My son came home from the first week of kindergarten. Each day I asked him:

"What did you learn at school today?"

His response:


When I ask his teacher what they've been learning - she said:

"We've been learning the letters C. A. and T. "

My daughter two years ago could tell me each letter she learned each day in kindergarten, and the mnemonics and stories they had for each letter.

From recollection - my mother would ask me as a child

"What did you learn at school today."

Externally I would say,


Internally I would think,

"I don't think you're really interested. If you were, you'd make me a milkshake, sit me at the table and ask me. Then I could really concentrate on answering properly."

My question is: Is there evidence to suggest that young boys articulate their learning differently to girls?

  • 6
    For what its worth, I'm a girl and I always answered similar to "nothing" for questions like that. And my neighbour (a boy) had tons to say about school. I felt that it was always about how loquacious a child (or any person) is, and never inherently about the gender. As a child, I could distinguish between casual enquiry and a question with a serious purpose. While i'd brush aside a casual "what did you learn today?" with a "nothing much", when my parent(s) sat me down for the study hour, I did tell them what I was taught, what homework I had, etc.
    – learner101
    Feb 14, 2017 at 10:38
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    I am not going to research this, but think it is a 'by individual' thing rather than a gender one. My brother shared every detail with Mum and I did not, but I did a little more with my dad and truthfully, I think he was more interested.
    – WRX
    Feb 14, 2017 at 13:01
  • 1
    Although individuals vary greatly, there is evidence for gender-specific differences in language acquisition and spatial reasoning (math). I have some research papers somewhere. I'll look into it.
    – Stu W
    Feb 15, 2017 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


For a long time, medical science has known two areas in the brain were particularly important as primarily speech areas. These are called Broca's area and Wernicke's area.

Some major advances within the last twenty years helped to distinguish between boys and girls; although these are averages--individuals can vary widely.

  1. Functional MRI Imaging. These show girls are more likely to use abstract reasoning. More parts of the brain light up for girls when hearing noises and speaking, showing more of the brain's "power" is used for communicatuon

  2. Important protein discovered. In 2008, a weak but relevant study showed a signaling chemical that essentially connects the auditory part of the brain to the speech centers, FOXP2. It was 30% greater in girls at age 5.

On a personal note, my daughter could say a 4-word sentence at 23 months old; my son didn't know 4 words of speech at that age.

  • I agree that boys and girls learn differently -- but do they articulate it differently? That I think is more individual. It makes a difference who the information is shared with and in what direction. Girls like to teach/tell what they know. Boys like to show what they know and while showing, they can be quite verbose. This is a very generalised observation, but in my view as a teacher, a general truth. However, in thinking it over, I'd say girls tend to share more than boys, unless the boy is particularly interested in the specific subject. Thanks for your answer, Stu!
    – WRX
    Feb 16, 2017 at 19:51

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