This work has proposed three primary causes of autism and conditions characterized by maturational delay. All three causes impact fluctuating testosterone levels inside a mother, which determine her children’s maturation speeds and their, and societies’, social-structure proclivities. The three causes are matrifocal sexual selection trajectories (mate-selection proclivities), different ethnicities mating, thereby propelling shifts back to a common progenitor and a host of environmental influences that modify mother-father testosterone levels. Explore these etiologies in detail by clicking here, here and here.

I hypothesize that these are primary causes of autism. There are also the reasons that these hypothesized causes have been so difficult to uncover and address. I would suggest that politics, patriarchy and academic division are the main barriers to understanding autism’s origins.

Marxist anthropologist Chris Knight in his Blood Relations outlines a theory of evolution that revolves around female choice. He begins that work with an exploration of how it is that his particular perspective is not easily embraced. Knight proposes that the polarization of the West from the works of Marx and Engels obfuscated the works of theorists with matriarchal underpinnings. Theories of evolution with females at the center were ignored. Knight targets politics as a source of contemporary theorizing malaise.

Clearly, politics, patriarchy and academics are all entwined. Knight notes how few women were/are tenured theorists in human evolution studies and the fact we still largely inhabit an Indo-European patrifocal frame of reference.

Though the West is changing quickly in a matrifocal direction, we are still novices when it comes to understanding a woman’s point of view. Riane Eisler has written much concerning the transition we are experiencing. Eisler examines our origins in matrilineal Old Europe and the direction we are headed in a partnership society. Understanding autism, a condition characterized by its matristic bonds, is profoundly complicated by theorists raised to recognize only a patristic frame of reference. There is much that they have to unlearn. Most academics are not aware of the new paradigm or of its relationship to them personally or professionally. Max Planck said that major paradigm shifts often don’t evidence themselves in academia until the tenured professors retire or die.

Conducting research for this thesis, I continue to be astonished by how little traffic there is among academic disciplines. Noting identical principles appearing in different academic departments with totally different nomenclatures has been deeply disappointing. I have a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in art. The research I conducted in college was mostly in art history. It was only after falling down the rabbit hole of this project that I discovered that the barriers among academic disciplines were so high as to deeply impede pattern synthesis. Specifically, from my perspective, the answer to autism’s etiology is in nineteenth-century biological evolution theories blended with nineteenth-century anthropological social structure insights while exploring late twentieth-century neuropsychological insights from Geschwind and Annett. Clearly, our deep reverence for natural selection as the primary or sole theory of evolution, particularly when it comes to humans, has fractured our ability to conduct reasonable explorations of conditions with evolutionary origins.

Exaggerating the three areas just explored is our contemporary society’s willingness to adhere to Social Darwinism or “free markets” as perhaps the foundation theme of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush years. Corporations decide the information we receive based on their interpretation of what we seek in the context of how they can make money. We’ve lived in a nightmare exaggeration of top-down, paternalistic, patristic values where the commons all but disappeared until the emergence of the web.

Though autism may have (at least) three causes, the barriers to understanding those causes are often foremost in my mind.


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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 20th, 2008 at 8:58 am and is filed under Autism, Autism & Society, Causes of Autism, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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  1. pegcarter on December 20, 2008 11:36 am

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