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LoyalaTheAargh t1_iz1ewpe wrote

I'll summarise what I read in the article. The study found that girls and boys talk the same amount and start talking at about the same age, and that apparently parents don't talk more to girls than boys. They still don't know why girls have larger vocabularies. What they did find out is that parents talk more often to their children after their children start talking, regardless of the gender of their child.


em_are_young t1_iz22ghi wrote

Could it be that the “chattiest few hours of each recording” are not different for boys and girls but there are differences in the less chatty hours that accumulate to larger differences over time? Seems like the easiest explanation to me.


garbage-pale-kid t1_iz37cok wrote

I wonder if it's related to the physical differences in what boys vs girls are allowed to experience. At least in my life, I saw and see little girls who are made to sit, be careful. I knew girls who couldn't ride bikes and girls who had to wear skirts, which are limiting, physically. They're also treated as more fragile than boys, and altogether that would give them more time to think about things and develop in that aspect.

While boys who run, play, ride bikes, and are more allowed to play rough would spend more time on that aspect of development. Just a theory.


em_are_young t1_iz39agi wrote

This study suggests girls pick up language better even though they aren’t practicing more. Your mechanism could be true only if, like i was suggesting, the study was selecting data that wouldn’t show gender differences even though they are there in the other hours.


garbage-pale-kid t1_iz39mtk wrote

Practicing more, no, and maybe it doesn't but maybe more time to have internal dialogue counts towards practicing more.


rampartsblueglare t1_iz48orl wrote

It is interesting to me as a parent and teacher that boys trend behind in grades and reading ability and college admittance but trend higher on the payscales. Probably a bit of practicality and a bit of societal influence imo


lastingfreedom t1_iz4cewa wrote

All dogs are boys and all cats are girls.

We need to be able to identify when we are believing something that is a fallacy.

Why are things the way they are and do they need to change?


HockeyCannon t1_iz11jx5 wrote

>In the end, the team couldn’t account for girls’ bigger vocabularies based on what they heard before they uttered their first words. Rather, they found that parents talked more to their kids once they started talking, regardless of gender.


darkestsoul t1_iz1qdjd wrote

Kids are all different. My daughter was having conversations at 18 months. Due to my daughters early chattiness we thought there was something wrong with our son when he hardly spoke at 2. Just turns out kids do everything in their own time. The boy we thought had a learning delay won't quit singing the 12 Days of Christmas now at 4.


Fredasa t1_iz1wp2a wrote

I've seen a lot of literature and even a couple of documentaries that point out the differences (advantages, plainly) in adulthood that correspond to a comparatively late development.


[deleted] t1_iz30xkm wrote



Fredasa t1_iz36l7i wrote

There's way, way more than the stuff I've incidentally read or watched. Google around for "late development higher IQ" or something along those lines and you're more or less guaranteed to find papers on it.


smartshoe t1_iz1bbxk wrote

I figured that girls developed a little faster with speech, every little girl I have interacted with has better speech faster, but the boys i have interacted with have been more developed physically (balance, throwing & catching, running etc)


hurleymn t1_iz17e0b wrote

I don’t really understand the finding here. Are parents talking to girls more than boys?


Jebediah_Johnson t1_iz1haaq wrote

Parents talk with kids that are more talkative. Baby girls tend to be more talkative.


hurleymn t1_iz1j8zq wrote

But the article explicitly dispels the myth that girls talk more than boys, and also mentions that girls only start talking about one month earlier than boys.


eazyirl t1_iz1nyie wrote

One month is a massive massive difference when it comes to early childhood development. Cannot be overstated how huge of a difference that is.


Chetkica t1_iz2lqkk wrote

Ill fix it for ya:

  1. baby girls have bigger vocabularies. They dont know why.

  2. parents talk more to talkative children, regardless of gebder


Shishire t1_iz3uk1r wrote

Adding some minor sub points to further clarify:

  1. Both baby girls and baby boys speak about the same amount on average

  2. The distribution of talkative-to-non-talkative for babies appears to be generally independent of gender, i.e., there are approximately as many very talkative boys as there are very talkative girls, and approximately as many not very talkative boys as there are not very talkative girls.

As a further clarifying side note, for anyone else who stumbles upon this, the girls have, on average, larger vocabularies, which means they know a larger number of words, but they don't, again on average, speak a larger number of times per day.


