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Intellectual Disability: Gender and Sex Differences

Intellectual disability (ID) is a disorder that occurs during the developmental period and is defined by deficits in intellectual and adaptive functioning. Prior to discussing sex and gender differences among individuals with ID, the terms sex and gender need to be clearly defined. Sex refers to the biological status of an individual, which is indicated by gonads and internal and external reproductive organs (i.e., female or male). Gender refers to a culture’s attitudes and feelings toward a person’s biological sex (i.e., man or woman). This entry focuses on differences in prevalence rates and cognitive functioning between males and females with ID and differences in adaptive functioning, psychopathology, and challenging behavior among men and women with ID.

Prevalence

The prevalence of ID is higher among males than ...

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