Significantly more males than females are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is consistent within all research, information and statistics about ADHD, across all age groups. We’d like to understand why male ADHD diagnosis rates are higher. Is ADHD more prevalent in boys and men than in girls and women? Or is it that ADHD symptoms are not as recognisable in females than males? Could it also be that ADHD is underdiagnosed in women because of social perceptions and stereotypes?
We will examine the symptomatic ADHD gender differences that may account for this discrepancy, and use these symptoms to consider why the male ADHD diagnosis rate is higher.
Types of ADHD
To understand the symptoms of ADHD, first of all, we need to understand the different types of ADHD.
There are three main categories of ADHD:
1) Hyperactive/Impulsive Type
Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity but not inattention.
2) Inattentive Type
Symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity (previously called ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder).
3) Combination Type
Symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.
Someone can have any type of ADHD regardless of gender. However, boys and men tend to display more hyperactive and impulsive behaviour while girls and women are more likely to have inattentive ADHD. But it’s not just about whether someone has hyperactive or inattentive symptoms, there are some symptomatic and behavioural differences that often seem to be determined by gender.
ADHD Symptoms By Gender
While ADHD presents differently in everyone, there are similar patterns that emerge between people of the same gender.