If you have done some reading up on Aspergers, you have likely come across the description of it as ‘an extreme male brain’ syndrome. It is a ‘quick and easy’, one-phrase explanation that ‘makes sense’ to some people. I’ve often wondered if this theory is based more on the ‘men are bad at social skills, women are bad at math’ stereotype than on anything actually particular to Aspergers itself.
It seems I am not alone in being a little uncomfortable describing aspergers as ‘extreme male brain’…to the contrary, many suggest that this description of Aspergers arose because it was only studied in males. And only in a particular type of males, to boot!
Here is an extremely good rebuttal of that idea, written by Felinophile, a young woman who also happens to be an Aspie:
This theory that people with Aspergers have an extreme male brain is sexually-discriminatory, as it is based on studies of Aspergers males and people who fit the Asperger-male sterotype. It completely ignores the way Aspergers manifests in women, which is part of the reason it is seen as controversial.
Like a lot of Aspergers girls, though, I don’t fit the Asperger-male stereotype; while I have difficulty interpreting and expressing body language and facial expressions I have learnt over time to mimic others behaviour and responses, and to form a rough checklist for interpreting other people’s behaviour. While I have good spatial abilities, and do better than non-Aspergers girls in some areas of maths, I never had a gift for mathematics; instead, it was for language, as it is for some other Asperger girls
Read the rest here.