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Medicine Idle

Could Assortative Mating Explain Autism? 286

clm1970 writes "Researcher Simon Baron-Cohen has put forth the theory that 'how we mate and marry' could explain the increase in rates of Autism Spectrum Disorders, particularly Asperger's. When two technically minded people marry and have children, so the provocative theory goes, they are more apt to produce a child who crosses the line into mild autism."
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Could Assortative Mating Explain Autism?

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  • by x_IamSpartacus_x ( 1232932 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @04:17PM (#37195920)

    The theory of "assortative mating" was first put forth by neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading autism researcher and something of a rock star in the field. He's the first cousin of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, and like his cousin, his prolific work tends toward the out-of-the-box. Combine that with his outspokenness — uncommon for a scientist — and it's clear why at a recent international conference in San Diego, he was "frequently mobbed by fellow attendees and treated with near universal adulation," Warner writes.

    I don't have proof but this guy looks and sounds like he's just putting for a controversial theory to be controversial and get his name in the papers. I wouldn't give much credit here.

  • Diagnosis Criteria (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @04:22PM (#37195996) Homepage Journal

    Increasing rates in Autism are due to the ever expanding classification system of the DSM. Behaviour that was previously not included in the 'diagnosis' (qualifications, if you prefer) are now included.

    You could read Jon Ronson's Psychopath Test for a small insight into the way the people behind the categorisation process simply make shit up and grow the criteria for inclusion to a category like they're pulling rabbits out of a hat stuffed with millions of rabbits.

  • by TobiasTheCommie ( 768719 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @04:36PM (#37196214) Homepage

    Simon Baron-Cohen has made many a theory on the etiology of Autism. And all of them have fallen by the way side.

    I don't understand why he is regarded as a scientist since he keep coming out with these stupid ideas.

    A few years ago it was a "Too neanderthal brain". Then a few years later it was "Too much male hormone in the uterus". And now it is is this. *sigh*

    He comes up with one idea, and once that is shown to be false, he just throws a new one out there.

    As a professional in this area. And as someone with autism. I totally disregard anything and everything he has to say.

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