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PhiNotPi's avatar

Why is it usually easy to tell the difference between girls' and boys' handwriting?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12670points) November 28th, 2010

A lot of times, it is easy to tell the difference between what is written by boys and what was written by girls. Why is this so? Girl handwriting seem loopier and larger. Opposite with boys. I know that this is not always the case, but usually is.

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24 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think it is easy, actually. Not for me, anyway. And this is a great answer to your question.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think it is always so easy.

cyn's avatar

You answered your own question.
Like you said- girl’s handwriting is actually loopier.

JLeslie's avatar

@cyn I think the OP wants to know why girls write loopier.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would like to remind that the claim ‘girls write loopier’ is not a fact – until we establish it as such, we can’t look for ‘evidence’.

filmfann's avatar

My daughter has a lot of male friends who spent time in jail, and most of them have beautiful handwriting. She says it is because that is all they can do in the big house.

I’m so proud

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir girls do seem to write loopier more often than boys, and girls are more willing to use cursive in my opinion. I think boys are not as good at fine motor skills when they are little, and hate writing in general when they first learn it. Then we say to them in third grade, ok now you have to learn cursive, and I think many boys hate it, believe they can print more clearly and faster, and as soon as a teacher does not require cursive they use print. Cursive is loopier than printing, and so generally I think girls take on the loopiness even in their printing, where the boys stick with print like we originally learn it. But this is just a guess on my part. There must be stats or writing analysis people who have studied these things I would guess.

Blueroses's avatar

That’s a very interesting link @Simone_De_Beauvoir . I remember having a group of friends when I was 12 and our handwriting was indistinguishable from each other’s always ending with the “sorry so sloppy” although we put a lot of effort into flourishes and neatness

Could it be a part of the social training in girls? Wanting to fit in with each other? Looks being as important or more so than the ideas conveyed? Do home schooled girls have loopy writing?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie I learned to write in Azerbaijan and then in Russia – cursive was required of all kids, no exceptions. That was a cultural push as is this, nothing more and the only reason (in my opinion) for why some girls write loopier. As well, I don’t see many boys continuing to write however they please if some douchbag says ‘ha, your handwriting looks girly’ so we have no way or ever really knowing if this is attached to biological differences.
@Blueroses – all good questions.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir good point. Boys might be teased for pretty handwriting. Did you learn to print in school? Or, straight to cursive? Or, both simultaneously?

I just asked my husband if he usually prints or write in cursive, funny that I don’t know, and he answered print. I asked him why, and he said he doesn’t know. No help at all. His elementary school years were in Mexico in Catholic schools, sexes were separated. Not sure if that makes a difference.

When I was in 6th grade we had penmanship class, and for a few weeks the class consisted of us being dictated to by the teacher and timed. We had to write in cursive, and I swear those few weeks made me a much faster writer, and I finally understood why adults say cursive is faster. I am very glad my teacher did it.

Do kids even write anymore, or are they typing at very young ages?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie Never learned to print until I came to America.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I have been told that by other people who were raised outside of America. It kind of makes sense, but books and periodicals are printed. So you never learned to write printing, but you were taught to read it? Is that how it works?

PhiNotPi's avatar

By “loopier” I meant that they create larger loops in their letter while writing.

Supacase's avatar

Cursive looks more feminine, so it may appeal more to girls. I remember ALL of the girls in middle school deciding how they wanted their writing to look. They would practice different ways of capitalizing the first letter of their name, looping the “y” at the end, etc. I do not remember any of the boys doing this.

Just a guess. My writing isn’t great even though I practiced along with the other girls.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie Sure, I think those two skills aren’t as interconnected as we think

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think it is because certain skills are still considered more important for boys and girls to learn but these are not necessarily the same skills for each gender. Girls are still taught that they must maintain a certain appearance not necessarily physical and neat handwriting presents a better appearance than messy handwriting. I have atrocious handwriting but my mother never cared if it was messy until it was too late to change it. I have noticed that neat handwriting corresponds with a certain degree of femininity in those women I know with very neat handwriting. These women also have a tendency to pay closer attention to their physical appearance and other aspects of their lives that present a “nicer” appearance to the world.

jerv's avatar

@KatawaGrey I think that there is a large grain of truth to that. Most of the people I know that work in office or customer service type jobs are female, and all of them (male, female, or other) have decent handwriting.

Contrast that with most of the “blue-collar” types who really don’t have to communicate by writing except with their co-workers and thus have no real concern for appearance. Of course, that has “guys” written all over it since I’ve seen very few women working on the floor in the foundry where I work (by “very few”, I mean 1 woman and over 100 guys), or in a garage, machine shop, or warehouse. And somehow I doubt that a group of people wearing grease up to their elbows and scratching themselves in front of others is really all that concerned with appearances, regardless of gender.

My handwriting is only marginally better than it was in the fifth grade when printing and as for cursive… shit, I can’t even remember how to write that because I haven’t used it in over 30 years. Then again, like many guys, my communication is all verbal, typed, or some scrawl to a coworker that doesn’t need to be pretty so I never bothered to even try to improve it.

Us guys generally leave the communications and civility to the gals (and girly men) in the office, and they leave the dimensional tolerancing, machine setup, and other dirty work to us ball-scratchers; different skills for different genders.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I read a book on handwriting analysis a long time ago. The loopy writing means a person believes themselves to be more loving and compassionate or, conversely, wants to be loved. It was really an interesting read. Other things it discussed was whether or not a person wrote above the line, on the line, below the line, or went up and down. Which ever it was tells you how emotional a person is, and how optimistic or pessimistic they are. It’s pretty interesting.
I don’t loopy, BTW, and my writing is dead on the line, which means I’m very level headed and dependable.
I also mix printing and cursive, for what that’s worth.

roundsquare's avatar

Isn’t loopy handwriting considered “pretty?” Or is that mixing up cause and effect?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@roundsquare Well, me personally, I view it as “needy.”

roundsquare's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nice handwriting? Seems a strange expression of neediness to me…

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, @roundsquare,...big fat loopy handwriting I see as needy. Nice handwriting I see as coming from an organized individual, OR one who cares about appearances.

roundsquare's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ah.

Organized? I’m not sure I see the connection between nice handwriting and organization… though with this comment I feel myself getting pedantic.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@roundsquare The point is, a person’s hand writing reflects the kind of person that they are. Neat, precise handwriting comes from neat, precise people, and so on.

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