In a study of children aged 2-5, parents interrupted their daughters more than their sons, and fathers were more likely to talk simultaneously with their children than mothers were. Jennifer Coates says: “It seems that fathers try to control conversation more than mothers… and both parents try to control conversation more with daughters than with sons. The implicit message to girls is that they are more interruptible and that their right to speak is less than that of boys.”
Girls and boys’ differing understanding of when to talk, when to be quiet, what is polite and so on, has a visible impact on the dynamics of the classroom. Just as men dominate the floor in business meetings, academic conferences and so on, so little boys dominate in the classroom - and little girls let them.
Working with children for over a decade, this is something I’ve noticed, actually. And for the majority, the little girls in my class and my co-worker’s classes all sit quietly and listen MUCH better than the boys do. Most boys don’t care to be quiet and sit still. And I don’t think this is an attribute of boys being “rowdier” or more “hyper” - believe me, the girls are JUST as off the wall as the boys if you aren’t telling them not to. It must be a learned behavior, and it must be enforced more with the girls so they know they can’t get away with it. You have no idea how many times in my career I’ve heard “boys will be boys,” and smiling parents as they tell me with a laugh, sorry, their son is “wild” and a “handful” as they introduce him to the class.
And that’s how you do sexism. That’s how it’s so effectively trained into every single citizen and indoctrinated as normal and right.