Autism: what does sex need to do?
Are you emotional or are you a system tool? According to psychologist Simon baron-cohen’s stern theory, this is the fundamental difference between men and women. For him, autism is a condition of the extreme male brain.
After one of the hottest days in British history, Simon baron-cohen’s sympathy was being tested in a small, stuffy office in Cambridge. He has sent his secretary after one of the few available fans. Crawling under his desk, he gave up any dignity he might want to convey. Despite the heat, he has closed the door and stopped making noises in the hallway of my tape recorder, and we’ve started interviewing – only now we’ve all heard the relentless buzz of fans. Whuppa Whuppa Whuppa Whuppa. “Never mind,” I lied. “I am not satisfied,” said baroness Cohen. You’ve come a long way. “He stood up and turned off the fan. People with autism don’t do that. Although I had a tape recorder, and I was quietly pushing it, autistic people could not decipher my doubts by putting themselves in my shoes through my polite fibers. And anyway, he won’t share my concerns. “Lack of empathy,” says baron Cohen, a psychologist who has studied and treated people for 20 years.
But they have something different – what Cohen calls “systemic capacity.” They are not good at understanding people, but he says they are relatively good at understanding the world. Some of them are mentally retarded, in which case the system may take a seemingly aimless form of obsession – they may stare at the veins for hours, or they may remember train schedules or license plates. But in other people, like the mathematician Baron Cohen, you know, in Cambridge, he was diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome, which is a spectrum of high functioning autism — the same kind of systemic ability that can lead to job recognition. (asperger’s is a mild form of autism, in which individuals can function normally, but it’s hard to read other people’s emotions.)
Low empathy, highly systematic: baron Cohen’s theory of autistic traits. These features range from quiet and dysfunctional people to those who find a place in society. Moreover, baron-cohen’s theory firmly embedded the autism spectrum into a larger two-dimensional continuum – including all of us. According to barons and women, the essential difference between men and women is that women pay more attention to men, men are more important, and on average, he emphasizes. The female body has many male brains, and vice versa. There are even women with autism, but more men with autism: in baron Cohen’s theory, autism is an example of an “extreme male brain.”
Behind baron Cohen, “essential differences: the truth about the male and female brains”, you can fill out questionnaires to determine your sympathy quotient (EQ) and system quotient (SQ). Baron Cohen himself could not accept empathy and system tests because he wrote them. But in all respects, he may be one of the lucky ones in the balance. People who knew him put him on the same axis. “When you meet him, you always feel good,” said one graduate student. “On the one hand, he guides us very closely, but on the other hand, he leaves us a lot of room to do what we love,” she said. Baron Cohen, however, is pushing for an attempt to capture the full diversity of the human brain in a single XY diagram – what if it wasn’t male systematization? ”
Baron Cohen was born in 1959 and grew up in Golder’s Green, a middle-class and orthodox neighborhood in north London. His father worked in the family’s men’s wear business. His mother teaches dance. His first cousin Sacha baron-cohen was a notorious platform, a notorious comedian and airbag Ali G. Simon, by contrast, was even polite about his schoolbag. He was about six feet tall, with narrow shoulders, sloping shoulders, short hair and a masculine shape. On the day we met, he was wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt with khaki pants and sensible black shoes. His book jacket shows that he doesn’t have his wire frame, but he looks more natural. His voice was gentle and temperate. In his bland little office there was nothing – Cezanne printed,
Baron Cohen himself provided one: he grew up mentally and physically with a severely disabled sister. Today, she lives in a wheelchair with a low IQ. “Even so,” Baron Cohen said, “when a person enters a room, she has eye contact, she lights up her face, and although she doesn’t speak, you can feel her touch with another person.