Is autism the symptom of an "extreme white brain"?Yes, a liberal academic does not dare suggest those things. But forget about what is innate or genetic.
In several previous posts, I've discussed Simon Baron-Cohen's theory of autism as a symptom of an "extreme male brain" (e.g. "Stereotypes and facts", 9/24/2006), and also Mary Bucholtz's hypothesis that nerdity is defined by "hyperwhite" behavior (e.g. "Language and identity", 7/29/2007). I'm ashamed to say that it never seriously occurred to me to cross-pollinate these two theories, until (for serendipitous reasons) I recently read YW Wang et al. "The Scale of Ethnocultural Empathy: Development, validation, and reliability", Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50(2): 221-234, 2003. ...
To avoid misunderstanding, let me be explicit: Despite the humorous question in the title, I'm not suggesting that there are innate racial differences in empathy, nor that autism is caused by excessively caucasian genetics.
The cited research appears to show that some of the traits which define autism are also personality characteristics that are correlated both with being white and male.
You might want to consider this if your white male kid gets diagnosed as autistic by some non-white female psychologist. Maybe she is just applying a group prejudice.
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