Revisiting Poll: Who Has It Harder? Male Or Female Aspies?

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aquafelix
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15 Sep 2019, 2:08 am

Maybe, I’m naive, but I’m really hoping this thread can avoid descending into a victim olympics over which gender has a crappier experience with their autism. I believe there are too many variables to make this a productive debate. So, please read below before responding.

I was interested in revisiting the results of an old poll started by Joe90.

See poll: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=153842

Which do you think has it harder? Male Aspies or female Aspies?

Whilst the thread often became divisive, what struck me most was the responses to the actual poll was an almost even 50:50 split.

Males 26% [ 65 ]
Females 25% [ 62 ]
Both 32% [ 81 ]
I don't know 17% [ 44 ]

Total votes : 252

Maybe 50:50 reflects the approx population ratio, but I’m assuming 50:50 = Equally harder.

Like I said, this thread is not an invitation to a "battle of the sexes"(“beating a dead horse” came up repeatedly in Joe90’s thread). Also, given people on the spectrum tend to be less conforming to traditional social norms including gender identities and role expectations, every person here is especially going to have a different experience.

So, assuming 50:50 = equally harder, and in the spirit of understanding and compassion for each other. I’m interested in people’s thoughts.



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15 Sep 2019, 3:20 am

I don't believe for a second that there's a clear this or that -answer to this question. Some aspies have it a lot harder than others, regardless of gender. There is probably some differences that make certain aspects of life harder for aspie men than aspie women, but also things that makes certain parts of life harder for aspie women than men. It's that way for NTs, too.

For examble, in many cultures a man is expected to always be the one to make first move when it comes to romance even in this day and age, so getting something started would be harder for a shy aspie male than shy aspie female. However this affects outgoing aspie women who like to make the first move negatively too since that's often frowned upon in cultures like that. And even if it isn't, the man might reject the woman since he thinks it makes him "seem like less of a man" or, which seems to be common among old fashioned men from what I've seen, men think that a woman who makes a first move is "a slut."

Then, there's the part when a family has actually been built. In a situation like that, aspie women could be said to have it harder than aspie men since in pretty much every society it's the woman who is expected to take care of the children and keep the household running. Doing this properly reguires at least some social- and organizing skills when there are kids, so aspie women would really have it hard, especially since having kids would eventually lead to many unexpected situations. Aspie men would probably have it easier since society doesn't put as much pressure on men being good parents and handling their share about housework. If a house is messy, it's usually the mother who gets blamed while it should be both adults of the household equally, at least when both work. If another one is unemployed/stays home out of their own will, then that another should naturally have more responsibility about housework, but that's another story. Also, I've seen people comment on how some man is such a good father when he's stayed at home to take care of a sick child or taken the kid to a park on his own once on his day off. Like ??? what? Those are every day things that the mothers don't get complimented on, so why should the fathers be?

This really isn't an aspie thing even; it's just that, on average, men have it easier on certain things and women on others.



Joe90
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15 Sep 2019, 5:31 am

Please don't remind me of that stupid thread, I made it when I wasn't very wise on political correctness and back then I wasn't very good at explaining myself without trailing off into elongated posts. :oops:

Anyway, I'm not sure if this is accurate or not, but I believe that in general Aspie males have it a little easier to make friends with other males but have more trouble finding a girlfriend as adults. But in general Aspie females have a harder time finding and keeping friendships with their female peers but don't find it as challenging to find boyfriends. But in other people's experiences, this might not be true, so I don't want to look like I'm generalizing too much. But in my experience with myself and other Aspies that I know, this seems to be a bit of a pattern.

In high school, Aspie boys tend to be more targeted to physical bullying, where as Aspie girls are more likely to be targeted to emotional bullying. But I think that if an Aspie boy wants friends, he is more likely to find a group of "geeky" type of boys and mingle in with them, while Aspie girls find making friends more challenging because girls tend to be more subtle, even the geeky type girls are less obvious to spot than geeky type boys.

But anyway that's my present opinion on the subject. I'm older and wiser now.


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kraftiekortie
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15 Sep 2019, 5:42 am

It depends on the person and the situation. Who cares “who has it harder?”

An individual woman Aspie might have it harder than an individual man Aspie. And vice versa.



The Grand Inquisitor
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15 Sep 2019, 5:56 am

I think the degree of difficulty people have with their ASD will depend more on who they are, and how their ASD affects them. Essentially,.I think it depends on the individual, and the context.

If we're talking about romantic love, I wouldn't say that aspie men have it harder, because there are members if both genders who struggle equally with romantic love, but I would say that there are probably more aspie men that struggle with relationships than aspie women, but then there are more aspie men period, so it's difficult to know whether that even means anything statistically speaking.

