And the gender gap in the tech world is explained

For people baffled as to how scientists and mathematicians come up with such novel ideas, a new study suggests they are higher on the autism spectrum making them far better at logical thinking and seeing the bigger picture.
New research which tested nearly 500,000 people for autism traits and compared it to their jobs found those in involved in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) have more autistic traits.
Autistic traits are not the same as having a diagnosis of autism; instead, these are characteristics of personality and behaviour that are found throughout the general population and are linked to what is seen in the clinical condition of autism.

All Simon Baron Cohen all over again. Men are more likely to be on that autistic spectrum (about 10:1) and being in STEM correlates with being on the spectrum (a bit: that is, with being a bit on the spectrum, not correlates a bit).

And thus is our gender imbalance among techies explained. Nerds and geeks tend to be male. Thus those employed as nerds and geeks tend to be male.

QED.

29 thoughts on “And the gender gap in the tech world is explained”

  1. It appears to me as though any boy at school who has an attention span greater than that of a banana is ‘diagnosed’ as being autistic.

  2. Surely this has been obvious for decades? I did a chem degree and I can confirm that we were all Aspergic chaps and one Aspergic girl.

  3. Sci fi novel “The quantum thief” has a character (female, interestingly) with, among many other enhancements, the ability to induce temporary ‘combat autism’. That’s from 2011, though I think I’ve seen it elsewhere too.

    It does seem rather daft to start from the assumption that men and women are interchangeable after thousands of years of specialisation of sex-specific roles. I don’t doubt there is still sexism around, which should be tackled, but let’s aim for getting the best people for the job, eh?

  4. So not blathering like a fishwife is now autism is it? Logic now equals autism?

    Time both the psychological “profession” and Unis that peddle such shite lost all taxpayer funding.

  5. >Nerds and geeks tend to be male. Thus those employed as nerds and geeks tend to be male.

    Which everybody has always known (except the feminists who pretend not to.)

  6. @CalFord right. For all SJW-types’ protesting that women can be anything they want to be, they don’t seem to like the idea that maybe women tend not to want to be certain things.

  7. I vaguely remember that when people started talking about Aspergers someone suggested that a larege proportion of Oxbridge dons were Aspy because for guys concentrating for years on high-quality research in a narrow area on the frontiers of knowledge, it is an advantage.
    You don’t need to be aspy to be a chemist – I know/knew quite a few and none of them are/were, but for geeks and actuaries it helps.
    So what the feminists want is for high-paid jobs (not dustmen, just the C suite) we should have quotas instead of selecting on merit and the ability to do the job.

  8. In my twenty odd years in the IT industry, I’ve worked with a lot of women coders down the years.

    Most of them weren’t very good. Having said that, neither were most of the blokes. See above.

    Of the women who were good, very few of them stayed in coding very long – they all wanted to be analysts or managers. Because you know, talking to people and stuff.

    I only knew one who was competent and stayed technical. Until she went off to have babies. Came back from the first and her brain had gone to mush (her words). Didn’t come back after the second.

    So I don’t have any female peers who still code. Mind you, I don’t have many male ones either these days – all the jobs have gone to India. And they’re mostly not very good either.

  9. “Sci fi novel “The quantum thief” has a character (female, interestingly) with, among many other enhancements, the ability to induce temporary ‘combat autism’.”

    A great series, that. Very high-concept.

  10. “For all SJW-types’ protesting that women can be anything they want to be, they don’t seem to like the idea that maybe women tend not to want to be certain things.”

    Odd thing is they never seem to be complaining about the lack of female sewer repair operatives, or high voltage cable installers, or deep sea fishermen. Only about nice middle class jobs with salaries and centrally heated offices.

    Funny that.

  11. “suggests they are higher on the autism spectrum”
    “more likely to be on that autistic spectrum”

    I was about to post that for once somebody in the meeja had managed to use words properly, then Tim goes and messes it up. In Tim’s defence, he’s only using the usual phraseology that meeja eejits use without knowing what they’re talking about.

