Tannen's Film: "He Said, She Said"

Essay by melimu78College, UndergraduateA, September 2007

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In Tannen’s film, she describes the children’s behavior to be diverse between boys and girls at a young age. She did a test where she had a couple of five year old kids of the same sex sitting in a quiet, isolated room with just chairs in it, so that they had no choice but to talk to one another, because there were no distractions like entertainment, e.g. videogames or television. She conducted the same experiment with ten year olds and fifteen year olds, also of the same sex. In her experiment, she found the girls to be more social with each other than the boys were.

During this experiment, the girls were facing each other the whole time and talking and laughing, telling stories. The boys were kind of just sitting there, not facing each other, barely talking. There was clearly a difference in their behaviorism in those situations.

The older kids were not any different compared to their younger versions. The boys at fifteen years of age were a little more vocal with each other, but not looking in each other’s faces. The girls on the other hand were.

After watching this experiment in the film, I wanted to see for myself how children interact with each other, under these similar circumstances. I took my three year old niece for a walk at the playground by my house, at the elementary school to begin my observation. These were latchkey kids that I was taking notes on. The boys’ ages ranged from about five to eleven years old. Although the ages had quite a gap, their behavior wasn’t all that different. They didn’t really have personal conversations. They were mainly focused on throwing the ball and catching and kicking it. The only comments I was really aware of...