Differences between males and females are among the great mysteries of life for many, the reasons for these differences and how to deal with them, a subject of debate among researchers, are they innate differences, or differences resulting from gender bias in the breeding process?
Certainly, it is a mixture of factors, and genetic differences between the sexes may lead to behavioral differences. These differences are exacerbated by the method of parenting and upbringing, and the mother must be aware of the differences between the sexes to determine ways to deal with them.
Education is stronger than instinct
Reem Mustafa Omran – an educational consultant and specialist in modifying children’s behavior and learning difficulties – says that the natural differences between boys and girls, in terms of physical, genetic, and hormonal makeup, affect the brain development of each of them.
Reem added, during her interview with Al-Jazeera Net, despite these innate differences, the methods of parenting children leave an imprint and a greater impact on the brain development process of children.
The differences between the sexes begin small in the form of simple preferences in expressing mood and style of play, but these differences increase and expand with the style of education and culture imbued with differences between the sexes, and the simplest examples of this are tea parties for girls and football for boys.
Hormones make the difference
A mother’s awareness of gender differences is important for determining the methods of parenting, and Reem summarizes these differences in several points:
1- Girls reach developmental stages earlier than boys, so the general development of girls is 6 months ahead of boys, such as speaking, developing hand-eye coordination, and controlling emotions.
2- Young boys have higher levels of the hormone “testosterone” that controls nerve and its release, and lower levels of “serotonin”, a neurotransmitter that suppresses aggression, making them more easily stressed and difficult to calm down. On the other hand, girls have lower levels of the hormone “testosterone”. With higher levels of serotonin, breastfeeding girls show a greater tendency to calm themselves by sucking their thumbs.
3- The sense of smell in girls is stronger and is attracted to the sweet taste, unlike boys who are attracted to the heavy taste.
4- Girls’ brain function develops faster, yet boys excel in arithmetic, mathematics, and logical thinking than girls, but they regress in terms of language and reading.
5- Girls depend on their five senses more than boys to analyze and understand situations.
6- The girl’s brain grows and develops in a balanced way, which gives her more ability and ingenuity to do several things at the same time.
7- Due to the growth of the boy’s brain, he is able to focus on only one action, and his reaction will be violent if someone interrupts him.
8. Girls ’activity peaks at a slower time than boys, but lasts longer, while boys, due to the hormone“ testosterone, ”tend to overactivity, outdoor movement, and sports to empty their energy.
Some behavioral differences depend in some way on genetic differences between the sexes, however – as Reem says – there are differences resulting from societal culture and education, including:
1- Girls seem to be better at explaining emotions and building relationships, and this is highlighted through games such as tea parties for girls.
2- There are marked differences between boys and girls when it comes to language, girls tend to develop their verbal skills faster than boys, girls use words almost exclusively, while young boys tend to use words less and make more noise, and this is also supported by biased games. For sex like revolvers.
3- At school age, boys tend to play in large groups and their games flourish with competition, as each of them tries to prove his individual ingenuity and competence to be the leader of the group, while girls tend to play in small groups of two to four, and they often engage in intimate conversations, They listen intently to one another and maintain eye contact.
4- Boys are more aggressive and nervous and depend on the loud voice, especially in their teens, and this seems to be due to hormones, but also education can modify the matter or make it a repetitive behavior.
5- Adolescent girls feel more pressure in life than teenage boys, especially when it comes to personal relationships, and the way they express their feelings appears through crying, while the boy is more likely to distract himself actively.
How do you deal with your child, whether a boy or a girl?
Reem does not advise the mother of a different parenting method that she uses when raising her children of both sexes, saying, “The most important thing is for the mother to realize those differences between the boy and the girl so that she can deal with each of them in a way that suits their differences.”
She added, “With a boy and a twin girl, the mother must realize that there are differences between them, and this does not mean that the boy is late for the girl and cannot be compared to them. The girl speaks, communicates and realizes early on about the boy, which are normal matters.”
Reem warns of the gendered stereotypes that mothers place their children in, such as pampering the boy or putting excessive pressure on him to grow up as a man, and not forcing the girl to serve her brother just because she is a girl.
She emphasizes that there are methods and values that they have learned equally, such as respect, cooperation and equality. She adds, “Physiological differences cannot be eliminated, but they can be dealt with intelligently by setting limits for children to use their motor abilities, by redirecting energy to a specific place or practicing a sport.” Maintain a consistent daily schedule and routine.
The difference in dealing with children of different sexes and personalities is the mother’s understanding of their needs and differences at different age stages, and the adoption of choices, in most cases, instead of direct guidance to avoid disagreements.