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Fetal testosterone theory of autism

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The fetal testosterone theory of autism suggests that higher levels of testosterone in the amniotic fluid of mothers pushes brain development towards improved ability to see patterns and analyze complex systems while diminishing communication and empathy, emphasizing "male" traits over "female", or in E-S theory terminology, emphasizing "systemizing" over "empathizing". One project has published several reports suggesting that high levels of fetal testosterone could produce behaviors relevant to those seen in autism.[1] The theory and findings are controversial and many studies contradict the idea that baby boys and girls respond differently to people and objects.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. Fetal testosterone and autistic traits:
    • Auyeung B, Baron-Cohen S (2009). "A role for fetal testosterone in human sex differences" Zimmerman AW Autism: Current Theories and Evidence, 185–208, Humana.
    • Manson JE (2008). Prenatal exposure to sex steroid hormones and behavioral/cognitive outcomes. Metabolism 57 (Suppl 2): S16–21.
  2. Spelke ES (2005). Sex differences in intrinsic aptitude for mathematics and science?: a critical review. Am Psychol 60 (9): 950–8.

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