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Boys And Girls Were Left Alone For 5 Days, The Experiment Revealed Eye-Opening Insights On How Both Groups Are Misjudged
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Boys And Girls Were Left Alone For 5 Days, The Experiment Revealed Eye-Opening Insights On How Both Groups Are Misjudged

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In recent years, more and more people have been calling for parents to “raise boys and girls the same way”. And upon first hearing that, you might think, “Well, obviously. All kids should be raised the same way!” But in practice, it’s actually quite common for girls and boys to have contrary upbringings. And one 2017 social experiment that has recently gone viral makes that abundantly clear.

Earlier this week, the Instagram account Impact shared a post breaking down what happened when a group of 10 boys and a group of 10 girls each spent a week living in homes unsupervised. The social experiment has recently been circulating on Twitter as well, after The Boric Acid Avenger shared clips from the original videos, and the internet has since been engaging in many conversations about gender roles. 

Below, you’ll find a summary of both sides of the experiment, as well as some of the reactions people have shared online, so you too can let us know how you feel about the results in the comments below. Then, if you’re looking for another Bored Panda article discussing why boys and girls should be raised the same way, you can find that right here

This 2017 social experiment featuring a group of 10 boys and a group of 10 girls who were left unsupervised in a home for a week has gone viral

Image credits: Impact

The video featuring the boys shows their home quickly devolve into chaos

Image credits: Channel 4

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Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

They seemed ill-equipped to properly take care of themselves and the house

Image credits: Channel 4

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Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

After forming gangs, the boys’ behavior became increasingly aggressive

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Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

By the end of the week, they had managed to completely trash their home

Image credits: Channel 4

You can watch the full video featuring the boys’ experiment right here

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The girl house, on the other hand, painted a very different picture

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

They quickly banded together to organize activities and delegate responsibilities

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

They made plenty of time for fun, while still managing to take care of themselves and the home

Image credits: Channel 4

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Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

Image credits: Channel 4

You can watch the full video of the girls’ experiment right here

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Image credits: Impact

Image credits: Impact

If you’re a parent, it’s possible that you may have never even considered that your sons and daughters might be receiving a slightly different upbringing. In your mind, you likely believe that all of your children have equal potential and are capable of achieving whatever they want in life. But you might be subconsciously pushing them in one direction or another. Have you encouraged your sons to play sports without ever asking if they wanted to take art classes or try dancing? Have you encouraged your daughters to help you out in the kitchen but never asked if they’d like to play football with their brothers? We are all conditioned to associate certain behaviors and traits with boys and girls, and it can be hard to break down those unconscious biases.

However, it’s important to be aware of the difference in treatment that boys and girls in our own lives receive because that is exactly what sets them up to act in line with how the children in these social experiments acted. The girls did not innately know how to prepare meals or to take care of a home, they have been taught. And boys of the same age are perfectly capable of having the same skills, if they are expected to uphold the same behavior. But according to a survey by Netmums, plenty of mothers know they treat their sons and daughters differently, 88% of them in fact. They admitted to being more critical of their daughters, and some even noted that they would let their sons get away with more than their daughters could.

The idea that “boys will be boys” is an outdated belief that should no longer be perpetuated. Girls are held to higher standards, from a very young age, and are required to learn life skills and responsibility, or they will be looked down upon. Boys, on the other hand, are somehow allowed to skate by with little to no consequences for their actions until they reach an age where they are forced to take care of themselves, or find a partner to take care of them in the same way that their parents previously had. Of course, not every boy and man struggles with responsibility and learning how to cook, clean and take care of his personal hygiene. But overall, women are not given the option to miss out on those skills and lessons. They are just expected to know these things.

According to a 2016 survey from the UN, girls spend 40% more time on chores than boys do, and by age 14, that jumps up to 50%. While boys are outside running around or off playing video games with their friends, girls are first expected to help prepare meals, clean up the home and take care of their younger siblings. Girls face a variety of double standards in terms of their appearance, their work ethic, their temperament and more, and parents and educators should be working to see that boys and girls are held to the same expectations. 

If you never ask your son how he is feeling because you assume that boys are less emotional than girls, he will never learn how to articulate his feelings and will instead learn how to bottle up his emotions. If a boy is never asked to help prepare a meal or clean up after dinner, he will learn that those actions aren’t his responsibility. If boys are taught that concerns of personal hygiene are “girly”, they might assume that it’s perfectly fine to sit in their own filth, potentially putting their health at risk. The girls in this experiment still managed to do things they enjoy and find fun in being unsupervised, but they also showed that they had the skills required to be functioning human beings. They were equipped with the tools needed for these circumstances, while the boys were completely out of their element and had no idea how to process the freedom and emotions that came with being left alone.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this viral experiment in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this is an accurate estimation of how the female version of Lord of the Flies would go down? If you’re a parent, feel free to share how you manage to raise your sons and daughters the same, and then if you’re interested in checking out a Bored Panda article discussing how beneficial it can be for young boys to play with dolls, you can find that right here!

