"The Extreme Male Brain?" Incrementum and the Rhetorical Gendering of Autism

Jordynn Jack

Abstract


The rhetorical figure of the incrementum, or scale, can help to account for how autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been gendered as male, especially in Simon Baron-Cohen’s "Extreme Male Brain" theory. The incrementum occurs when female, male, and autistic brains are placed along a scale according to systemizing and empathizing abilities. This double hierarchy reinforces popular beliefs about sex and gender, drawing on the cultural resources of hi-tech culture, the service economy, and geekiness. In so doing, these theories overlook other important aspects of ASD, including alternative theories, the presence of autistic women and girls, and the needs and interests of autistic people themselves.


Keywords


Autism; gender; masculinity; rhetoric; technology

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v31i3.1672

Copyright (c) 2011 Jordynn Jack



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Maureen Walsh. Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

ISSN: 2159-8371