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J Learn Disabil. 2005 Mar-Apr;38(2):109-29.

Male vulnerability to reading disability is not likely to be a myth: a call for new data.

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  • 1Brain, Behavior and Cognition Program, Boston University, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

Whether boys are more vulnerable than girls to reading disabilities (RD) is controversial. We review studies that were designed to minimize ascertainment bias in the selection of individuals with RD. These include population-based studies that identified children with RD by objective, unbiased methods and studies that examined the gender ratios among the affected relatives of those diagnosed with RD. We conclude that even when ascertainment biases are minimized, there is still a significant preponderance of boys with RD, although the gender ratio of the affected relatives of those with RD manifests the weakest male bias. Furthermore, we demonstrate that potentially confounding factors such as attentional or neurological problems, race, IQ, and severity of RD cannot account for the observed gender bias. We end with a clarion call to future researchers to (a) consider analyzing gender differences by means of more than one definition of RD, (b) compare gender ratios when boys and girls are ranked against the performance of their own gender as opposed to an average across genders, and (c) report group differences in variability and effect sizes of obtained gender ratios.

PMID:
15813594
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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