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Journal Article: Are gifted girls motivationally disadvantaged? Review, reflection, and redirection

Journal Article » Are gifted girls motivationally disadvantaged? Review, reflection, and redirection


Academic Achievement Motivation, Disadvantaged, Gifted, Human Sex, Differences


Dai, David Yun


2002, Sum


Over the past 2 decades, much research on gifted girls has revolved around the issue of whether they, compared to gifted boys, are motivationally disadvantaged in achievement settings. While research and anecdotal evidence seems to support this hypothesis, most recent educational statistics show the closing of the gender gap. In this article, the literature is reviewed and critiqued as to the existence of alleged gender differences, as well as task and social conditions, and putative internal motivational processes that potentially explain these differences. Then, several possible explanations for the apparently conflicting evidence are discussed, and a feminist critique of the gender-differences research and inherent biases and hidden assumptions is presented. In light of emergent evidence and new insights, several research strategies are suggested that can potentially address and redress some of the problems in research efforts to understand what are the motivational issues concerning gifted girls and how to help them achieve their potential in their educational and career development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA ) (journal abstract)