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Tuesday, September 8, 1998 Published at 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK


Born to be rude

Do their genes make them rude?

Controversial new research suggests that there is a scientific reason why boys tend to be ruder and naughtier than girls.

Scientists meeting in Cardiff are to hear that boys' genes may make them less socially adept and more prone to conditions like autism.

[ image: Professor David Kruse: wants to find out causes of autism]
Professor David Kruse: wants to find out causes of autism
Last year Professor David Kruse and his researchers at the Institute of Child Health created a storm when they revealed research that links rudeness to genes.

They made the discovery when studying girls born with Turner's Syndrome.

Professor Kruse: Trying to find out why more boys than girls are autistic
Girls who suffer from Turner's are often impulsive and they can misunderstand social cues from facial expression.

They can come across as insensitive, a trait normally associated with boys.

While most women have two X chromosomes, Turner's sufferers have only one complete one.

It turns out that the social difficulties are linked to girls whose complete X chromosome was inherited from their mother - as it is in all normal boys.

Turner girls whose undamaged X chromosome came from their fathers did not have the same problems.

His conclusions, published in Nature magazine, were dismissed by rival researchers.

Professor Kruse intends to reveal new evidence to back his findings at the British Association's science festival in Cardiff.

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Earlier gene research reported by Nature magazine

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