Reddit Reddit reviews The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism

We found 7 Reddit comments about The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Mental Health
The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism
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7 Reddit comments about The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism:

u/HeTalksToComputers · 7 pointsr/neoliberal

> But if you're going to claim that "male brains are better at computers", you should describe the mechanism that makes this happen - "brains are different" is not enough.

Autism researchers have thoroughly documented this from every angle: higher testosterone levels predict higher systematizing ability and lower empathizing. Simon Baron Cohen, the preeminent expert in the field, wrote a great book on this: The Essential Difference. It is impossible to summarize it all but the evidence is overwhelming and incontravertible. Everything from the fact that male rats are better at solving mazes than female rats to the fact that babies who are exposed to higher levels of testosterone in the amniotic fluid spend less time looking at faces after they are born.

In any case, one theory he advances is that testosterone affects the laterality of the brain (left right symmetry and how specialized the brain is between the two hemispheres). The right side of the brain is more developed and more asymmetrical in males than in females. You can inject anesthetic into one side of the brain and women's linguistic ability is reduced evenly on both sides, while men have a much worse reduction if injected on the left (language) hemisphere and less reduction if injected on the right. The asymmetry extends to the entire body: men have slightly larger right foot than left while women have slightly larger left foot than right.

The whole book is fascinating and I highly recommend it. If you are interested in sex differences in the brain it is pretty much the modern encyclopedia and chock full of all sorts of curious and intriguing research (Did you know that men who have a bigger left testicle than right testicle do better on language tests? It's true!)

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/changemyview

>...really? My oldest source was published less than two decades ago and you're having problems with it?

Two decades ago we thought homosexuality was exclusively a choice, trans people were freaks, and that AIDS was caused by sex with monkeys. We've now shown that there is a genetic factor in homosexual and transgendered people (a.k.a. "It's not a choice, they can't just change") and have found a treatment for AIDS. In cobra venom. We also discovered much about physics, but there's too much to list.

>The proper term is human beings. Being a transgender person is normal human variation, it's not a "disorder", any more than being tall or short or having different eye colors or all the other numerous ways that humans vary from one another.

There are differences found in the transgender brain. There is something different. Not wrong, but different.

>Among twins there is over 99% incidence of having the same eye color, hair color, skin color, etc. etc. But there's only about 50% incidence of having the same sexual orientation. This means that it is not largely genetically determined. If it was, then we'd see over 99% of twins also share sexual orientation.

What I'm saying is that in two twins who have the same upbringing and social interactions, there is still only 50%. So it's not society. And if it's not society, and it's not biology, then maybe it's both?

>And as I explained, the problem with the Reimer case study is that the upbringing of the child was very atypical and not representative of the gender socialization that the vast majority of girls experience growing up, so there's no reason to expect the child to have that gender identity in the first place. And again, the understandings of the critical timings of when to administer hormones, what hormones to give, at what doses, etc. etc. were very crude at the time. We have advanced much in sexology and biopsychology since then.

Dr. Money specifically told the parents to treat Reimer as a girl, and his brother as a boy, for a control. David didn't learn the truth until his late teens. As you say, hormones could have also helped. Hormones are created by the brain, and are part of biology. The brain of a male produces more testosterone, and the brain of a female produces more estrogen.

>Well, whenever you're ready, feel free to provide links to these "new research" that you are referencing but never seem to provide a link to.

I can't give you a full read, but the study is available for you to find. Giving you the name is about the best as I can get. I read it in my library.

>And again, if you think the methodologies of the studies I cited are somehow flawed or their results are outdated, feel free to publish your findings in a scientific journal and collect your Nobel prize.

I really hope Nobel prizes aren't that simple.

u/MetaMemeticMagician · 1 pointr/TheNewRight


The Way of Men – Jack Donovan***
Sperm Wars – Robin Baker
Sex at Dawn – Christopher Ryan
Why Men Rule – Steven Goldberg
The Manipulated Man – Esther Vilar
Is There Anything Good About Men? – Roy Baumeister
Demonic Males – Dale Peterson
The Essential Difference – Simon Baron-Cohen
The Mating Mind – Geoffrey Miller
The Red Queen – Matt Ridley



Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers – Tom Wolfe
Public Choice: An Introduction – Iain McLean
On Government Employment – Foseti (blog post)
Yes, Minister – TV Show



u/duffmanhb · 1 pointr/AdviceAnimals

Sure, no one is denying that men and women are similar in capacity. I never said that they weren't. I'm not arguing that men are better at one thing and women are better at another. And sure, the nurture part probably has a lot to do with that stratification of why in the end men tend to do better in some fields and women do better in others.

My argument as to why this socialization occurs is due to societies desire to create environments which are conductive to specialization of the natural desires each gender tends to gravitate towards.

My argument, is that nurture is more of a reflection of nature, in that nurture is trying to be conducive of the natural tendencies between genders. For instance, here is a study (there are many of them) on the effects prenatal testosterone has on the mind:

Basically, the behaviors, psychology, and other such characteristics in the child are directly correlated with testosterone levels and timing of introduction during the fetal development cycles.

Or Simon Cohen's peer reviewed work on the differences in male and female brains which he wrote a book on:

He shows through several different studies, going starting all the way from day one of the child's birth, that there are core differences in the brain between genders in what they do, behave, and gravitate towards.

Again, I'm not saying one gender is BETTER at some things. For instance, both genders are just as capable at doing things like math and programming. However, naturally, males will gravitate towards those fields do to their psychological make up through biology, so it makes sense that society creates an environment which fosters those tendencies in the name of efficiency.

Women can still become programmers if they choose, nothing is stopping them. But yes, it's true that they will have a harder time, because they are an outlier and society has created a structure to be more conductive to men in this field, so naturally men will have the upper hand here (The same way becoming a famous athlete will be easier for men because men tend to gravitate towards sports, thus the institutions are based around male sport competition). But that can't be changed. Society can't adjust it's entire system just to account for the outliers. If society did try to create a system of pure equality for both genders for, say, programmign, you'd find that men still would naturally gravitate towards it and take up an overwhelming majority of the spots, while women would take more than they do now, but still be a huge minority. And in the end, society would be wasting resources trying to create an even 50/50 split. It's just wasteful and inefficient.

u/Wisdom_from_the_Ages · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I read his awesome book! I love spreading that little tidbit around. There's also another Baron Cohen who's a preeminent neurologist, whom Simon cites in his awesome book.

u/Mynewest · 1 pointr/dataisbeautiful

Of course, it's also possible that you overestimate the influence of society on our personalities. Maybe society's tendencies reflect genetic tendencies. This book has some interesting research: . The link isn't showing up, so it's The Essential Difference, by Simon Baron-Cohen

u/RoundSparrow · -3 pointsr/bestof

> Er...yeah I work with autistic kids and this post made me raise a couple eyebrows. But, who can call out a doctor and not get downvoted?

Yha, the person so authoritative in their writing... that is what sells...

This Reddit posting contradicts much of what I have read from by Simon Baron-cohen

"The human species is made up of seven billion subspecies each consisting of one specimen." ~Robert Brault