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J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Nov;39(11):1509-21. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0772-x. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

The children's Empathy Quotient and Systemizing Quotient: sex differences in typical development and in autism spectrum conditions.

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Autism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Douglas House, Cambridge CB2 8AH, UK.


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.

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