Special features of girls with AACC or giftedness

Special features of girls with AACC or giftedness

Numerous statistical data have been written that refer to the role of women and in particular girls, within these programs of AACC detection. Apparently there are important differences between the cases of boys and girls, the percentage of the latter being much lower, both in diagnosis or evaluation, and in their participation in specific enrichment programs.


  • 1 Theories about the lack of diagnosis of female AACC
  • 2 The differences between boys and girls
  • 3 How to help girls with AACC at school

Theories about the lack of diagnosis of female AACC

There are numerous theories that try to offer an explanation in this regard, among them we highlight those of Pérez (1996) (in Pérez P., Domínguez, 2001):

The conflicts between talent and femininity

The existence of a stereotyped perception of female and male roles in our society. This social pressure, makes girls tend to settle for a female role that leads them to decrease their own selfconcept. This circumstance can also lead them to a change in their attributions of success or failure, reaching their successes to external factors such as luck and ease of the task, and failures to internal factors such as their own ability.

Pressures and social stereotypes of equals and superiors

There are several studies conducted with students from American universities, which have found that only 18% of the boys expected their wives to have full-time professions, and 57% did not expect their wives to work outside the home after having children. Among the girls, the opinions were not too different; 30% expected to have a part-time profession or an interruption of the profession to care for the family, and 25% did not expect to work outside the home after having children. When both gifted boys and girls were asked, why fewer women than men follow math or engineering careers, more than 75%, both boys and girls, responded that the problem was in family responsibilities.

The contradictory messages of the education system

Although there is the conviction of the need for a non-sexist education, there is still a "long tradition" in education that is reflected from the academic material itself to the differentiated treatment.

The lack of female models in the scientific and technical fields

There are also numerous works that have corroborated that girls with AACC do not usually choose a career they do not know, or with which they fail to identify. Although many young women are attracted to a profession, they end up becoming interested in their sex roles. It is a recognized social fact that there are far fewer women in leadership positions than men, so that the problem of roles and models is clear.

As we can see, the situation that high-capacity women and girls go through is a social reflection of what is still happening with the role of women today. However, we cannot deny that lately there has been a remarkable advance in the field of equality.

The differences between boys and girls

In general, although both sexes can obtain a good academic performance and value positively the attendance to specific enrichment programs, there are more girls who tend to abandon such programs. It is also usually that there are still more boys detected than girls.

In addition, on many occasions the differences are further accentuated in the period of adolescence, as it is a stage in which girls seek to go unnoticed among their peers to a greater extent than boys. There have been many cases and situations in which the expectations of society regarding sexual roles have been very marked and have been decisive, which often causes a decrease in the self-esteem and self-concept of these girls, causing a marked decrease of his intellectual effort.

According to Pérez and Domínguez (2000), there are other features related to the different sexual roles in adolescence:

  • Girls tend to be better than boys when using learning strategies, which does not mean that it is linked to academic success or brilliant performance. One possible explanation offered by these authors is that teachers may plan and design their activities thinking more about male interests and motivations than female ones.
  • In the element as prominent in this type of student body as it is creativity, girls usually surpass boys, especially in graphic ability and fantasy.
  • The girls show a greater degree of indecision when choosing a path professionally and, in many cases, this choice is clearly influenced by sexual stereotypes.
  • Girls in the adolescence stage usually present more personality problems (distrust, guilt ...)

How to help girls with AACC at school

Jiménez (2000) offers a series of suggestions for school practice, with the aim of helping them to reflect on the principles, stereotypes, attitudes and expectations of teachers, students and centers:

  1. Avoid biases, stereotypes and conflicting messages in the education of these children, from the type of teaching material used, through the messages that are sent, classroom interactions, level of expectations, confidence in abilities to the information given about the reality of men and women. From the family, the same educational opportunities should also be offered, so that the daughters do not look more occupied in the domestic tasks than the boys, equally support the ideas of the children, involve them equally in the family plans and break with old schemes that Do not respond to reality.
  2. Promote good mentoring and guidance, basic instruments for Self-knowledge and knowledge of the other, professional planning, career choice, conflict resolution, life choices. From these two areas, highly gifted girls should be encouraged to participate in situations with intellectual risk such as scientific competitions, assumption of institutional responsibilities. On many occasions, the models or information received from the family, as well as social and labor circumstances, will facilitate or interfere with the future decisions of the girls.
  3. Develop thinking habits that help them learn to think and work, the figure of the mentor, professional models and psychological support can show students, naturally, the secrets of their work in a very stimulating way to develop self-confidence, especially in girls since they need special support to decide on academic and professional goals of high intellectual risk.
  4. The school organization plays a very important role in the student's educational response. The flexible grouping is a very good measure provided that the offer of subjects, mastery of technologies, mathematics ... are taken into account, likewise, to organize scientific activities with models of both sexes, to recover activities by genders of the past showing achievements of eminent women ignored or condemned to marginalize.
  5. Prestige well done male and female work equally. We must not discredit the typically feminine careers, maintain the achievements and stimulate excellence in the chosen field, be it typical of one or another gender. It is very important to raise awareness on the part of parents, teachers, counselors and education managers of the phenomena that occur in the professional world when women access traditionally masculine fields, whether or not they are highly capable.


ÁLVAREZ, B. (2000): High capacity students. Identification and educational intervention. Witch Madrid.

JIMÉNEZ, A. and LOU, M.A. (1998): Educational needs of the gifted child. In Lou, M.A. and López, N .: Psychopedagogical bases of special education. Madrid: Pyramid.

PÉREZ, L. (1993): School failure in high-capacity students. In Y. Benito (Ed.) Intervention and psychoeducational research in gifted students. (pp. 281-289). Salamanca: Amarú.

PÉREZ, L. (1995): The counseling and vocational guidance of the gifted. In, Rivas, F. (Ed.), Vocational Guidance Manual. Madrid: Synthesis.

PEREZ L., (2006) Students with Superior Capacity. Experiences of educational intervention. Madrid. Editorial Synthesis.

PÉREZ, L. BADOS, A. and BELTRÁN, J.A. (1997): The adventure of thinking and solving problems. Support program for high capacity students. Madrid: Synthesis (3 Vols)