Danger! Extreme Maleness!

That’s what causes autism, according to new research by…some researchers. One of whom is called “Badcock”, tee hee. They’re apparently basing their work on the theories of someone called “Baron Cohen”. Two possibilities – he really is a baron, in which case surely he should be called “Baron von Cohen” and fly a biplane, or it’s Sacha Baron-Cohen. “Extreme maleness! I like!”.
Ahem – actually, on the page linked to above it says that the Baron-Cohen in question is SIMON Baron-Cohen, and is…wait for it… Sacha’s brother. Whoa.
Aaaaaanyway, the theory in itself is actually rather interesting, as it attempts to account for that fact that men are more likely to be autistic than women. (They also get bonus points for starting their article with a quote from Maurice Sendak). I first came across mention of this research in the parenting magazine Junior,¬† which pulls out interesting details like the fact that parents are more likely to produce autistic children if they work in technical, analytical fields like engineering or software – apparently the proportion of autistic children in Silicon Valley is way above average. If, during conception, you father’s genes “imprint” more strongly than your mothers, you’ll become the kind of person who files his CDs alphabetically and can program the VCR but can’t have an open, honest conversation with a friend. And the extreme version of this is where you turn into Rain Man. Or something.
Now I’ve always been a bit anal about some things, like tidiness and order, but I always thought that it was a very mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Turns out it’s genetic, i.e. NOT MY FAULT, so stop complaining when I move your stuff off the floor and put it away, woman – I can’t help it.