Gender pairings and how they relate to sibling fighting

Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist and Author, explains how gender pairings between siblings plays a role in sibling fighting and how each leads to a different type of fighting
Sibling Rivalry Tips | How Gender Pairings Relate To Sibling Fighting
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Gender pairings and how they relate to sibling fighting

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The three possibly gender pairings obviously are boy boy, girl girl and girl boy. Less obviously, the pairing with the greatest incidence of physical provocation and physical violence is the girl boy combination but generally when the boy is younger. Older boys tend to lay off their younger sisters either because they have an innate sense of chivarly or because they are taught from birth that you do not hit a girl. Younger boys tend not to care about that. Now, the good thing is older sisters tend not to respond when young brothers punch. They will either stiffarm him away because they have the power to do that or they will just shrug at it. So you will get these one punch fights that tend not to go much further. The next most common obviously no surprise is boy boy. Boys are and I learned this in my house when I was growing up, boys are little savages. That is how you handle things. You fight. That is how you assert your authority. That is how you establish dominance. That is how you work out issues over property. So fights tend to happen much more among boys. The least violent relationship is girl girl. That does not mean that do not fight. Believe me. I have two daughters. I break up physical fights all the time. But girls, when they fight, do tend to be more verbal. This is consistent with the female throughout life. They have a greater tendency to be open and more informative, to disclose more than boys are. Once you disclose, you reveal intimacies about yourself, your weak spots, your fears, your anxieties and your sister can then use that in the course of a fight. It is not pretty but it is not physically violent.

Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist and Author, explains how gender pairings between siblings plays a role in sibling fighting and how each leads to a different type of fighting

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Jeffrey Kluger

Science Journalist & Author

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

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