This post came out of a writing prompt I decided to follow, regarding the differences between boys and girls. As someone who tries not to focus on those differences, it was an interesting journey to take, psychologically speaking. Here’s what I wrote:
When I had my daughter, I was absolutely positive that “Nurture” was responsible for all the girly things that girls ended up doing and preferring. I went about buying gender-neutral toys wherever possible, and I encouraged her to try out activities that could be interpreted as further toward the male side of the spectrum. She had toy cars, and hammer and peg sets, among other things. I thought she did pretty well.
Then I had a son.
And that’s when I saw just how much power “Nature” actually had, in forming their minds and their preferences. I’m not saying boys only like cars and girls only like dolls; far from it. But there are definitely tendencies toward different behaviours in each gender.
1. Boys like to make things into tools. Starting from the time my son could hold things, he would use one toy to hit another, or use a toy move something else. He was hammering and playing hockey before he could crawl. My daughter? It took her more than a year to figure out how to hammer with an actual hammer. She would just push large wooden posts through with her fingers, rather than use another object.
2. Boys like to grab their junk, girls not so much. I never would have believed it, if I hadn’t seen it myself. My daughter would sometimes grab her bum as she was being changed, but she wasn’t much interested in anything else down there. My son? HA. He figured out where things were at pretty damn quick. Now it’s a race for me to get the wipes going before his hand is in there. Thankfully, he hasn’t yet come to the realization that he can stick his hand down his diaper and continue this fun game, once I put it on, but it’s only a matter of time.
3. Girls love to sit and read, boys love to do. I could sit my daughter down in front of a pile of books and walk away, knowing she would amuse herself for a good chunk of time, looking through them all. My son? Not so much. He loves it when I read a story to him, sure, but he’d prefer to eat all those books, rather than look at them. But give him a box of cars and he’s happy as a clam.
4. Boys love machines, girls couldn’t care less. I used to take my daughter on walks through our neighbourhood, before she learned to talk, and point out various objects and name them, trying to get her to start using the words. I think I pointed out about 4000 cars, but she did not give a single shit about any of those cars. My son? Totally entranced by all the delivery trucks, garbage trucks and just normal cars that drive by our house.
5. Girls are chatty. There’s a reason girls are known to talk earlier than boys. I’m not exactly sure what that reason is, but I can attest to it being true. While both of my kids were saying single words by about 9 months of age, my daughter was talking up a storm by 1 year old, and my son is still just saying occasional single words, as he closes in on the 1 year mark.
These differences may not exist for everyone, and I certainly wouldn’t have believed they’d be true for my own kids, but I’m a believer now. HOWEVER! I will continue to encourage my daughter to play with the tool set we bought her, make sure my son learns how to throw a tea party, and hope my kids keep fighting over both the kitchen toys AND the train set pieces.
What about you? If you have one of each gender, have you noticed a big difference between the two? Tell me in the comments!