On an unrelated note, I find if interesting that, despite the aspie ratio of four men to every one woman, there seems to be close to equal amounts of men and women on this site. Based on the statistics, I'd expect to see a greater amount of male users relative to the female users.



aquafelix
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15 Sep 2019, 6:06 am

Joe90 wrote:
Please don't remind me of that stupid thread, I made it when I wasn't very wise on political correctness and back then I wasn't very good at explaining myself without trailing off into elongated posts. :oops:


Sorry, Joe for any embarrassment I've caused by revisiting your old post. However, I'd like to thank you for starting that thread. It might have stirred up a hornets nest of different opinions, but that's what made it great and there were also some powerful insights expressed too.

I'm only recently diagnosed and gender issues have been a big issue for me. Your thread has actually helped me understand things better than anything else I've read so far. I've even bookmarked it as I plan to read it again sometime.



kraftiekortie
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15 Sep 2019, 7:27 am

There is almost certainly an under-diagnosis of females when it comes to being diagnosed on the Autistic Spectrum.



Tim_Tex
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15 Sep 2019, 7:29 am

Enough with these threads!


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Justin101
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15 Sep 2019, 7:39 am

Putting aside all else, STATISTICALLY, the only answer is males.

For reason unknown males have a far higher likelihood of Asperger's Syndrome than females. Whether this is due to a diagnostic flaw or simply different brain configurations, I've no idea.

But one might speculate that females need to be more aware of social cues on am evolutionary level, when picking mates. There is other evidence to suggest that. But I'm not saying it's true.



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15 Sep 2019, 1:30 pm

The Grand Inquisitor wrote:
On an unrelated note, I find if interesting that, despite the aspie ratio of four men to every one woman, there seems to be close to equal amounts of men and women on this site. Based on the statistics, I'd expect to see a greater amount of male users relative to the female users.


Some people say that women are more likelier to seek comfort from groups than men. If that's true then it'd be no wonder that more women would join a support forum. Or maybe more women end up making the connection between autism and their problems than men for some reason.



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15 Sep 2019, 2:54 pm

Given the gender distribution of WP, it doesn't surprise me that the poll results were close to even. Men are more likely to say that men have it harder and women are more likely to say that women have it harder because as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In actuality, both autistic men and autistic women face challenges and arguing about who has it better or worse doesn't really accomplish anything.


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AquaineBay
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15 Sep 2019, 3:15 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
Given the gender distribution of WP, it doesn't surprise me that the poll results were close to even. Men are more likely to say that men have it harder and women are more likely to say that women have it harder because as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In actuality, both autistic men and autistic women face challenges and arguing about who has it better or worse doesn't really accomplish anything.


I agree trying to see what gender has it harder won't accomplish anything.

I also wonder with threads like these why do they always seem to devolve into something dealing with marriage/dating? Autism affects people long before that point and yet that's always the main topic! I want to know what's different about each gender! What the ups and downs are, how socializing is for each, how they perceive the world, etc. We need to get a better understanding of each other and help each other out! Who has it harder is just a complete waste of time.



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16 Sep 2019, 2:50 am

AquaineBay wrote:
dragonsanddemons wrote:
Given the gender distribution of WP, it doesn't surprise me that the poll results were close to even. Men are more likely to say that men have it harder and women are more likely to say that women have it harder because as the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In actuality, both autistic men and autistic women face challenges and arguing about who has it better or worse doesn't really accomplish anything.


I agree trying to see what gender has it harder won't accomplish anything.

I also wonder with threads like these why do they always seem to devolve into something dealing with marriage/dating? Autism affects people long before that point and yet that's always the main topic! I want to know what's different about each gender! What the ups and downs are, how socializing is for each, how they perceive the world, etc. We need to get a better understanding of each other and help each other out! Who has it harder is just a complete waste of time.


Exactly. Sometimes I feel like putting out a rule that dating and such could be discussed only in L&D and adult sections would make WP much more useful site since the discussions wouldn't always drift to that direction.

Though to be fair, it's the one thing that I think gender can affect the most, which is why I brought it up in this topic, too.



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16 Sep 2019, 9:14 am

The problem with these threads is that they turn into flame wars almost instantly.


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16 Sep 2019, 11:57 pm

Does it matter?

What would it get anyone? The rights to one gender to be a victim of their difficulties? A reason to belittle another genders difficulties? There is no winner in this.

"Who has it worse?" Only serves to pit us against each other. If people want empathy and sympathy for their struggles it tends to be best to start by showing the same for others. Other Aspies (Or anyone!) that are struggling are not the enemy. Period.


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17 Sep 2019, 1:55 am

Assuming for a moment that this could be ascertained with any reasonable degree of accuracy, what would we then do with that information?


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