ERIC Number: ED381789
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Whose Stories Are Validated?
Girls and boys write differently. Girls like to write about subjects close to home: self, friends, parents, teachers. Boys write about activities in the community beyond the home: technology, sports, policemen, firemen, war. Boys not only write about vigorous engagement but demonstrate it in the classroom where they tend to dominate while girls are more likely to be invisible. A study of second graders over an 8-month period of time supports the above generalizations and shows that teacher and peer responses to student writing can contribute to male dominance and female invisibility. After having heard several of Arnold Lobel's "Frog and Toad" stories, students wrote their own stories about frogs and toads. Analyses of the content of these stories demonstrates that boys write more about adventures and sports and girls write more about common experiences or relationships. Similar results were observed when children wrote stories on topics of their own choice. Interestingly, the writing process was different for boys and girls. Boys worked side by side, interested in what others were doing but anxious to produce work that distinguished them as individuals. Girls, on the other hand, produced stories on topics very similar; through their stories they participated in a kind of literary game that allowed them to be connected in a community while expressing their individuality. During critiques by the teacher and peers, the researcher observed that stories were evaluated according to largely male standards; girls' stories were considered boring because they did not involve conflict and adventure. (Contains 16 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Author Text Relationship; Story Writing
Note: Paper presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Spring Conference (Minneapolis, MN, March 16-18, 1995).