Monday, April 17, 2017

Women abused in childhood prefer mates with autistic traits

Image result for autistic traits
This is a pretty crazy-cool study. Women who were abused as children (perhaps in part because they displayed autistic traits) were more likely to select mates with autistic traits. Which might be why autism risk has been associated with maternal child victimization.

2017 Apr 9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3115-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Maternal Exposure to Childhood Abuse is Associated with Mate Selection: Implications for Autism in Offspring.



Maternal experience of childhood abuse has been associated with offspring autism. To explore whether familial tendency towards autistic traits-presumably related to genetic predisposition-accounts for this association, we examined whether women who experienced childhood abuse were more likely to select mates with high levels of autistic traits, and whether parental autistic traits accounted for the association of maternal abuse and offspring autism in 209 autism cases and 833 controls. Maternal childhood abuse was strongly associated with high paternal autistic traits (severe abuse, OR = 3.98, 95% CI = 1.26, 8.31). Maternal and paternal autistic traits accounted for 21% of the association between maternal abuse and offspring autism. These results provide evidence that childhood abuse affects mate selection, with implications for offspring health.


Autism; Childhood abuse; Genetics; Mate selection; Maternal factors; Paternal factors


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