Perceived gender ratings for high and low scorers on the autism-spectrum quotient consistent with the extreme male brain account of autism

Diana Tan, Suzanna Russell-Smith, Jessica Simons, Murray Maybery, Doris Leung, Honey Ng, Andrew Whitehouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

© 2015 Tan et al. The Extreme Male Brain (EMB) theory posits that autistic traits are linked to excessive exposure to testosterone in utero. While findings from a number of studies are consistent with this theory, other studies have produced contradictory results. For example, some findings suggest that rather than being linked to hypermasculinization for males, or defeminization for females, elevated levels of autistic traits are instead linked to more androgynous physical features. The current study provided further evidence relevant to the EMB and androgony positions by comparing groups of males selected for high or low scores on the Autismspectrum Quotient (AQ) as to the rated masculinity of their faces and voices, and comparable groups of females as to the rated femininity of their faces and voices. The voices of High-AQ males were rated as more masculine than those of Low-AQ males, while the faces of High-AQ females were rated as less feminine than those of Low-AQ females. There was no effect of AQ group on femininity ratings for female voices or on masculinity ratings for male faces. The results thus provide partial support for a link between high levels of autisticlike traits and hypermasculinization for males and defeminization for females, consistent with the EMB theory. Copyright:
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0131780
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2015

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