100th anniversary of International (Gifted) Women’s Day

A 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day cannot but be mentioned !

Giftedness is even a more sensible issue for women than for men…

Very serious studies show that men and women have not the same type of intelligence.  And female intelligence does not (yet !)  meet the male intelligence standards which partly explains the glass ceiling effect.

Here an example of differences in intelligence between men and women in  chess players

Francis Heylighen’s study (“Characteristics and Problems of the Gifted: neural propagation depth and flow motivation as a model of intelligence and creativity”) also mentions more precisely (last § ofpage 16)  what makes female and males intelligences different, reminding that all this finds its roots in ancient times when our ancestors where still living in caves.

Kathleen Noble is a psychologist who works with gifted.

In an article by Douglas Eby (“Entitled to be exceptional” – Talent develop) “She points out that primary religious and secular myths, including stories from Beowulf to the Brothers Grimm to Disney, idealize women “for their modesty, beauty, chastity, piety, obedience and selfless performance of domestic duties” and perpetuate stereotypes that make it “extremely difficult for women to be seen as strong, resourceful, courageous, and real, the ingredients of true heroic stature.

[…] gifted women, according to a number of sources, are more acutely sensitive to fitting in with social expectations, and may engage in a denial of their capabilities, experience difficulty in embracing their talents and have a compromised sense of entitlement to be exceptional.”

Francis Heylighen reports an anecdoct pointed by a searcher in a study published in 2006 : Clark tales about a highly gifted girl who considered herself as being stupid compared to her class since she was asking so much questions…

In an “Interview with Douglas Eby” Kathleen Noble witnesses : The starting point is always self-awareness, which is not narcissism. And for gifted women, that absolutely includes the recognition of giftedness, because most women who are gifted, as you well know, think they’re freaks, and feel horribly different — isolated, alienated, ostracized, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ “

In “Entitled to be exceptional” (by Douglas Eby) she then precises : “There comes a moment in each quest cycle where a woman finds herself poised on the brink of transformation… the pivotal decision to embark upon an extraordinary journey of self-discovery… each quester who wins her way through to the portal of transformation must discard some part of herself in order to create a larger self and give birth to her own possibilities.”

Douglas Eby reports (Entitled to be exceptional) : “Psychologist Matina Horner, in a 1969 report on her doctoral dissertation research, identified what came to be called the Horner Effect, or Fear od Success Syndrome : that women characteristically under-achieve when competing against men.

In her book “Smart Girls” Barbara Kerr notes that this pattern may have lessened in the past twenty years, but “the Horner Effect may still live on in girls’ and women’s tendencies to negotiate and avoid conflict or competition when friendship or intimacy is at stake…

“Since they are astute, gifted girls become sensitive to the conflicts for women in competitive situations much earlier than average girls do… Terman’s studies show gifted girls and women have an even stronger need to please others than average women do.”

There must be social changes as well as individual evolutions. How many gifted women are embarassed recognizing their competences … because it is immodest (while modesty IS a female quality…)

With an increasing age of retirement, it become more important that gifted women may liberate their talent !

Reference Sites:

Kathleen Noble , interview by Douglas Eby.

K Noble is the author of «  Remarkable Women – Perspectives on Female Talent Development »

Gifted Women: Identity and Expression – by Douglas Eby –

Gifted Girls to Gifted Women : A presentation (in 67 slides) in order to see of gifted girls evolve into gifted adolescents and gifted women, barriers to achievement, self-limitations and special needs.

Hoagies Gifted : Gifted Issues with other numerous references and redirection towards other articles


* + Title = Full texts

Around Terman


* The Lifelong Productivity of Terman’s Original Women Researchers by Rogers, Karen B.

Bios of 5 female searchers  : Florence Fuller, Helen Marshall, Dorothy Hazelton Yates, Florence Goodenough, and Catharine Morris Cox (Miles).

The Lifelong Productivity of the Female Researchers in Terman’s Genetic Studies of Genius Longitudinal Study by Rogers, Karen B.

Bios of 30 female searchers.

It All Began with Leta Hollingworth: The Story of Giftedness in Women by Silverman, Linda Kreger





>>>>>> General Observation : What have gifted girls become ?

Actualized Women: Studying Accomplishments of Highly Able Women by Hansen, Jan B.; Hall, Eleanor

Life span study on 167 gifted woman aged 45 to 70


Career and Lifestyle Determinants of Gifted Women by Rodenstein, Judith M.; Glickauf-Hughes

Survey of 200 gifted women on a 10 year period.


A Developmental Investigation of the Lives of Gifted Women by Fox, Lynn H.; And Others.

Survey of 554 gifted women between 1910’s and 1980’s


An Intergenerational Study of Three Gifted Women: Obstacles and Challenges Confronting Women of High Potential by Bizzari, Janice C


Conversation with Emma by Belle Wallace

Show sensitivities, anxiety and counseling needs.

* Gender and Giftedness by Barbara Kerr & Megan Foley Nipcon



Gifted Girls Grow Up by Betty A. Walker and Tina Freeland



Gifted Women Scientists: Voices of Mothers and Daughters by Handel, Ruth D.

Influence of scientific mothers on their daughter’s choice of a scientific career.


Lifetime Achievement Patterns, Retirement and Life Satisfaction of Gifted Aged Women by Holahan, Carole Kovalic


The Relationship of Lifetime Achievement Patterns to Life Goals, Activity Participation, Health, and Well-Being among Gifted Aged Women by Holahan, Carole K.


