by Michael Martin -
My first reaction to tackling the challenge of noting the gender differences in ADHD was to feel overwhelmed. The real challenge of this task is to take all the cargo on a supertanker and somehow put it in the back of a pickup truck. Daunting to say the least.
To begin with, how do I distill the myriad of learning styles into something remotely “succinct” for want of a better word. And then what do we do with the almost infinite complexity of human personality? If we take just these two factors, let’s say we can boil learning styles down to a dozen types. What about personality? While typologies such as the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) distill personality down to a handful of neat types, modern research shows clearly that personality is far more complex than anything developed before the advent of computers and mathematical and statistical models.
So, just working with learning styles and personality and without much effort we get a matrix of twelve learning styles by, oh, let’s say sixteen personality traits. And we have to cross multiply every personality trait by every personality trait to get to all the combinations. Twelve by sixteen by sixteen is a pretty big number. And each and every cell in that matrix is unique and has special characteristics. Makes you want to quit before you even get started. Remember, we haven’t even added in the various types or presentations of ADHD. Then we’re going to suggest multiplying our already 12 x 16 x 16 matrix by two, assuming there are two primary gender types. And there are those who will even challenge that assumption. The point is we now have a 12 x 16 x 16 x 2 matrix, without considering they various ways of categorizing ADHD. And that’s a simple model!
I say all that as preamble, not just to dump a bunch of words on a page, but to prepare you for the enormous complexity of dealing with human behavior in general and ADHD in particular. You see, the major diagnostic tool used by treatment professionals (the DSM-whatever) presents only three types of ADHD, and that’s not even subdivided by gender.
Read more at Girls and Women With ADHD.