Children's Discourse in a Problem-Solving Setting: A Cross-Gender Analysis
Much research has been done on the differences between men and women’s language. However, research is lacking on children’s gendered language, especially in problem-solving contexts. This study presents an experiment involving children solving a puzzle and uses the data to analyze the language of these English-acquiring children (mean age 4). I analyze the transcriptions of the recordings for the ways children ask for help, use of pronouns and discourse markers, topic changes, and hesitation utterances. The findings support boys and girls using language differently in the process of solving a problem, suggesting that each gender solves problems differently. Further, the findings have larger social implications on gender relations.