Gender Differences in Language Development

Harriet Tenenbaum, Ana Aznar & Patrick Leman

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Gender Differences in Language Development

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  • Gender differences in language are apparent from a young age in terms of the number of words produced, the characteristics of communicative style, as well as in the manner in which language is used. This entry will review early gender differences in the rate of vocabulary acquisition and the differences in the styles that girls and boys use and will conclude with a discussion of whether parents speak differently to girls and boys.

    Before discussing gender differences in language development, it is important to note that there are many more similarities than differences between girls and boys, and although reliable gender differences do exist, many of the effects are small, and there is a large amount of variability within a particular gender. As such, a particular ...

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