If the “extreme male brain” is autistic, is the “extreme female brain” psychotic?

The empathising–systemising (E–S) theory proposes that many sex differences can be explained by females typically demonstrating greater empathising abilities (understanding of the social world) and males typically demonstrating greater systemising abilities (understanding of the non-social world). Autism is argued to represent an ‘Extreme Male Brain’, with impaired empathising alongside preserved or enhanced systemising producing a hypo-empathising profile. A recent account hypothesised that a hyper-empathising ‘Extreme Female Brain’ would be characterised in terms of psychosis. The present study tests this hypothesis by investigating the relationship between levels of empathising and systemising, as well as self-report measures of psychosis, depression and anxiety, in 70 healthy female undergraduates. Results showed a hyper-empathising profile was related to psychosis, and specifically paranoia and mania (positive symptoms). No relationship was found between hyper-empathising and either depression or anxiety, consistent with the idea that an ‘Extreme Female Brain’ is specifically associated with psychosis. In addition, empathising and systemising were found to negatively correlate with each other, suggesting they are separate but related components.

Source: “Can an ‘Extreme Female Brain’ be characterised in terms of psychosis?” from Personality and Individual Differences

I’ve posted a good amount on psychopaths and crime. You may want to read my post: You just committed murder. What should you do now?

If you’re curious about what happens when you end up on the wrong side of justice I recommend this book and this TV series.

This is an amazing, accessible blend of crime and economics.

Related posts:

Are there too many psychopaths in Corporate America?

Is your brother smart? Then you might be crazy.

Are female psychopaths different from male psychopaths?

Can crazy people hear happy voices?

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