Extreme Female Brains, the Issue of Nature vs. Nurture, and the Emergence of Capitalism

Ok. I’ve recently published a paper with my mentor and colleagues about the ‘extreme female brain’ hypothesis of mental illness. Basically, the paper makes the case that sex differences in evolutionary pressures predispose females and males toward different prevalence rates and manifestations of mental illness. For example, more males than females are diagnosed with autism and more females than males are diagnosed with depression.

There are a few things to be clear on first:

Even though the title of the hypothesis has the word ‘brain’ in it, the study does not involve direct studies of brains. We extended this hypothesis from a large body of work done by Simon Baron-Cohen, who has made a strong case for autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) as an extreme manifestation of male-typical psychology (1). 

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