The Internet Is Reeling Over This Boys’ House/Girls’ House Experiment

The Internet Is Reeling Over This Boys’ House/Girls’ House Experiment

In the early 2000s, when reality TV was still in its infancy (and very loosey-goosey about ethics, apparently), the UK’s Channel 4 Cutting Edge program devised a documentary experiment: 10 boys and 10 girls, all aged 11 – 12, would be split up to reside together for five days and see how they fared as groups. Now, roughly 20 years later, the internet has rediscovered the results of Boys and Girls Alone.

“My Roman Empire is that study that they did where they put a group of girls and a group of boys in separate houses without adult supervision and guidance just to see what they would do,” posted Caitlin Dawson Brown (@dawsondoeslife) on TikTok.

Filming took place for the entirety of the experiment, with the proviso that the crew would step in if any safety issues became evident. The kids, who did not know each other before filming and had no access to their parents, were given food, money, toys, and cleaning equipment. Each group also participated in a cooking class.

And let’s just say the difference between how the boys and girls behaved is… eye-opening.

“They watched the boys descend into sheer chaos, destroying each other, destroying things,” shares Brown in her now-viral video. “They weren’t able to feed themselves. It was just chaos.”

Footage from the boys’ home experiment shows just how quickly things went off the rails. The boys broke into two warring gangs within one home. Even when the boys recognized issues with the way they’d structured the home (read: no structure), they didn’t have the social or emotional bandwidth to attempt to fix it. Things got volatile.

Then there was the *other* house.

“The girls they found worked together,” explains Brown. “They came up with a list, they compromised. Some girls cooked. Some girls cleaned. They worked together, and at the end of the study, it was concluded that the girls were objectively more successful in this experiment.”

Not only did the girls work together to keep the home running, but they often helped individuals who were struggling with the experiment, homesick, or dealing with issues among their housemates.

The girls organized fashion shows to distract one upset friend while another housemate baked special treats. They regularly showered. When the home became too messy, one would start cleaning, and the rest would join in. They quickly learned to delegate housekeeping tasks, all understanding that doing a bit of work would benefit their own personal health and safety.

Watching the segment on the girls’ home is awe-inspiring, tbh.

So, in summation, while the girls’ house wasn’t perfect, they fared really well, creating an almost summer camp-like atmosphere. The boys’ house? At best, you could call it chaos. At worst, you might say it demonstrated something akin to a truly dystopian, Lord of the Flies-type situation with minor starvation and gang wars.

“I don’t know. It just explains a lot about the world,” concludes Brown, a licensed mental health counselor.

And it does. Of course it does. We’ve all heard the fallacy that “women are too emotional” to be world leaders. But it was kindness, compassion, and a sense of community — all emotion-based — that set the girls’ house up for success.

It’s hard to argue that there were clear “winners,” and it was evident from the beginning which gender would have a better outcome. Somewhere along the way, the girls were taught to be responsible, functioning members of society who are mindful of others. What were the boys raised to belive? That “boys will be boys,” maybe?

So, the experiment, although controversial, still reveals a lot about gender roles and society. Whether we try (or don’t), we raise our boys and girls differently, and the effects of those upbringings shape who they become as partners, leaders, and simply members of society.

The whole thing has the internet reeling, with tons of people flooding Brown’s comment feed. Some marveled at how well the girls handled a clearly difficult situation.

“I always say imagine a world run by united women. 🤩” said Andrea Langham.

“I loved how all the girls moved all their beds into the same room to create a sense of community so noone felt left out,” said AMF.

“I saw this on yt years ago, and I was amazed how the girls came up with strategies in case of arguments and fights, like it was so elaborate,” shared vvanja.

Some commenters expressed shock over the boys’ outcomes.

“The fact that the boys almost killed an animal and the cameraman had to intervene was insane,” pointed out Zoe.

“True way, I’m practically convinced that people just don’t raise their boys,” wrote Pascal.

“My roman empire was the parents of the boys not reacting badly to what they did. One even said ‘good job’ at the destroyed house,” said Nory.

And many, many commenters admitted that the whole thing tracks.

“Barbie Dream House vs. Mojo Dojo Casa House,” commented Stephanie, referencing the Barbie movie.

“As an elementary teacher, I am 0% surprised by this outcome,” joked Miss Morron.

“This explains government throughout the ages,” remarked Disturbedsnow.

If you’re wondering what happened after the experiment, though, know you’re not alone. “I have been dying for years to see some kind of interview from those kids since they’re all adults now,” commented Grace.

Same, Grace. Same. Until then (and after), let’s raise our kids better, huh?

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