ERIC Number: EJ797463
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Sex-Typical Play: Masculinization/Defeminization in Girls with an Autism Spectrum Condition
Knickmeyer, Rebecca C.; Wheelwright, Sally; Baron-Cohen, Simon B.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, v38 n6 p1028-1035 Jul 2008
We tested the hypothesis that prenatal masculinization of the brain by androgens increases risk of developing an autism spectrum condition (ASC). Sex-typical play was measured in n = 66 children diagnosed with an ASC and n = 55 typically developing age-matched controls. Consistent with the hypothesis, girls with autism did not show the female-typical play preferences, though this was only seen on non-pretence items. Boys with autism showed a preference for male play on non-pretence items, in keeping with their sex. Girls with autism engaged in more pretend play than boys with autism, suggesting that pretence is relatively more protected in females with autism. We conclude that play preference studies in ASC provide partial support for the fetal androgen theory.
Descriptors: Play, Masculinity, Brain, At Risk Persons, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Sex Stereotypes, Children, Comparative Analysis, Gender Differences, Imagination
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A