In their efforts to understand autism, researchers have found that not only is autism a predominantly male condition, but a type of autism called Aspergers Syndrome seems to reflect a sort of extreme male brain. Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen’s theory is that the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy, and the male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems. He calls it the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory.
Empathizing is the drive to identify another person’s emotions and thoughts, and to respond to these with an appropriate emotion. The empathizer intuitively figures out how people are feeling, and how to treat people with care and sensitivity.
Systemizing is the drive to analyze and explore a system, to extract underlying rules that govern the behavior of a system; and the drive to construct systems.
A key feature of this theory is that your sex cannot tell you which type of brain you have. Not all men have the male brain, and not all women have the female brain. The central claim of this new theory is only that on average, more males than females have a brain of type S, and more females than males have a brain of type E.
This has been great news for me personally! I used to joke that I had only one brain lobe, and now my test scores reveal the truth: I have Extreme Girlie Brain! My female brain quotient is nearly off the chart. My male brain quotient is a dismal 4 on a scale of 1 to 80. (The average female score here is between 20 and 30.) No wonder I can’t read maps or work the remote! Baron-Cohen believes that his theory predicts the existence of an extreme female brain, but he notes that such a condition would not be easily recognized as a disability. Women who are impaired at systemizing but gifted at empathizing could attract males to set up a home theater system, for example…
Such has been my life. I am smart in one way but retarded in another. I’ve been able to get by via my superior Girlie Brain. I don’t know how to open the hood of my car, but I can tell if you need cheering up. I can save your marriage by directing you to drop the fight and give your spouse oral sex, ASAP. I can also tell Lancome Roulette Red from Holiday Red, which I believe has served to put a roof over my head and a computer in front of me.
Read more here.
Take the tests here.
I would love to hear how you score!