Introduction

What the Dakota boys want, what the Dakota girls want

By BILL BAYERS and MARTIN ROBERTSON The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research analyzed data from a survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. girls ages 10 to 17 and found they want the same things as boys: They want to play, they want to be friends, and they want a safe environment.

Boys and girls are similar in their ages and in the number of close friends they have, the report says.

But they differ in how much they value these things.

Among girls, most want to feel secure in their home, and about a third want their parents to be involved in their lives, the survey shows.

Among boys, about a quarter want their fathers to be at home with them, while about half of them want their mothers to be there, too.

Boys also tend to have higher levels of positive feelings about being raised by both male and female parents.

They are more likely than girls to say that family values are important to them, are confident in their own abilities and are prepared to sacrifice for the well-being of their family.

Girls also are more willing to take risks in the pursuit of success and less likely to worry about being rejected.

“Girls have greater levels of empathy and are more open to accepting challenges,” said the report, titled “What the DAKOTA boys want and what the Dakota girls want.”

They also have more positive attitudes toward their own families and to parents.

About four-in-ten girls said they feel comfortable expressing their opinions on social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage, while just over half of boys said the same.

Boys are more comfortable discussing family matters, including same-gender marriage, in public, the poll found.

Boys were less likely than their female counterparts to express support for the LGBT community.

Among all girls, just about half said they were in favor of transgender people having the right to use the restroom of their choice, while more than a third of boys agreed.

About a quarter of girls also support the legalization of marijuana, while fewer than a quarter said they support allowing the use of medical marijuana.

The survey was conducted by NORC’s Center for Media and Public Affairs research in conjunction with the University of Michigan.

The AP-NORU Research Network collects data from more than 10,000 American girls ages 12 to 17 each year.

This story was corrected on Jan. 25 to correct the date of the survey.