In 2017, a group of unsupervised children took part in a social experiment to see how they behaved when left to their own devices. The videos have been uploaded to several social media platforms including an Instagram account known as ‘Impact’, and a Twitter account, ‘Boric Acid Avenger‘. Unsurprisingly, the results showed just how boys and girls are from one another. As a result, internet users have discussed and debated gender roles.
The data that was collected has been shown in a video, just over 45 minutes. However, the experiment took place over a 5-day period. However, the video of these unsupervised children wasn’t the first part of the experiment. It actually began in the early 2000’s. The producers of ‘Cutting Edge‘ created a documentary called “Boys Alone.“
Unsupervised Children Left to Their Own Devices
In the documentary 10 boys are sent to live in an incredible home in Hertfordshire, a county located in Southern England. The boys were aged 11 and 12, had never met, and were left unsupervised. Several years later, they expanded the experiment to a group of 10 girls. They then compared the recordings and found a number of differences between the unsupervised children. Interestingly, at first everything seemed to be going well. However, it didn’t take long for things to begin to unravel.
For instance, the boys became rambunctious, a little violent, and ate a diet largely consisting of cereal and soda/pop. Alternatively, while the girls exhibited some chaotic behavior, they also were more organized. In particular, a few girls tasked themselves with preparing meals and or cleaning up after. Some close friendships were developed but not without a little drama. The girls did argue with each other but were able to reconcile their differences and comfort each other.
Examining Gender Stereotypes
The videos of the unsupervised children have gone viral, with around half a million views on YouTube. One Twitter user posted, “So ALL of them took a cooking course? And only one group cooked? Only one group cleaned? Only one group organized meetings? Only one group delegated tasks? And that’s the group that would make terrible leaders because they’re “too much drama and too emotional”?????”
Unsupervised Children Highlight Gender Roles
Unfortunately, it’s challenging to pinpoint the official origins of gender biases. The reason being people are all different and have differing preferences and personalities. Understanding the nature vs. nurture theory, there are a number of characteristics that are predetermined. However, parents often take part in influencing their children’s behavior as well. Swaying sons to play sports or daughters to work in the kitchen, without considering their own wants, is something that parents have done for years.
The videos of these unsupervised children not only highlight gender stereotypes, but they also show the mental impact felt by each gender. Although both genders can find amusement in activities that are associated with the opposite gender, the stereotypes we face are instilled early on in life. Girls are held to a higher standard in that they are expected to make responsible decisions, while boys are less often held accountable for their actions. Regardless of stereotypes and preferences, when unsupervised children are left to their own devices, chaos will eventually ensue.
- “Boys and girls were left alone for 5 days as part of a social experiment. the results are eye-opening.” Upworthy. Aditi Bora. January 6, 2023.