In my 2nd grade class there is one 'tomboy'; she told me that she is the only girl on the baseball team. She also screams in class a lot; she will often react with a high-pitched "eh" or "ah." Apparently this is normal behavior at home, and her parents let her get away with it. This morning Mrs. M inquired about her; she said the girl seemed spacey, not knowing what to do or how to proceed during testing. She does have problems focusing at times; ADHD?
What if testosterone does have something to do with her behavior?
There are two girls who squeal when they get in trouble or don't get their way. I've told them not to do this and that it is annoying, but it is a bad habit for them. The two are friends, but they also tattle on each other, which I find to be rather bizarre. I end up asking many, "Isn't he/she your friend? Why are you tattling on him/her?"
There are also some boys in the class who scream "like girls" in class as a way of reacting, either to prohibitions or threats of punishment. Some boys are sensitive and cry over minor things. I don't know what the cause of that is--their upbringing and/or home environment? I remember crying in school only because of bullying, and instead of crying I should have been "pro-active," but no one taught me to do that or that it was right. So I can appreciate Dr. Laura encouraging parents to teach their children to stand up for themselves, even if it seems that the public school system frowns upon it.
I suspect that for at least one, it is the case that there is little guidance or support from a male authority figure.
Usually it's easy to be unaware that the students are of a certain socio-economic background. But then you meet or see their parents...