The Children's Empathy Quotient and Systemizing Quotient: Sex Differences in Typical Development and in Autism Spectrum Conditions

Bonnie Auyeung*, Sally Wheelwright, Carrie Allison, Matthew Atkinson, Nelum Samarawickrema, Simon Baron-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Children's versions of the Empathy Quotient (EQ-C) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ-C) were developed and administered to n = 1,256 parents of typically developing children, aged 4-11 years. Both measures showed good test-retest reliability and high internal consistency. As predicted, girls scored significantly higher on the EQ-C, and boys scored significantly higher on the SQ-C. A further sample of n = 265 children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) scored significantly lower on the EQ-C, and significantly higher on the SQ-C, compared to typical boys. Empathy and systemizing in children show similar patterns of sex differences to those observed in adults. Children with ASC tend towards a `hyper-masculinized' profile, irrespective of sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1521
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume39
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM
  • SPATIAL ABILITIES
  • Sex differences
  • MALE BRAIN THEORY
  • FETAL TESTOSTERONE
  • Systemizing
  • PRENATAL TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
  • Empathizing
  • CAST CHILDHOOD ASPERGER
  • NORMAL ADULTS
  • SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
  • Autism
  • CONGENITAL ADRENAL-HYPERPLASIA
  • MENTAL ROTATION

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