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Gender Differences in Behavior and Development During Schooling

  • Post category:Disorders
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Cowardice and Timidity

Among our respondents, cowardice occurs equally often in both sexes at the beginning of schooling. During further development, this disorder is somewhat lost in boys, remains equally common in girls, or even shows a tendency to become more common as girls get older. Therefore, the difference between the sexes in the frequency of timidity is greater the older the children.

The gradual decline in cowardice in older boys is obviously a consequence of their increasingly successful adaptation to the environment as they get older. Girls are by nature more adaptable than boys, and yet their adaptation is less successful and they are less and less successful as they get older. The reason for this seems to be the upbringing of female children which is still more conservative and stricter than the upbringing of boys.

As boys are given more freedom and more opportunities for initiative as they get older, girls are more constrained and hampered in the free affirmation of personality as they get closer to puberty. Probably because of this, their timidity does not subside, but becomes even more intense.

Cowardice is a direct expression of low self-esteem; and nothing deprives man so much of confidence in himself as the impossibility of experiencing his individuality.

Withdrawal and Distraction

Withdrawal is manifested in boys to the same extent until the onset of puberty. From that moment on, their withdrawal shows a tendency to increase. In girls, we notice such an increase in withdrawal earlier, from the age of ten. This phenomenon can be understood as a psychological reflection of physiological changes in early puberty.

Distraction of children of both sexes shows a slight increase. It is more common in boys than in girls.

Non-independence and Negligence

Non-independence is equally common in all children at all ages. Apparently, with the growth of the child, the negative educational influences that make him dependent do not subside. That is why it does not get rid of that property, even if it becomes more mature and experienced.

It is a well-known fact that girls prefer to learn than boys, that they are more ambitious and conscientious in solving tasks at school. This is also shown by our data. The incidence of negligence rises sharply in older boys, both in the city and in the countryside; in girls it shows quite a slight increase.

Disruption of Classes and Aggression

The older the children, the greater the demands of the school. Girls adapt to these requirements relatively easily, so their ambition in the upper grades only slightly subsides. Boys react much more sensitively to higher loads. This is where their greater aggressiveness, defiance and at the same time less interest in learning are manifested.

Perhaps the significant difference between male and female children in the frequency of negligence in older ages is also contributed by the more frequent pampering of male children. On average, boys have fewer work habits than their peers, are more comfortable, are more accustomed to being served, are less accustomed to overcoming difficulties, are reluctant to take responsibility, are less persistent in their work, and have a weaker sense of commitment to the environment.

All this can be the reason that with age, ie with the difficulty of the tasks, their negligence grows sharply, as well as the tendency to avoid classes.

And the frequency of disruption of classes is different in boys and girls with increasing age. While the female curve oscillates slightly around the same values, the male curve rises sharply. We can interpret this phenomenon in the same way as the course of the frequency of negligence and avoidance of teaching. In no behavior disorder are the differences between the sexes as great as here.

This becomes understandable when one considers that the disruption of teaching is an expression of those personality traits by which boys differ most from girls. They are much more likely to be restless, impulsive and undisciplined. Girls are by nature more calm-minded, their reactions are softer and milder, they accept school discipline more easily.

Irritability and Hypersensitivity

Greater ambition of girls, even when it is excessive and turns into unhealthy behavior, is manifested among our respondents. While in boys greed is equally weak throughout schooling as an expression of their average low interest in learning, in girls at the beginning of schooling they encounter a slightly larger number of overly ambitious children. But in the further course of schooling, as early as the age of 10, their greed declines and is soon equated with that of a boy.

Boys prefer to defy educators than girls. The advanced age of the child brings more and more conflicts with educators, and even more aggression.

Irritability is a typical and very general symptom of neuroticism that speaks to a child’s reduced frustration tolerance. Because boys are more prone than girls to neurotic behavior, they are always ahead of their girlfriends in the frequency of irritability. But the frequency of this neurotic symptom increases in parallel in both sexes.

Old-fashioned Behavior and Lying

Going to school puts a child’s ability to adapt in a difficult temptation. Probably a source of a sudden increase in hypersensitivity reactions in the first years of schooling. But a longer stay in school enables the child to more and more successfully adapt to the school environment, so he reacts with less and less sensitivity to greater or lesser injuries of his personality to which he is exposed in the class collective.

The school supports too serious behavior of an old child, so it does not give in when the child becomes more mature. But advances in age and new life burdens do not act as a direct factor in the emergence of old rule. That is why it does not become more frequent with the advanced age of the child. There is no significant difference in the occurrence of old-fashioned behavior between male and female children.

Lying is becoming more common as children get older. An increase in children’s life experiences seems to contribute to this, along with their maturation.

Childhood Neuroses and Stuttering

All typical childhood neuroses subside somewhat with the approach of puberty. It also happens with stuttering. In puberty itself, until it grows into adolescence, stuttering again becomes a somewhat more common occurrence, probably because the child sometimes finds himself in a mental crisis. It can cause a recurrence of neurosis for a while, which had already subsided in previous years, and even disappeared completely.

Beating and Speech Formation

With advancing age, those cases of beating that are an expression of a milder retardation of the child in intellectual development also disappear. In older childhood, only those cases that are the result of impaired hearing or severe mental retardation lag behind. The higher frequency of beatings in male children is a consequence of the somewhat weaker disposition of boys for proper speech formation.