Viewers of the experiment had much to say on Twitter, noting the importance of raising boys and girls the same way

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Author, BoredPanda staff

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I'm a visual editor here at Bored Panda and I enjoy a good laugh. My work ranges from serious topics related to toxic work environments and relationship difficulties to humorous articles about online shopping fails and introvert memes. When I'm not at my work desk, checking if every single pixel is in the right place, I usually spend my free time playing board games, taking pictures, and watching documentaries

Read less »

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm a visual editor here at Bored Panda and I enjoy a good laugh. My work ranges from serious topics related to toxic work environments and relationship difficulties to humorous articles about online shopping fails and introvert memes. When I'm not at my work desk, checking if every single pixel is in the right place, I usually spend my free time playing board games, taking pictures, and watching documentaries

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shawnwoodbury avatar
ZeroCapacity
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What's the control specimen in this experiment? What methods were used in the selection of candidates? What's the hypothesis you are trying to prove or disprove? Last but not least what kind of parents would allow such a thing to happen to their spawn?

leodomitrix avatar
Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Since this wasn't done as a real experiment, but "reality" TV, I can only answer one question: Parents who are paid enough.

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pualanidalton_1 avatar
Pua D
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Societal training and expectations run deep, and it can be messy. Kids will be kids, but as a kid (and a girl) I was expected to take care of chores alongside my mother for my older brothers, including laundry and cooking. My brothers never had that responsibility and they paid for that lack later- and I developed a profound hatred of laundry. The shift of mom's and dad's teaching both sons and daughters how to clean and cook and take care of their own things is great.

amyshereikis avatar
Kennedy Kargeaux
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same. By the time I was like 5 I was already cooking light meals for myself & showering & even managing my older brothers when the parents weren't around. I was always wayyyyy more mature than my older brothers. Even though I'm 4 and 5 years younger. My dad didn't really raise me like that though. My mom & grandma did though. But I feel like my dad didn't treat us any different. He raised me just like my brothers. Same activities. Same skills. Like I knew how to build s**t before I was 10. My dad didn't baby me at all. But I feel like I naturally needed order & independence in my life for me to be happy. I was a loner growing up. Didn't really have friends cause I'd have them over for play dates & I hated how messy they were! I'd have panic attacks because they'd be eating cookies & then not wash their hands before touching my toys. I was diagnosed with OCD & an anxiety disorder before I was 10... I still don't know what triggered it. Maybe my Mom & grandmas pressure? Idk.

Load More Replies...
neilbidle avatar
Devil's Advocate
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I partly agree with the comment that girls mature more quickly, but I wonder how much of this is a reflection on the type of parents who would let their boys go into this sort of house unsupervised with other little boys, knowing what sort of sh!ts some little boys are.

carolyngerbrands avatar
Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I watched both the youtube films with my mum (80yo) and she was shocked that the boys were out of control but also by some of the mean things that the girls did too. I had to explain 10 times that there was a therapist there at all times and the cameramen were there too. The cameramen had to step in and stop the boys from abusing a little hedgehog too. None of the boys left the group but 2 girls did leave their group.

Load More Replies...
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shawnwoodbury avatar
ZeroCapacity
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What's the control specimen in this experiment? What methods were used in the selection of candidates? What's the hypothesis you are trying to prove or disprove? Last but not least what kind of parents would allow such a thing to happen to their spawn?

leodomitrix avatar
Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Since this wasn't done as a real experiment, but "reality" TV, I can only answer one question: Parents who are paid enough.

Load More Replies...
pualanidalton_1 avatar
Pua D
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Societal training and expectations run deep, and it can be messy. Kids will be kids, but as a kid (and a girl) I was expected to take care of chores alongside my mother for my older brothers, including laundry and cooking. My brothers never had that responsibility and they paid for that lack later- and I developed a profound hatred of laundry. The shift of mom's and dad's teaching both sons and daughters how to clean and cook and take care of their own things is great.

amyshereikis avatar
Kennedy Kargeaux
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same. By the time I was like 5 I was already cooking light meals for myself & showering & even managing my older brothers when the parents weren't around. I was always wayyyyy more mature than my older brothers. Even though I'm 4 and 5 years younger. My dad didn't really raise me like that though. My mom & grandma did though. But I feel like my dad didn't treat us any different. He raised me just like my brothers. Same activities. Same skills. Like I knew how to build s**t before I was 10. My dad didn't baby me at all. But I feel like I naturally needed order & independence in my life for me to be happy. I was a loner growing up. Didn't really have friends cause I'd have them over for play dates & I hated how messy they were! I'd have panic attacks because they'd be eating cookies & then not wash their hands before touching my toys. I was diagnosed with OCD & an anxiety disorder before I was 10... I still don't know what triggered it. Maybe my Mom & grandmas pressure? Idk.

Load More Replies...
neilbidle avatar
Devil's Advocate
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I partly agree with the comment that girls mature more quickly, but I wonder how much of this is a reflection on the type of parents who would let their boys go into this sort of house unsupervised with other little boys, knowing what sort of sh!ts some little boys are.

carolyngerbrands avatar
Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I watched both the youtube films with my mum (80yo) and she was shocked that the boys were out of control but also by some of the mean things that the girls did too. I had to explain 10 times that there was a therapist there at all times and the cameramen were there too. The cameramen had to step in and stop the boys from abusing a little hedgehog too. None of the boys left the group but 2 girls did leave their group.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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