Gender Representation in Special Education Essay example

Gender Representation in Special Education Essay example

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Since the early 1990s numerous studies have found an overrepresentation of males, and underrepresentation of females in special education, yet until recently, research was not done to understand the cause for this outcomes. There are 14 different disability categories that are defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), that states use in order to define a disability and decide who is eligible for a free and appropriate public education under special education law. High incidence disabilities are disabilities that are high in prevalence such as Behavior and Emotional Disorders (EBD) and Learning Disability, which fall within the categories from IDEA regulations. These are the disabilities in which researches have found the highest discrepancies between referral and admission of males and females to special education programs. According to Rice (2008), girls with emotional disturbance make up 15% to 25% of all identified children and adolescents with disabilities, while it has been found that males make up 73.4% and 76.4% for learning and emotional disabilities (Wehmeyer, 2001).
Researchers have done studies in order to find why there is a great difference between the identification of high incidence disabilities of males and females, finding three possible explanations. The first explanation is biological differences between males and females. The second reason is gender bias on referral and admission to special education services. The third explanation is difference in the exhibition of behavior problems between the two sexes. By further studying these possibilities, we can begin to find different approaches to identifying and referring students for special education services, specifically fo...

... middle of paper ...

...vioral disabilities." Education and treatment of children
31(4):549-565. Retrieved from on Apr 10, 2014

Sciutto, Mark J, Cara Nolfi, and Carla Bluhm. 2004 "Effects of child gender and symptom type
on referrals for adhd by elementary school teachers." Journal of emotional n behavioral
disorders and behavioral disorders 12(4):247-253. Retrieved from on Apr 10, 2014

Wehmeyer, Michael L. 2001 "Disproportionate representation of males in special education
services: biology, behavior, or bias?." Education & treatment of children (ETC) 24(1):28
. Retrieved from on Apr 10, 2014

Young, Ellie L, Hilda Sabbah, Benjamin Youn, Matthew Reiser, and Michael Richardson. 2010
"Gender differences and similarities in a screening process for emotional and behavioral
risks in secondary schools." Journal of emotional and behavioral disorders 18(4):225
235. Retrieved from on Apr 10, 2014

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