Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness


Are there differences in giftedness between girls and boys?

Results of research show that, in most areas, girls and boys are more similarly gifted than they are different. Interests, however, are one exception. Whereas girls often prefer subjects that involve animate, social, or artistic activities, boys are often interested in objects and pursue practical, technical, or explorative interests. These differences are also evident in the gifted, but less pronounced than in the nongifted, because gifted girls often exhibit highly developed theoretical and research interests as well.

Evidence of gender differences at the extremes of specific trait distributions has become more apparent. In terms of mathematical and scientific abilities and general intelligence, more boys than girls show extremely low or extremely high scores. For verbal skills, however, a somewhat different picture emerges: Here, very low scores are found more often for boys and very high scores for girls. Nevertheless, these gender differences in the distributions of extreme values are also environment- and culture-dependent and have steadily decreased in recent decades.

To summarize, there are greater differences within the same gender than between the genders. Yet societal gender-based expectations and educational practices of parents and teachers continue to persist, and these can significantly influence the talent development of gifted girls and boys.


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