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Understanding the Root of the Gender War

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Boys, on the other hand, are exposed to strong tones and power-filled language and are handled less gently as they are tossed in the air and held upright from a younger age to demonstrate their power and strength (Rasquinha &amp. Mouly, 2005)

Maltz and Borker (1982) proposed the Sociolinguistic Subculture Approach. They explain that boys and girls grow up in essentially different talk subcultures resulting from the differing expectations parents and peers direct toward them about acceptable ways to talk. As early as two years of age, children classify themselves and other people as belonging to one of two genders. By age three, girls develop skills at talking earlier than boys and these talking skills are utilized to explore relationships with others. They are more likely than boys to deploy language strategies that demonstrate attentiveness, responsiveness, and support (Leaper, 1991). They develop intimate relationships by selecting a “best friend” and use language to find common ground with that friend. Boys at the same age are not as verbal. They use more strategies that demand attention, give orders, and establish dominance (Leaper, 1991). They engage in group activities with other boys and test out their ‘high’ and ‘low’ status roles: “I’m the leader”, “you follow me”, etc. They establish positions among the group and they are apparently louder, more physical and less verbal than girls (Rasquinha &amp. Mouly, 2005).

transition to middle childhood, interaction strategies become more gender-differentiated. Whereas girls become more competent in collaborative strategies, boys stick to their reliance on domineering influence strategies.

Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics, theorized that as adults, men and women reproduce such behavior patterns. Men engage in one up strategies to position themselves in groups&nbsp.and women use talk to build harmonious relationships with each other (Rasquinha &amp. Mouly, 2005).&nbsp.&nbsp.