Growing up and apart: Gender divergences in a Chicagoland elementary school
PublisherCambridge University Press
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A characteristic of children’s social orders is gender segregation. When children can choose, girls play more with girls and boys with boys. This begins around age three and peaks in later childhood. If children separate into same-gender groups, their interactions across the gender line will not be as frequent as those with members of the same sex. Following on Bloomfield’s assertion (1933:46) that “density of communication” results in the “most important differences of speech” within a community, I predict that differences will increasingly emerge between girls and boys. I test this using two sociolinguistic variables, (dh) and (ing), in the English spoken by children in an elementary school. The prediction is supported. Results contribute to research into language socialization and the acquisition of gendered linguistic expression.