How manly are you?

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Joe at Evangelical Outpost had a post a while back with two tests for autism and autistic spectrum traits. One involves mind-reading by looking at someone's eyes, with the rest of the face occluded. [It's a little funny to call it a mind-reading test, given that these pictures are of people faking certain faces to look like they have certain emotions that they don't really have.] They tried to remove some of the subjective factors by trying to find common enough agreement on which emotions the eyes showed, but I doubt it's as objective as they'd like. Either way, it does test some differences between people with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism (HFA) and the average person (with differences between males and females.

The other is a personality test somehow labeled "the autism quotient test" that picks out ISTJ traits as autistic traits and then saying that the test reveals who has autistic traits. [Note: Asperger's is a high-functioning autistic spectrum condition with higher-functioning, though not necessarily completely normal, cognitive and language abilities, sometimes even better than normal, but with delays in social and communicative delays with obsessional, repetitive, and routine behaviors.]

On the mind-reading through eye-reading test, there were 36 questions. The average score among AS/HFA people was 21.9. The average male score was 26. The average female score was 26.4. My score was 24, right between the normal male score and the AS/HFA average, just slightly closer to the average male score. (I should say that I got all 20 questions right on the whole face emotion recognition test, but I couldn't find the statistics on how people in general do on that one.)

The AQ test had an average score of 16.4. 80% of AS/HFA people scored at least 32, though the average AS/HFA score was 34.4 on one study and 35.8 on another. I scored 28. I wonder how the male/female differences turn out among the normal score group. The only data I have are for a group of Oxford University students who scored a little better on the mind-reading test than the average person did. The male average among them was 19.5, the female average 16.6. Both averages are higher than the 16.4 overall average, so this select population doesn't set a baseline standard. Again, my score was between the average male score and the AS/HFA average, though this time a good deal closer to the AS/HFA side.

Now there's important new research suggesting that the autistic spectrum is just one side of the male-female spectrum in terms of a number of traits, with males tending to be better at systematizing intelligence and females tending to be better at empathizing intelligence. Autism is a disorder that's even more extreme in the male tendency toward systematizing with difficulty on the empathizing end. There's also a disorder that's the reverse (but it's extremely rare) called Williams syndrome. Given that, I seem to me more male than most men. In other words, I'm quite the studly dude. So take the tests at the link above and see how manly you are!


some says I am to polite and too considerate

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