The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Exceptionally Gifted Females: Multiple Facets of Diversity and Gender Equity

Diane Boothe, Boise State University (United States)


The objective of this study is to provide an overview of challenges facing gifted and talented females, explore gender differences among intellectually gifted students, and examine the literature and research addressing gender in a variety of dimensions of cognitive giftedness. The unique and often frustrating experiences that gifted and talented females encounter will be explored to understand gender stereotypes. The findings are centered on the benefits, predicaments, and determination of gifted and talented females as we embrace multiple facets of diversity and gender equity. There are a wide variety of perspectives on gender and high ability or highly talented females and academic achievement. Gender has often been a critical factor when identifying multidimensional perspectives of giftedness. The combined results from 130 studies published between 1975 and 2011 indicated that boys were 1.19 times more likely than girls to be identified as gifted and included in gifted programs [1]. The early literature on giftedness, dominated by male authors, focused largely on mathematical and scientific manifestations of giftedness, and had a highly misogynistic character.  Subsequent research and expanded definitions of giftedness have made significant changes in these views and encouraged a more diverse population that will enrich others and allow gifted females to excel and reach their full potential. Even though most people have some degree of emotional intelligence (EI), EI studies have shown that females demonstrate a higher degree of EI than males do [2]. Barriers to gifted women achieving their full potential are both external and internal— societal and psychological. Recent literature features significant studies by female gifted education specialists, and has been valuable in its stress on leadership, learning, and providing professional insight in narrowing the gender gap and facilitating a stronger female presence [3].   The goal of the present study is to synthesize data on gender differences in gifted identification and programs. The research reviewed addressed males and females in a variety of dimensions of cognitive giftedness, but most frequently those related to manifesting quantitative gifts. Recommendations for reducing gender bias include encouraging girls to participate in gifted programs, mentoring, and using multiple assessment criteria to identify gifted students.



Intellectually gifted and talented education females



[1] Petersen, J. Gender differences in identification of gifted youth and in gifted program participation: A meta-analysis, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 38, Issue 4, 2013, 342-348, ISSN 0361-476X.

[2] Joseph, D.L. & Newman, D.A. (2010). Emotional intelligence in an integrative meta-analysis and cascading model. Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 95 (1), 54-78.…

[3] Kerr, B. A., Multon, K. D. (2015). The development of gender identity, gender roles, and gender relations in gifted students. Journal of Counseling & Development, 93, 183-191.


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