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
Original Paper

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

Empathizing Systemizing Autism Sex differences 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie Auyeung
    • 1
  • Sally Wheelwright
    • 1
  • Carrie Allison
    • 1
  • Matthew Atkinson
    • 1
  • Nelum Samarawickrema
    • 1
  • Simon Baron-Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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