stereotypical) sexuality of male gender and female gender is "heterosexual" (that is, attraction of males to females and vice versa), the default sexuality of autismgender is asexual. Although most autismgendered people are not asexual, as most of them also identify as male or female and have attractions based on that; there may be no purely autismgendered people. Or maybe it's more common for them to be attracted to other autistics; or is it more common that they're attracted to neurotypicals? Or both?

The only thing autismgender doesn't have to make it completely acceptable to all as a gender is its own biological assignment; autismgender individuals are all either biologically male or female (or intersex, or neutrois if they had the proper surgeries) However, autistics have a different brain structure from neurotypicals, just as males and females have a different brain structure from each other. The brain structure is different in males and females with autism however, and in females it's more close to neurotypical male brain structure.

And my point; why isn't autism considered a third gender? What is gender anyway? I'm biologically female but, although I'm not quite trans, I'm not fully female either. So I would have to say that I identify as demigirl, and demi... I dunno, demi-agender? Maybe a little demiboy? Demiflexible? Maybe the other half of my gender identity is demiautismgender...



jimmyboy76453
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15 Apr 2015, 7:34 am

I'm not trying to be rude, but it sounds like you're overthinking it a bit. Granted, I'm only self-studied on gender issues, but here is my uneducated take on what you're suggesting: gender, gender identity and sexuality do not make up a person's identity, their personality, as a whole. They are all parts of the whole. You can't have personality without gender, gender identity and sexuality because these all serve in some way to finish the sentence "I am_____." (I am male. I am biologically male. I am gay. I am mostly, but entirely, stereotypically masculine.)
Autism is also a piece of personality (I am autistic), but is also not the whole of it. I would argue that autism is not a separate gender because it does not compete with male/female/other (I don't mean 'other' jokingly here) in gender identity.
To simplify a little, let's say every person is 100% some type of gender. A person might be 100% male or female, but they might be a different ratio. Maybe they are 60% male and 40% female. Most people are probably some mix of the two. My understanding of gender is that in this scenario, gender can be any ratio between male/female, but it must always add up to 100%. This means that to move from 60% male to 70% male, one must also move from 40% female to 30% female. You can't be 70% male and 40% female, because you would then be 110% gender, which is impossible. For autism to be a gender, it must compete in this arena in the same way male and female do. Thus, if autism were a gender, to become 10% autistic, a person would need to give up some part of male or female identity. A 60/40 male/female person might need to move to 55/35/10 male/female/autistic. Autism does not compete in this way with male/female because my autism does not reduce my maleness, and my maleness does not reduce my autism.

I think autism's effect on gender and gender identity is simply that it allows the autistic person to observe gender more objectively in themselves and others, and thus make non-binary choices that are more fitting to them but that fit less with society as a whole. This also suggests that most people in society are less binary in gender than they allow themselves to appear or believe themselves to be. They either don't think about it (if I'm heterosexual, physically male and have a male gender identity, I have no reason to need to question or consider my own gender, identity or sexuality, so I never consider that there might be any other feelings inside myself) or don't admit it. Autism allows an objective observance of oneself, therefore admitting deviations is easier, and made easier still because we must admit deviations in other areas. Autistic people also seem to be of necessity more self-aware/self-analytical than the general population, which means they think about things in themselves that others take no time to think about.
Consider also that gender as we as a society currently understand it and define it is heavily influenced by culture. We learn from our culture what is 'male' and 'female,' and the general population has shown to be greatly influenced by culture. So, someone who is male will unconsciously make male choices that they wouldn't ordinarily make simply because they identify those choices as male. ("Red is a boy's color, I'm a boy, I like red. Pink is a girl's color, I'm a boy, I don't like pink.") Autistic people tend to be less influenced by culture, and are then more free to make independent decisions that align better with their true internal preferences. Because of these influences, we will have more instances of expressed non-binary gender in the autistic community than in the general population.


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Girlwithaspergers
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15 Apr 2015, 10:00 am

I think there's probably a link between Aspergers and LBGT identities. I know I'm not straight and am definitely an Aspie. A lot of people on the spectrum don't conform to gender and that's perfectly fine.



CosmicKitten89
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16 Apr 2015, 12:54 am

But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.



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20 Apr 2015, 1:55 pm

CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.
this is just tumblr-esque echo chamber nonsense and isn't borne out by science.



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20 Apr 2015, 2:37 pm

Fugu wrote:
CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.
this is just tumblr-esque echo chamber nonsense and isn't borne out by science.


Technically gender doesn't really have anything to do with science anyways...gender is more of a social construct actually. Its ones sex that has to do with science/biology you have male and female sexes and everything in between essentially. Granted in a sense gender does somewhat reflect biology, since what is seen as typical for females or typical for males did likely come from the biological differences between genders...but the trouble is not everyone has a sex that perfectly matches up with a gender. You could have a female with male brain, a male with a female brain, someone with undefined sexual characteristics with a female or male brain, or someone male or female with a brain that does not match up to a specific sex.

This is why I never like pressuring people to stick to gender stereotypes/roles if it doesn't feel right...in general terms there are fairly accurate generalizations that can be made about a majority of males, or a majority or females since much of the time the sex and gender do correlate, but not always. And even what I've posted so far is simplifying a lot.

I am of the female sex, as for gender well I don't really identify as being a woman....like I wouldn't tell someone they are wrong nessisarily if they call me one, but I just don't feel like I identify with it. I have read like self help things or advice sort of books directed at 'women' in my age group and it always seems largely alien to me...and just leaves me thinking of how the advice/information would be so much more useful for females I know who do identify as women. I don't feel I'd identify as male either.....so currently I just consider myself biologically female with no defined gender. I don't think its because I have autism so sort of doubt autism could really be defined as any kind of gender identity, not to mention all the autistic people that do identify with their respective genders.


