Springingtiger's Blog


Mature Autism – A Well Ordered Society
September 20, 2010, 11:42
Filed under: asperger's syndrome, autism | Tags: , , , , , ,

I have recently been reading my friend Anne K Scott’s (@XingFrontiers)- as yet unpublished – dissertation Constructions of Asperger’s Syndrome: examining work in progress., which she was kind enough to let me see. I found it stimulating. One of the areas she looks at is marriage so today I thought I’d subject the world to a few of my own – more or less – random thoughts on the subject.

During the course of her dissertation she looked at the impact of contemporary conventions of marriage on people with asperger’s and its increased occurrence in a technologically progressive society. This led me to reflect on the institution of marriage. I think this has obvious pointers for the future. It is no accident that as we develop technologically we are evolving a species of human ideally suited to interact technologically without the social irrelevancies of NT society. She points out the emotional nature of modern marriage. This emphasis on emotion contributes to the high failure rate of contemporary marriages. Socially it makes sense for marriages to be arranged to provide a structure that will best serve the material needs of the partners. If people need to meet romantic needs (whatever they are) I am sure appropriate provision could be factored into the arrangement.

Arranged marriages in a reasonably rigidly structured society do not show the same tendency to disintegration as western marriages except where western mores have managed to infect the culture usually through the export of American values on film. Because of the difficulties that people with autism experience in socialising it makes sense to arrange their marriages. t is said of Asperger husbands, “They may not be romantic but they are punctual!” I think we have the qualities that maintain a marriage once the romance has passed – as it will – largely stubbornness. I don’t know if we can live independently but marriage is a good substitute for independence.

One of the problems of this society is that we give people too many choices. How can anyone choose between Brie and Camembert except by tasting them? Unfortunately what is appropriate to cheese is not to people. No one is ever going to experience the complete range of potential marriage partners so offering them the choice is going to lead to a degree of curiosity and frustration, marriages break down when people go looking for something they perceive as missing. It is a rebuke to society that we encourage people to choose partners based on their emotions – which are nothing more than chemical reactions. That some people then go on to several relationships is indicative of moral and mental weakness. One cannot condone the stoning of people committing adultery as practised by some Moslems, but the removal from society of those who are unable to exercise proper continence is not an unreasonable response.

A society that makes provision for a man to have several wives is virtually making a declaration that its members are morally weak, if not degenerate. This may be a realistic evaluation of normal humanity.

Because we tend to marry people who are like ourselves or our parents I believe that the growth of autism is inevitable – “refrigerator mothers” are not a cause of autism, but rather a symptom of it. A mother with AS traits will pass them to the next generation if she has married a man who reminds her of her father with AS traits then the next generation will be getting AS traits from both parents. Perhaps we should be arranging marriages to encourage the growth of AS traits and structuring our increasingly technological society to accommodate them, whilst at the same time breeding out – or at least reducing – unnecessary emotional traits. We will always need risk takers to test technology in practice after simulations are completed and we will need entertainment but the number of people we retain with unnecessary emotions should be limited by the size of – and to – the entertainment industry.

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1 Comment so far
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This is a really interesting post, especially the last paragraph. I’m an AS woman who has 2 autistic kids. The father of my children is not on the spectrum (as far as we know), but he does have a lot of interests in common with my dad…and I’m pretty sure HIS mother is something close to an Aspie herself.

You’re so right about society offering too many choices nowadays. Many would say that’s GREAT – and perhaps it is, in a sense – and current psychological wisdom demands that we give children a choice whenever possible. However, this can inappropriate and even stressful for those of us on the spectrum.

Arranged marriages might work out better for some of us – not so sure others would agree, though! Different strokes and all that. 🙂

Comment by outoutout




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