On two separate occasions I had the opportunity to observe mixed
groups of adolescents gathered outside a public library located one
block from a public junior high school. I choose to conduct the
observations between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to assure the
greatest concentration of subjects to observe. In total there were
fourteen individuals included in my observational study. The first
group consisted of 3 boys and 5 girls while the second group had in it
3 boys and 3 girls. Included in both groups were both Hispanic and
Caucasian boys and girls. The approximate age of all the participants
was between 13-14 years.
In spite of my observations taking place two weeks apart and
consisting of two entirely separate groups of adolescents it was
surprising how remarkably similar the two groups turned out to be. The
two groups displayed many characteristics that were nearly identical.
Both groups followed patterns consistent with contemporary theories
and principles as well as biological facts. The behavioral
differences between the two sexes were drastically apparent. There
also appeared to exist, a direct correlation between physical
development and overall demeanor within members of both sexes.
A major difference was evident between the girls and boys
regarding how they chose to interact with each other. The females were
far more aggressive in their general approach toward the males. They
were quick to intermingle with the males in an assertive manor both
physically and verbally. In all cases I observed the girls initiated
these interactions while the boys remained rather reserved and aloof.
The boys did respond to the girls but their responses seemed
controlled and understated often taking on an air of indifference. The
girls at times would go so far as to physically strike the males in a
demonstrative yet playful manner. These blows, delivered in the form
of gentle swats or slaps to the arms and/or hands of the boys,...