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27 Apr 2015, 4:35 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
Fugu wrote:
CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.
this is just tumblr-esque echo chamber nonsense and isn't borne out by science.


Technically gender doesn't really have anything to do with science anyways...gender is more of a social construct actually. Its ones sex that has to do with science/biology you have male and female sexes and everything in between essentially. Granted in a sense gender does somewhat reflect biology, since what is seen as typical for females or typical for males did likely come from the biological differences between genders...but the trouble is not everyone has a sex that perfectly matches up with a gender. You could have a female with male brain, a male with a female brain, someone with undefined sexual characteristics with a female or male brain, or someone male or female with a brain that does not match up to a specific sex.

i should point out that i consider biological gender distinct from gender identity(which is a mental construct). unless you're a natural hermaphrodite, you're not a 3rd gender, just genderqueer. also you mention 'female with male brain', this is generally gender dysphoria, not a biological gender.



alex
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27 Apr 2015, 4:38 pm

CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.

what about all the people with autism who identify 100% as male or female?


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28 Apr 2015, 5:56 am

CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.


No. No research supports the idea that either biological or mental gender are less than male/female ratios. In the case of someone who is 'agender' mentally, they would be at or close to 50/50, neither strongly male nor female. The research supports this structure much better. If it helps you to think of it more clearly, you can consider a line from -50 to +50 with 0 in the equidistant center rather than a line from 0/100 to 100/0. It's the same thing. It still always adds up to 100.

It would look like this:
Male ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Female
-50 -------------------------------------------------- 0 -------------------------------------------------- +50

Instead of this:
Female/Male -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Female/Male
0/100 -------------------------------------------------- 50/50 -------------------------------------------------- 100/0

They are both the same scale, just with different labels. I like the second because it doesn't suggest that either male or female is better simply because it is a positive number.


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03 May 2015, 6:25 pm

*facepalm*

Autism is not a gender. Most autistic people are cis, but I doubt any of the ones who are trans/nb identify as 'autismgender'.



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03 May 2015, 6:41 pm

alex wrote:
CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.
what about all the people with autism who identify 100% as male or female?
We are the exceptions that disprove the rule. I'm 100% gynotropic cis-male, and I resent the implication that being an Aspie makes me anything less.



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03 May 2015, 6:50 pm

Fugu wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
Fugu wrote:
CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.
this is just tumblr-esque echo chamber nonsense and isn't borne out by science.


Technically gender doesn't really have anything to do with science anyways...gender is more of a social construct actually. Its ones sex that has to do with science/biology you have male and female sexes and everything in between essentially. Granted in a sense gender does somewhat reflect biology, since what is seen as typical for females or typical for males did likely come from the biological differences between genders...but the trouble is not everyone has a sex that perfectly matches up with a gender. You could have a female with male brain, a male with a female brain, someone with undefined sexual characteristics with a female or male brain, or someone male or female with a brain that does not match up to a specific sex.

i should point out that i consider biological gender distinct from gender identity(which is a mental construct). unless you're a natural hermaphrodite, you're not a 3rd gender, just genderqueer. also you mention 'female with male brain', this is generally gender dysphoria, not a biological gender.


Well yeah that is what I meant biological gender is much of the time referred to as the sex, at least according to what I learned in psychology/sociology...so both mean the same in that context. But gender by itself usually refers to gender identity. Also not sure the male with female brain or vice versa always results in gender dysphoria...also though it would also be possible for someones brain to be somewhere in the middle....so one could be a male or female with a brain that's not female or male, though it may lean more one way than the other, which may not always result in gender dysphoria, and would certainly be more complex to treat.


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05 May 2015, 4:51 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
Fugu wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
Fugu wrote:
CosmicKitten89 wrote:
But gender is not just male and female relative to each other... there is a gender known as "neutrois", or agender, which is 0% male and 0% female. I myself think I'm some combination of male and female that adds up to less than 100%.
this is just tumblr-esque echo chamber nonsense and isn't borne out by science.


Technically gender doesn't really have anything to do with science anyways...gender is more of a social construct actually. Its ones sex that has to do with science/biology you have male and female sexes and everything in between essentially. Granted in a sense gender does somewhat reflect biology, since what is seen as typical for females or typical for males did likely come from the biological differences between genders...but the trouble is not everyone has a sex that perfectly matches up with a gender. You could have a female with male brain, a male with a female brain, someone with undefined sexual characteristics with a female or male brain, or someone male or female with a brain that does not match up to a specific sex.

i should point out that i consider biological gender distinct from gender identity(which is a mental construct). unless you're a natural hermaphrodite, you're not a 3rd gender, just genderqueer. also you mention 'female with male brain', this is generally gender dysphoria, not a biological gender.


Well yeah that is what I meant biological gender is much of the time referred to as the sex, at least according to what I learned in psychology/sociology...so both mean the same in that context. But gender by itself usually refers to gender identity. Also not sure the male with female brain or vice versa always results in gender dysphoria...also though it would also be possible for someones brain to be somewhere in the middle....so one could be a male or female with a brain that's not female or male, though it may lean more one way than the other, which may not always result in gender dysphoria, and would certainly be more complex to treat.
well dysphoria means not being content with your biological sex so it would be present in varying degrees



MenRnotObjex2
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06 May 2015, 9:50 am

Oh yea? welllllllllll Men are not objects. so there.