Tuesday, July 19, 2011

scientific proof autism more common in males?

As most persons who are interested in autism know, the literature suggests that autism is far more common in boys than in girls. Ratios for males to females have generally been reported to be around 4:1. Ratios as high as 10:1 have been reported for the higher functioning types of autism.

In spite of this fact, it would seem there is parity between the sexes or possibly even a greater number of females than males among autistic persons who are proponents of that deranged philosophy called neurodiversity. They sometimes claim to speak for all or most autistics stating "we don't want to be cured". Or Alex Plank's statement that "autistics don't want to be cured". It begs the question how they can speak for most or all autistics.

Numerous females involved in the neurodiversity movement have claimed the numbers are artifacts, i.e. that girls are underdiagnosed as autistic due to certain types of societal constructs. Brenda Myles of autism asperger publishing company fame has claimed that some autistic girls are merely thought to be "drama queens" and don't get a diagnosis.

I always thought that one possibility that would show that they were wrong was the fact that females have an extra x chromosome and thus could receive some protection against an x-linked disease or at least be less susceptible to it. I think Michael Wigler's research has suggested this line of thought. I will concede that my knowledge in the science of this area is limited.

Of course, if autism were an exclusively x-linked disorder, then the ratios of males to females would be far higher than 4 to 1 or even 10 to 1 as they are in x-linked conditions such as hemophilia or pattern baldness. Also in some cases it is known that autism is caused by autosomal dominance, such as tuberous sclerosis and the sex chromosomes are not involved.

Recently, there has been some research done which may provide empirical evidence refuting what the militant female neurodiversitites have been saying for years, and providing further evidence that they don't represent the vast majority of spectrumites in any sort of demographic.

Valerie Hu and colleagues at George Washington University have discovered a gene, retinoic acid–related orphan receptor-alpha (RORA), that interacts with sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone in the brain that could explain the sex ratios of autistics.

RORA controls production of enzymes that convert testosterone into estrogen and the excess of testosterone in the brain may either cause autism or make a male more vulnerable to it. whereas estrogen may provide females protection against autism.

This does not explain why some females do get autism, though and why when they do get autism their autism is often more severe than that in a male.

Of course, this research could not only be the beginning of refuting one of the tenets of the neurodiversity propagandists and hatemongers but also perhaps giving us a breakthrough into the cause of autism. Only time will tell (cliche, I know).


farmwifetwo said...

I don't know if it would be 1:1 but I would have to agree that maybe women can handle some of the issues better than men at the upper levels.

Proof... not an iota except a Dev Ped that when I said "It can't be Asperger's" when she asked what I thought my eldest's dx was looked at me and said "no, that would probably be his Mother."

I had to deal with my OCD on my own b/c nobody believed me - round and round and round the block I would drive wondering what I hit if something startled me. Social skills I recognized by the start of my teens that I was falling behind. Even know I get looks and when I do I shut up quickly. Difficulty making eye contact - again even as an adult. Hyperlexia - fav story of my Mother's is having the only kid ever kicked out of the reading corner in Kindergarten and told "go play". BSc in Engineering..... etc.

Little things... that maybe being female and mild allowed me to develop and learn on my own??

Either way... not losing sleep over it nor do I think autism is "wonderful" and yes, my youngest doesn't deserve to one day live at the mercy of strangers and the system. But it's something to think about.

Anonymous said...

The only people that are left that believe the female neurodiversites are real is Dave and Kathleen Seidel, I even doubt they do privately. Not a single female on the Hub is autistic. Not one. Even their star, Amanda Baggs has been outed as a fraud and ironically, through her own writings before she knew they would be archived on the net.

redtape0651 said...

One idea that has been put forth by John Ratey and Catherine Johnson in "Shadow Syndromes" is that women naturally have better social skills than men. Therefore, the same genetics that may cause men's social skills to devolve into the autism spectrum range may not have as much of an impact on women.

Despite the fact that women have greater social skills than men, I believe that the social skills requirements for men are more stringent than those for women. This is because, as men, if we want to get girls, we must us use social skills to do so. On the contrary, women will get approached by men (at least if they are good looking) no matter whether they have poor social skills, an autism spectrum disorder, or are neurotypical.

As such, I think that the proportion of autistic people who support neurodiversity is skewed toward women (as compared with the total autistic population) because autism, at least in its higher functioning forms, is less disabling in women than in men.

jonathan said...

Not a single female on the Hub is autistic. Not one.

You mean to tell me Michelle Dawson and Kassiane Sibley aren't autistic? What is this world coming to?

Fauxtist said...

Personally, I think "autism" is too widely used to identify people with Asperger Syndrome, if that is what these people have. Asperger's and Autism may share the same umbrella under ASD, but the Autism people are clearly being pushed out from the umbrella and are being soaked because they don't know how to hold onto the the umbrella's handle, especially with all those "aspie" hands grabbing tightly to it.

People need to stop calling Asperger's... Autism. Let's be more precise in our language please. Red and yellow may share the same spectrum of the rainbow, but red isn't yellow and yellow's getting the shaft in these discussions.

JediKnight2 said...

I think I have Asperger's w/ MRELD. I'm going to ask and find out on Monday because if I've been living with Asperger's all along, that'll play a huge factor as to why my life sucks.