Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1979

Volume 4 Issue 2

The father of the man — the mother of the woman?: Behavioural problems in boys and girls and some of their implications for social work

Anne Sheppard

name here
Anne Sheppard


1 School of Social Work, Leicester University, England

download full pdf


We all know — or think we know — that boys behave differently from girls, even if our analysis progresses no further than some tautologous recognition that boys are more ‘boyish’. We are also inclined to think that the ‘problem’ child will grow out of his difficulties, but that so far as socially disruptive behaviour is concerned, boys, on the whole, are rather more seriously problematic than girls. Generalized notions of this sort contain elements of both truth and fiction which cannot properly be appreciated unless sex differences in behaviour shown by young children are analysed and placed in perspective. I hope here to consider how the disordered behaviour of boys generally differs from that of girls and to draw attention to some of the implications of this for their adulthood and for the social worker.

This PDF has been produced for your convenience. Always refer to the live site for the Version of Record.