If you are raising both boys and girls, it can be interesting to watch how the two different genders form their distinct personalities, and you might wonder whether those formations are due to gender or upbringing. Personality differences do exist between boys and girls, and there are certain situations that cause boys and girls to react differently to tasks or subjects at hand.
Motivations for Learning
Significant differences in the ways girls and boys learn, states the National Association for Single Sex Education. In fact, these differences are more pronounced than age differences. For example, most American schools segregate elementary school grades on the basis of age differences. But there are gender-specific personality traits that affect how children learn, according to the National Association for Single Sex Education. For example, motivation can be a factor in learning, in the sense that girls are more concerned with pleasing adults, such as parents and teachers, while boys are less motivated to study unless the material itself interests them.
Deep in Thought
Research of MRIs of the brains of 500 healthy boys and girls has been conducted to see how young brains develop, according to Scientists with the National Institutes of Health. The scientists found that boys and girls have different thought processes. Girls were found to be somewhat better at memorizing and reciting lists of words, while being more deft at tasks that demanded finger dexterity and quick thinking. Boys, on the other hand, were better at solving spacial tasks, such as arranging blocks to form patterns.
Daring to Discipline
Boys and girls respond differently to discipline, explains Paula Spencer, with CNN. Boys seem harder to discipline, but this may be because boys' hearing is not as good as girls' from birth, and this difference continues to grow with age. Girls' hearing is more sensitive in the frequency range critical to speech discrimination, and therefore the verbal centers in girls' brains develop more quickly. As a result, tone and pitch in praise or disciplinary warnings receives a different response from boys and girls. This developmental difference causes a "mislabeling of normal behavior as problematic."
In all Honesty
Boys and girls may be different in regards to being honest. Boys tend to be very direct and honest when it comes to their tastes or whether they will continue to engage in certain situations. Girls, on the other hand, politely go along in situations they might not like so as not be rude. As a result, University of Akron professor Susan Witt told ABC News, "Girls are too eager to be nice, and boys too direct."
- ABC 20/20: Difference Between Boys and Girls; John Stossel; April 2011
- Parents: Who's Easier to Raise, Boys or Girls?; Renee Bacher
- CNN Living: Boys vs. Girls, Who's Harder to Raise; Paula Spencer; September 2010
- BabyCenter: Is the Difference Between Boys and Girls All in Their Heads?; Chris Woolston; March 2009
- National Association for Single Sex Public Education: Gender Differences in Learning
- Photo Credit DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images
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