Gender Differences in the Communications of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities The existence and impact of gender-linked behavior has been an important, if controversial, area of study for over 20 years. Do females and males behave in systematically different ways? One particularly active area is that of language and communication. Do males and females show gender-linked language patterns? If so, ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 1999
Gender Differences in the Communications of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Krista Wilkinson
    Emerson College, Boston
    E. K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, Woltham, MA
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 1999
Gender Differences in the Communications of Individuals With Developmental Disabilities
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 1999, Vol. 8, 6-8. doi:10.1044/aac8.4.6
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, December 1999, Vol. 8, 6-8. doi:10.1044/aac8.4.6
The existence and impact of gender-linked behavior has been an important, if controversial, area of study for over 20 years. Do females and males behave in systematically different ways? One particularly active area is that of language and communication. Do males and females show gender-linked language patterns? If so, what are the functional/adaptive effects of using gender-specific language patterns? What are the implications, if any, of gender-linked language patterns when considering individuals with developmental disabilities, including those who might be candidates for augmented communication? In this article, I will describe recent research into the existence of gender-linked language patterns in individuals with mental retardation who use speech, as well as those who use some form of augmented language. Although studies of the adaptive implications of these findings have not yet been conducted, potential avenues will be identified that might be pursued given these findings.
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