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Natural: Boys Like Things, Girls Like People

Girls’ brains are wired to respond to people and faces but boys’ brains respond to objects and their shapes. Studies of babies from a few hours old to a few months all show this one clear point: boys like things, girls like people. Scientific, measurable differences between the sexes show how each perceives the same world through the bias of their differently wired brains. Baby girls are attracted to faces and maintain eye contact two to three times longer than boys, and baby boys are more interested in watching the movement of a mobile with irregular shapes and patterns.

At 12 weeks old, girls can distinguish pictures of family from strangers, while boys cannot, but boys are better at relocating a lost toy. These differences are obvious, long before social conditioning has had a chance to take effect. Pre-school children were tested with a pair of binocular eye-viewers that showed objects to one eye and people’s faces to the other eye. The tests of the children’s recall showed that girls remembered people and their emotions and boys recalled more about things and their shapes. At school, girls sit in circles, talking and each mirroring the group’s body language. You cannot identify a leader.

Girls want relationships and cooperation, boys want power and status.

If a girl builds something, it is usually a long, lowprofile building with the emphasis on the imaginary people who are in the building, whereas boys compete to build a bigger and higher structure than the next boy. Boys run, jump, wrestle and pretend they are aeroplanes or tanks, while girls talk about which boys they like or how stupid some of the boys look. At preschool, a new girl is welcomed by other girls and they all know each other’s names. A new boy is usually treated indifferently by other boys and is only included in the group if the hierarchy feels he can serve a useful purpose. At the end of the day, most boys would not know the new boy’s name or details, but they’d know how good or bad a player he was. Girls welcome and accept others and are even more sympathetic to someone who may have a handicap or disability, but boys are likely to ostracise or victimise the disadvantaged person.

Despite the best intentions of parents to raise boys and girls in the same way, brain differences finally decide preferences and behaviour. Give a four-year-old girl a teddy bear or toy and she’ll make it her best friend; give it to a boy and he’ll dismember it to see how it works, leave it in pieces and then move on to the next.

Boys are interested in things and how they work, girls are interested in people and relationships. When adults reminisce about weddings, women talk about the ceremony and the people who attended, men talk about the ‘stag night’.


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