The Relationship between Life Goals at Thirty and Perceptions of Goal Attainment and Life Satisfaction at Seventy for Gifted Men and Women by Holahan, Carole K.


* Similarities and Differences between Contemporary Women and Terman’s Gifted Women by Tomlinson-Keasey, Carol A.; Blurton, Elizabeth J.

A Tapestry of Values: Gifted Women Speak Out by Leroux, Janice A


Undergraduate Aspirations and Career Outcomes of Academically Talented Women: A Discriminant Analysis by Arnold, Karen D.




>>>>> Gifted Women in ethnic minorities

Gifted African American Women by Kitano, Margie K.

Gifted Asian American Women by Kitano, Margie K.

Gifted Latina Women by Kitano, Margie K.


Lessons from Gifted Women of Color by Margie K. Kitano

>>> Behaviours : Obstacles and Barreers to Gifted Women Life achievement

* Achievement Barriers of Gifted Young Women from Five Ethnic Groups By  Jo Beth Brizendine, Genevieve Brown, Ed.D. Beverly J. Irby, Dianne Reed,  Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, March 27, 2008, New York

* The Dilemma of the Gifted Woman by Noble, Kathleen D.




External Barriers Experienced by Gifted and Talented Girls and Women by Reis, Sally


Follow Your Dream: Gifted Women and the Cost of Success by Janice A. Leroux

* Gifted Girls – Many Gifted Girls, Few Eminent Women: Why? by Anita Gurian, Ph.D.

* Gifted Women What Happened to All the Gifted Girls? Northern County Psychiatric Associates – Maryland


* Internal Barriers, Personal Issues, and Decisions Faced by Gifted and Talented Females by Reis, Sally


Life Strategies of Five Wives, Mommies, and Scientists by Juanita Jo Matkins, Rhea Miles

* Passing through the Gates: Career Establishment of Talented Women Scientists by Subotnik, Rena F.; Arnold, Karen D.

* Why Are There So Few (Creative Women: Visual Artists, Mathematicians, Musicians)? by Piirto, Jane



Why Are There So Few Eminent Women? by Silverman, Linda Kreger


>>>> Counseling Gifted Women


Career Assessment for Gifted Girls and Women by Barbara Kerr


Career Counseling for Gifted Girls and Women by Kerr, Barbara A.

Career Development of Gifted and Talented Women by Fox, Lynn H.; And Others

Counseling Gifted Women: Becoming the Heroes of Our Own Stories by Noble, Kathleen

* Exceptionally Gifted Women in Vocational Training Stamm, Margrit; Niederhauser, Michael – 2008 – European Journal of Vocational Training, v45 n3 p109-120 2008.

* Gifted and Developmental Potential in Women and the Disadvantaged

* Gifted Girls by Drum, Jean, Ed.- Communicator, v22 n4 Sep 1992


Gifted Women and Marriage by Jan B. Hansen

* Gifted Women and Motherhood-A Workshop Model Paula Prober




International Gifted Women: Developing a Critical Human Resource by Kitano, Margie K.; Perkins, Carol O.

* Needed: Teachers to Encourage Girls in Math, Science, and Technology



* To Thine Own Self Be True: A New Model of Female Talent Development by Kathleen D. Noble, Rena F. Subotnik and Karen D. Arnold


* Transcending a Double Bind: The Case of Jenna by Hook, Misty K.; Ashton, Kathy


* Vocational Development for Gifted Girls_A comparison of Maslowian Needs of Gifted Males and Females between the ages of 10 and 17 years

* We Can’t Change What We Don’t Recognize: Understanding the Special Needs of Gifted Females Sally M. Reis – The University of Connecticut


8 thoughts on “100th anniversary of International (Gifted) Women’s Day

  1. Merci Cécile pour ce travail de recherche! Je suis parfois découragée de chercher, trier toutes les infos, c’est fastidieux. Mais là, c’est un coup de pouce énorme.

    1. merci Jeanne 🙂
      vous m’encouragez à ne pas lâcher – le temps et l’énergie sont deux ressources fort précieuses pour faire vivre un blog…

  2. Bonjour Cécile
    Je viens de relire votre page sur les femmes surdouées, elle date de 2011, alors mon livre « français » « Des femmes surdouées » de 2014 n’y figure pas ! pas encore. Je regarde de temps en temps votre site et je l’ai répertorié depuis longtemps sur mon site planetesurdoues.fr et votre livre est référencé dans mon livre. Je recherche des surdoués pour une étude. Je voudrais interroger des adultes à haut potentiel. J’ai mis une annonce sur mon site, pourriez-vous relayer l’annonce ? Je voudrais comprendre l’échec paradoxal de certains surdoués et explorer leur scolarité, notamment leur CP.
    merci beaucoup !

  3. I am deeply thankful in finding all this material. We need more role models in order to accept ourselves in the hard path of liberate our talents.

  4. oh la la, toutes références passionnantes ! va falloir réveiller mon anglais et secouer ma flemme !
    où trouves-tu le temps de faire toutes ces recherches biblio ?!
    chapeau et merci

  5. Voici une phrase qui me plait et que j’ai essayé d’expliquer maintes fois, notamment sur le chat du loup :

    “Si il doit y avoir pathologie chez ces femmes, c’est que cette pathologie trouve surtout ses racines dans le fait que ces femmes n’entrent pas dans les petites boîtes de définition des genres et des rôles.”

    Société, si tu nous entends…

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