    EVERYBODY is “on” the autistic spectrum (as in the first quote). Even if you’re at zero, you’re still ON the spectrum. It’s like saying some people “have” blood pressure. Well, some people don’t, we usually call them corpses.

  12. “In my twenty odd years in the IT industry, I’ve worked with a lot of women coders down the years. Most of them weren’t very good.”

    I can’t think of any who were any good. The best coders are those who are mildly Aspergersish. .Doubtless there are some 🙂

    Have worked with many excellent female managers, testers, designers etc. though.

  13. ” I don’t have many male ones either these days – all the jobs have gone to India. And they’re mostly not very good either.”

    I still have nightmares about a bit of Indian sourced code ; several hundred very packed lines, two functions, no comments *at all* literally, and all variables called a,b,c,d,e,f,g. (this was when there weren’t any refactoring tools either). It looked like badly written FORTRAN. After having spend god knows how long figuring it out, I decided it didn’t work except in the simplest cases. After chewing it over with my line manager I rewrote the thing in less time than I’d spent analysing it, and it worked properly (and about 10x faster as well….)

  14. ‘After having spend god knows how long figuring it out’

    I ran cost accounting systems the last 18 years of my IT career. When asked to describe my job, I said I was a “systems archaeologist,” that I spent my time trying to figure out WTF people were thinking when they wrote the code.

  15. @ Mr Ecks

    >So not blathering like a fishwife is now autism is it? Logic now equals autism?

    >Time both the psychological “profession” and Unis that peddle such shite lost all taxpayer funding.

    Indeed, there is a lot of money to be made from medicalising what we ought to consider to be within the range of normal human cognitive function.

  16. So what the feminists want is for high-paid jobs (not dustmen, just the C suite) we should have quotas instead of selecting on merit

    That’s how we just selected the new Canadian (federal) cabinet.

  17. Telegraph wheels out that genial old cove Albert Einstein as an example of autism?!
    Not sure about Newton either, he with many friends, loyal to his family, etc.
    For a proper example they could have illustrated Cavendish, but that would have taken maybe more than ten minutes research.

  18. Baron Cohen (very good book, btw) only points out the obvious, that if the bell curve is flatter for men than women then you will have more men at the extremes of high and low performance.
    Nor does he claim that the intelligence and autism spectrums (ok, spectra if you insist) are in alignment. Again, it’s just a flatter bell curve.

  19. found those in involved in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) have more autistic traits.
    no shit Sherlock, well blow me down with feather, quelle surprise, i’m flabbergasted, wonders will never cease ….

  20. @Paul,
    After having spend god knows how long figuring it out, I decided it didn’t work except in the simplest cases. After chewing it over with my line manager I rewrote the thing in less time than I’d spent analysing it, and it worked properly (and about 10x faster as well….)

    did you copy that from a post of mine about some outsourced code that I had to look at? Giveaways were “didn’t work” and “less time than I’d spent analysing it” ?

  21. There are, or at least were, some good women programmers.
    When I was a trainee programmer in the 60s we had a lady, ex-Girton, who not only wrote programmes but, after the comnpiler had translated them into machine code, went through re-writing the machine code to optimise running time.
    Why not now? Dunno

  22. So Much For Subtlety

    Gamecock – “When asked to describe my job, I said I was a “systems archaeologist,” that I spent my time trying to figure out WTF people were thinking when they wrote the code.”

    Wouldn’t that make you a systems historian? A systems archaeologist would dig out an old broken disk drive and conclude that you had burnt your toast for breakfast.

  23. ‘An archaeologist is a person who discovers, collects and analyzes the material remains of previous societies and cultures.’

    My artifacts were snippets of code from antiquity.

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    Gamecock – “My artifacts were snippets of code from antiquity.”

    But are they material remains? Historians look at ancient texts. Archaeologists look at bits of broken pot. Surely the IT equivalent would be the Archaeologists looking at old hard drives, Historians looking at code?

  25. “after the comnpiler had translated them into machine code, ”

    Compiler? You were lucky. For several years after graduation, my working day was filled with nothing other than assembler code and hex core dumps, which frazzled my brain and turned me into the well-adjusted sociopath that I am today.

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