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scientific proof autism more common in males?

Posted Jul 19 2011 12:00am
As most persons who are interested in autism know, the literature suggests that autism is far more common in boys than in girls. Ratios for males to females have generally been reported to be around 4:1. Ratios as high as 10:1 have been reported for the higher functioning types of autism.

In spite of this fact, it would seem there is parity between the sexes or possibly even a greater number of females than males among autistic persons who are proponents of that deranged philosophy called neurodiversity. They sometimes claim to speak for all or most autistics stating "we don't want to be cured". Or Alex Plank's statement that "autistics don't want to be cured". It begs the question how they can speak for most or all autistics.

Numerous females involved in the neurodiversity movement have claimed the numbers are artifacts, i.e. that girls are underdiagnosed as autistic due to certain types of societal constructs. Brenda Myles of autism asperger publishing company fame has claimed that some autistic girls are merely thought to be "drama queens" and don't get a diagnosis.

I always thought that one possibility that would show that they were wrong was the fact that females have an extra x chromosome and thus could receive some protection against an x-linked disease or at least be less susceptible to it. I think Michael Wigler's research has suggested this line of thought. I will concede that my knowledge in the science of this area is limited.

Of course, if autism were an exclusively x-linked disorder, then the ratios of males to females would be far higher than 4 to 1 or even 10 to 1 as they are in x-linked conditions such as hemophilia or pattern baldness. Also in some cases it is known that autism is caused by autosomal dominance, such as tuberous sclerosis and the sex chromosomes are not involved.

Recently, there has been some research done which may provide empirical evidence refuting what the militant female neurodiversitites have been saying for years, and providing further evidence that they don't represent the vast majority of spectrumites in any sort of demographic.

Valerie Hu and colleagues at George Washington University have discovered a gene, retinoic acid–related orphan receptor-alpha (RORA), that interacts with sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone in the brain that could explain the sex ratios of autistics.

RORA controls production of enzymes that convert testosterone into estrogen and the excess of testosterone in the brain may either cause autism or make a male more vulnerable to it. whereas estrogen may provide females protection against autism.

This does not explain why some females do get autism, though and why when they do get autism their autism is often more severe than that in a male.

Of course, this research could not only be the beginning of refuting one of the tenets of the neurodiversity propagandists and hatemongers but also perhaps giving us a breakthrough into the cause of autism. Only time will tell (cliche, I know).
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