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Boys And Girls And ADHD (Rated “R”)

Good old School Days
Good old School Days

It’s okay, I have my own rating system, “R” is for Relax, the kids can read this.
And it’s not that I couldn’t write a post that would fit in with the more standard “R” rating, we have that libido thing going on. We’re good people … we’re just really impulsive and often make bad decisions and want instant gratification and … well, it’s hard to complain about it, but we could be a little less aggressive in our pursuits of physical happiness.

But wait.Like I said, that’s not what I was writing about. I could write about it … but I’m not.

I could also be writing about the difference in ADHD in boys and ADHD in girls.

We all have our own set of symptoms pulled in a seemingly random way from a grab bag labeled “ADHD: Get your favorite symptoms before they’re all gone!” And some of us have a symptom mix that seems more appropriate for the opposite gender.

But hold on, That’s not really what I’m writing about either. I could write about that, but I’m not.

And from the “out of left field” file …

What I’m writing about is this, there are more women teaching school than there are men. And, apparently, those teachers who are women, are determining acceptable behavior based on their own experience. (I swear there was a study on this, or a news story or something, and I’m trying to find a citation for it, but in the mean time, just go with me here, won’t you?)

So this study or story suggests that boys are more likely to be assessed as behaving inappropriately because the teacher is more likely to be a woman and not as familiar with the normal behavior of a boy.

And the thing, the story or study that I’m referring to (rather unprofessionally, I must admit) goes on to say that the behavior that gets boys singled out is disruptive types of behavior.

What’s my point?

Wait a minute, that’s the kind of behavior that will get you diagnosed with ADHD, or at least sent for an assessment. It’s also a behavior that is more “normal” for boys than for girls. I don’t know why we’re like that, I can only speak for myself and say I kind of like the attention.

And ADHD is still diagnosed more often in boys than in girls. Do you suppose that the rate of diagnosis of girls might be higher in classes taught by male teachers? Now there’s a study that I’d like to see done.

The active ones stand out

Okay, it’s true that the “typical” male ADHD symptom set is more likely to garner attention in any circumstance, but this is an additional consideration in my opinion. I spent many a school class staring out the window, lost in thought about anything but my lessons. I have atypical, non-gender specific ADHD symptoms in that I have just about every one of them. Even the symptoms that conflict I take in turns. I probably should be in a science museum, creating random piles, starting fun projects, staring out of windows, and self medicating in some interactive display.

So what does this mean?

But what I started out talking about was the addition, in my mind, of another possible skew in ADHD diagnosis. It may not be valid, but it’s worth looking into, don’t you think?

So why are so many more boys than girls diagnosed with ADHD in school? Good question, right?

Boys And Girls And ADHD (Rated “R”)

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2013). Boys And Girls And ADHD (Rated “R”). Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2018, from


Last updated: 24 Jun 2013
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Jun 2013
Published on All rights reserved.