Masculinity-femininity traits of gifted children

Lewis Terman (ed.), Genetic Studies of Genius: The Promise of Youth: Follow-Up Studies of a Thousand Gifted Children, Stanford University Press, 1930, 161

Boys who have been too much mothered usually show as characteristically feminine in their [Masculinity-Femininity] test responses, and girls who have been excessively fathered usually test decidedly masculine.  Such influences are probably sufficiently potent in some cases to be major determinants of the interests and attitudes which characterize an individual throughout life, affecting sexual and other forms of social behavior and the choice of vocational and avocational pursuits.  There have been many historical characters whose personalities revealed more or less marked traces of inversion with respect to masculinity-femininity of mental attitudes.  Among those who have been so classed are Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Oscar Wilde, Queen Elizabeth, and George Sand.  There is no evidence that invert tendencies are significantly more common among men of genius than in the general male population, but there is reason to believe that the incidence may be higher for intellectually gifted women than for the general population.  The evidence suggests that there is at least a little bases for the exaggerated opinion quoted from Goncourt by Lombroso that “there are no women of genius; the women of genius are all men.”   Between men and women of genius sex differences in interests, attitudes, and thought trends are probably less extreme than they are for men and women of the generality, the approchement being due chiefly to the tendency of gifted women to vary from the norm toward masculinity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s