Ever wondered if age had an effect on if someone stuttered? Do more men stutter? Do men outgrow stutters more than women do?
Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!
Today’s blog is going to be the second blog in the Stuttering in Mainstream Media series. This blog is going to cover whether age and gender have an impact on if a person stutters or not. It is very important to understand what stuttering is and how it affects different people before we start looking at how stutters are covered in mainstream Media as it allows us to go in with a more balanced view.
I wasn’t originally going to go into the contributing factors in this series but after a few questions asked in the last blog by Sarah Chorley on our Facebook page (thank you for the feedback and the questions!). I am more than happy to tailor what content is covered in each of these blogs to what you all want to see so if you have any ideas or thoughts on what you would like me to cover then please get in touch!
Gender is surprisingly one of the largest factors to look at when finding the difference in people who stutter. I originally didn’t think gender had an influence on people having a stutter but the facts tell a completely different story. An article by The Stuttering Association called On the Gender Factor in Stuttering, can be found here: https://www.stutteringhelp.org/gender-factor-stuttering, provides an in-depth view on how gender and a few factors do have an effect on if a person stutters or not.
What I really like about this article is that it talks about gender differences in the number of people stuttering in different generations. it allows us to look at the factors of gender and age at the same time. The first statistic we are going to be looking at is the difference between male and females at primary school age. The article tells us that there is a difference between the genders, providing us with a male-to-female ratio of 2:1 for children in primary school.
This difference may seem very small but when we put it into context the numbers can be alarming. Let us use a class size of 30, 15 boys and 15 girls for an example. For this example, we are going to say that 5 girls in the class have a stutter. If 5 girls in the class have a stutter it means that 10 out of the 15 boys in the class have a stutter. The ratio shows us that for every 1 girl that has a stutter, theoretically speaking, 2 boys would have a stutter. This statistic is crazy and it just gets more interesting in older people.
The article tells us that for people who are older the male-to-female ratio increase to 4:1 or even greater. Putting this into a very basic example, if we have for every 100 females who have a stutter, there will be 400 or more men that will also have a stutter. This ratio of quadruple the difference between genders is really interesting and caught me completely off-guard.
There are even more alarming statistics in the article which you’re more than welcome to read from the link provided but the ones that surprise me is in regard to stutter recovery. Apparently, men are more likely to develop chronic stutters than women. This can be traced to several different factors. Start, the Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust, https://www.stuttering.co.nz/news/why-are-males-more-likely-to-stutter/, help provide us with a few different reasons behind the difference between men and women.
They explain to us that females are more likely to naturally outgrow their stutters compared to males. The reasons for this as well as the reasons behind men stuttering more than women have not been identified as of yet. It is a topic that is under research and each experiment and researcher has their own view and opinion. It is agreed by nearly all industry professionals that if you or anyone you know does suffer from a stutter then it is best if they seek professional help.
Professional help for stuttering can usually be good as it can help us locate the reason why we stutter and then we can work to combat it. The main problem arises when it comes down to which treatment style works for you. I will be doing a blog on different stuttering solutions in the future but I do have one up on the page already. The blog that I have already written about a stuttering solution is called Rhythmical Thinking and it can be found here: https://sweeneysblog.com/2019/02/07/rhythmical-thinking-a-stuttering-solution/. The blog talks about a coping technique I used, how it works and how it helped me. Give it a read if you haven’t already!
That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog! Thank you all for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed it! I will be in Rhodes from the 3rd-10th of July so I may be unable to respond to comments as quickly as I usually do. I will try to answer questions as quickly as I can but I will be on holiday so apologies if it takes a little bit longer.
What do you all think fo today’s blog? Did you think that age or gender had an influence on having a stutter before reading the blog? Has anything I have talked about in this blog surprised you? Why do you think men stutter more than women? Let me know what you think in the comments or on our Facebook page! If you have any ideas or thoughts for the future of the series too let me know!
Thank you all for reading and a big thanks for the continued support! Hope you all have a great week and I’ll see you in the next blog coming this Thursday!
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