Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, 39:1509

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

Authors

    • Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge
  • Sally Wheelwright
    • Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge
  • Carrie Allison
    • Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge
  • Matthew Atkinson
    • Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge
  • Nelum Samarawickrema
    • Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge
  • Simon Baron-Cohen
    • Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Cambridge
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-009-0772-x

Cite this article as:
Auyeung, B., Wheelwright, S., Allison, C. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2009) 39: 1509. doi:10.1007/s10803-009-0772-x

Abstract

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.

Keywords

EmpathizingSystemizingAutismSex differences

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009