Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Autism and the Broader Biological Gender Spectrum

I enjoy what Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison write with their direct method of communication in “pulling no punches” about the challenges and advantages of living on the spectrum.

I also found another person writing about living without a label on “a spectrum” and many things associated with it, equally, if not more impressive in what I can relate to as a spectrum.

What I write below, in a way, is a tribute to that person:

I enjoyed your article, and was having difficulty too, understanding what the “Neurotypical Privilege" comment meant, but it seems to be along the lines of the pejorative phrase "Uncle Tom", which I have seen thrown around in some places in online Autism Communities. Alternatively, Gay people staying in the closet, to gain what some might describe as "straight privilege"

In the case of a Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP), it runs a little deeper than sexual orientation or skin color.

That said, I am fascinated by the Biological Gender/Androgyny correlations that I often hear people identifying with, on the spectrum.

I enjoyed your "personal" review of that related research done in the last few years, on the website linked below.

Here is another interesting review of that research from another individual:

Your analogy of the "non-flamboyant" homosexual male mind living in the female body, in one of the links in your article, is reported similarly by some people online per a "non-butch" homosexual female mind living in a male body.

I cannot help but to think that could be an interesting hormonal driven neurodevelopmental difference that in some part is at the core of what makes up online autism communities, as well as many people to date diagnosed with either PDDNOS or Asperger's Syndrome.

There is a popular therapist in my area specializing in Asperger's syndrome. She identifies Androgyny as a common element in her many years of clinical experience.

Androgyny is not one of those things a person can easily mask. It is a neurological and morphological difference following one through the course of a lifetime that often becomes more evident after puberty.

Androgyny can be an issue where self-acceptance is a big part of a solution in potential life-long internal conflicts in differing expressions of two biological genders sharing one body.

I have never particularly identified with a gender, and no longer try to fit a role. That is one advantage of the online experience, which I think is an attractive option for young people to escape that source of potential inner conflict and just be who they are behind an avatar.  

It boggles my mind in trying to figure what the privilege is in having a “gay mind’ and a “straight body”. I do not think that is a "choice" either. It is the farthest thing from typical neurology that I can imagine. :)

However, in all the people I have come across in my lifetime, which is thousands, in working with the public for two decades, those with that type of a-typical neurological/morphological difference, have been some of the most tolerant and accepting of differences in others, that I have come across.

I guess that is part of the "reason'' the gene pool continues to keep them around, as they often accept others for who they are, and can be valued supporting players, even if they do not get around to reproducing. :)

Maybe there is an advantage in having little to no privilege, living center in a much larger spectrum of biological gender difference.

Perhaps it is, most often, the advantage of others or what one might describe as unusual altruism.

Perhaps as far as a type of "Eusocial Primate”.

Maybe just a metaphor or maybe not.

Nevertheless, one not easily forgotten. :)

Additional information associated with Androgyny and 2D/4D Digit Ratio:

"Don't Let it Show" by The Alan Parson's Project:


Autism, the Internet and "Ideological First Identity", a Collection of Thoughts:

"AutisticS Peeks!"

It's Good 

to Hear




Autistic Spectrum



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