Beyond analysis by gender: Overexcitability dimensions of sexually diverse populations and implications for gifted education

by Treat, Alena R., Ph.D., INDIANA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 147 pages; 3344606

Abstract:

Researchers have found all five overexcitabilities to be stronger among gifted individuals but gifted gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) students frequently find themselves in a dilemma in which they must choose between academic success and social acceptance. The emotional impact of that dilemma may be heightened significantly for them. Schools have been unresponsive to the needs of gifted GLB students and lack of understanding of these sexually diverse gifted students has only contributed to their challenges. Therefore, I explored this general question: What, if any, differences among the dimensions of overexcitability are related to sexual orientation, giftedness, and/or gender?

Requests for participants containing a URL for an online survey were distributed through education, gifted, diversity, and GLBT listservs at eleven geographically-dispersed colleges/universities and via MENSA e-mail lists/newsletters. Quantitative research methods were utilized to study variations in which 965 heterosexual, gay, and bisexual individuals possessed overexcitability characteristics as measured by the Overexcitability Questionnaire II. Gender role was measured with the Bem Sex Role Inventory.

The Gifted, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Main Effects were significant, but more importantly, these results were more fully explained by the significant Gender by Sexual Orientation Interaction. Gender Role did not affect the results. Heterosexual males had significantly higher mean Intellectual scores than heterosexual females; heterosexual females had significantly higher mean Emotional scores than heterosexual males; bisexual females scored significantly higher than heterosexual females in Sensual, Imaginational, and Intellectual.; gay males scored significantly higher than heterosexual males in Emotional; and there were no significant differences in Psychomotor for any subpopulation. Other statistically significant results as well as unexpected results were described. In addition, included were implications for (1) Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration and (2) gifted education.

AdvisersDavid J. Flinders; Stephanie A. Sanders
SchoolINDIANA UNIVERSITY
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsSpecial education; Curriculum development; Gender studies
Publication Number3344606

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