Boys Are More Confident, But Girls Are Lagging Behind

Despite the stereotype that girls are better communicators (or some might say chatterboxes), a new study found that boys are actually better at expressing themselves both in school and in social situations.

Britain's Communication Trust and National Literacy Trust conducted a study of 6,000 children between the ages of eight and 69% of boys said they were "very confident" or "confident" speaking during class, compared to 57% of girls. The BBC reports:

More boys than girls also said they felt confident "saying no to friends" (70% to 62%), "talking to new people" (67% to 62%), "explaining your point of view" (78% to 74%), "asking when you don't understand something" (75% to 69%) and "talking with teachers (81% to 78%).

The only areas where more girls felt more confident were "talking to people online" (85% to 82%) and "listening to other people's opinions" (93% to 89%).

While it's great to hear that teenage boys have learned to communicate without affecting a surly mumble, it's troubling that girls are trailing them almost across the board. In some cases the discrepancy isn't huge, but it seems fewer girls are learning to speak up for themselves.

The second section of the survey also delivers some disturbing insight into what's going through kids' heads. When asked what they thought the most important goal for the future is, girls and boys tended to have similar views, ranking "to be happy" the highest. However, 13% of boys rated success at work highly compared to only 8% of girls. And in perhaps the most troubling finding, "being famous" was considered more important than "having good friends." Don't these kids know they'll never make it onto a short-lived cable reality show if they can't speak up about what jerks their housemates are?

Boys Are More Confident Communicators, Survey Finds [BBC]

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