Jebediah_Johnson t1_iz1kd62 wrote

Meaning girls have parents talking with them about a month sooner giving them a leg up on vocabulary.


hepazepie t1_iz1vz7i wrote

Yeah but they get sooner/more talked to because of their vocabulary. Chicken or egg?


zoinkability t1_iz2dux9 wrote

Perhaps more a “virtuous cycle” — a little bit earlier start of speech means a bit more being spoken to, means more rapid speech acquisition, means yet more being spoken to, etc. Seems absolutely plausible that what seems like a small difference in when speech starts could end up causing a larger vocabulary difference.


Vescape-Eelocity t1_iz1unei wrote

Interesting, but the sample size is very small and they only processed the most talkative few hours a day from each 16 hour daily recording. I'm a little surprised they didn't seem to incorporate how often children were spoken to, rather just what happened in the most talkative moments, which were around 1/8 to 1/4ish of the day each day.

Cool preliminary findings, but this needs way more intensive studies to determine anything with confidence.


Narf234 t1_iz173cx wrote

So, it is because they talk to them more?

Or do babies not benefit from talking parents until they themselves can talk?


homura1650 t1_iz1k72k wrote

No. They found that baby boys talked just as much as baby girls.

The cause of baby girls having a larger vocabulary remains unknown.


QncyFie t1_iz43xki wrote

Talking with children is one of the most fun things in life i think


prinoodles t1_iz32swm wrote

This is my anecdotal experience. Boys tend to like “busier” things like playing with cars etc. girls like to read books and pretend play which both involve talking and learning more vocabulary.


kaynkayf t1_iz4m3rd wrote

Off topic but what is on that child’s head?


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ahfoo t1_iz8oe1r wrote

This is not so different from adult second language acquisition. Many people try and fail to learn foreign languages as adults and an important reason many fail to achieve fluency despite spending many hours listening to tapes and studying is that they lack experience in failed interactions that they can learn from.

The babbling part is generally left out of ESL instruction because it's impractical to package up and sell in a profitable manner but it actually works. I found in my studies of Chinese as a second language that the students I attended class with at a very intensive institute would have less ability than people I met outside of class who didn't even intentionally study Chinese but had lovers who were native speakers. The latter would almost instantly develop fluency in cooing type language that gave them a base to explore other type of language interactions in public.

I myself was making very slow progress until one day I learned a phrase that is often mumbled in a jumbled together fashion which means something like "Is that so?" I thought this was a funny phrase to use because nobody could tell if I really knew what I was saying or just mumbling nonsense so I would randomly just repeat it to native speakers and they would assume that I was fluent and then speak back in a stream of words I couldn't understand but became motivated to recall and try to sort out later. From that point on, my progress was steady and I began to develop fluency. But it all went back to basically walking around murmuring at people not knowing what they were saying and trying to guess from the context which is surprisingly easy once you try it.


Iamdanno t1_izm7cvi wrote

Where can I get that cool hat with side-mounted lasers? Are the vision controlled, or just straight ahead?


Toytles t1_iz30wnu wrote

Could it be that girls go to college, to get more knowledge?


DeftTrack81 t1_iz4hnfw wrote

Maybe a mom spending time with her daughter is more likely to fill the silence by talking and the child picks it up faster. where a father spending time with his son is more likely to enjoy the silence. Just personal experience, not a scientist.


JesusWasALibertarian t1_iz2zosg wrote

What about other genders?


a_statistician t1_iz581h8 wrote

When kids can't talk, they can't self-express gender, so you pretty much have to go on biological sex assigned at birth. I suppose you could do a retrospective study, but it would take 20+ years to get that data and you'd still have sample size issues and dropout issues where you couldn't get accurate self-selected gender information for people because they didn't update contact information.

Unfortunately, there are some parts of developmental science that are just plain difficult to study with modern understanding of gender identity.


Chutakehku t1_iz26rtn wrote

Girls like to draw people into conversations by whatever means necessary even in adolescence.


Bumper6190 t1_iz0z9oe wrote

This should surprise no one.


lellololes t1_iz117nb wrote

Just because something is unsurprising does not mean that there is no value to actually knowing.


Acadia_Due t1_iz1a3a5 wrote

The boys are waiting until they have something worthwhile to say.