Historical perspectives[ edit ] Prior to the 20th century, it was a commonly held view that men were intellectually superior to women. He stated that this was because women did not possess the same level of rational thinking that men did and had naturally superior abilities in skills related to family support. During the early twentieth century, the scientific consensus shifted to the view that gender plays no role in intelligence.
How different are they? A close up look at the gender achievement gap, and why it matters. Print article When my son was a toddler, his best friend, a girl, gave him a sparkling dancing Katrina doll for a birthday present.
Boys will be boys? Proof that gender differences are hardwired? At preschool one day, as he was playing dress up with two girlfriends, he donned a scarlet tutu. In recent years, the age-old question of nature versus nurture has sprung up in neurobiology.
Are there differences in how boys and girls learn? If so, what are these differences, and how much do they matter?
How did we get so muddled? The story is an intriguing one involving brain science, bestsellers, and a fair share of baloney. Venus is about the gulf between men and women — a chasm so immense, Gray insists, that males and females may as well be from different planets.
Over the last decade, a number of books identifying essential differences in the male and female brain have had popular appeal.
One of these books, The Female Brain by University of California, San Francisco neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, is a bestseller that has been published in 26 countries. The Female Brain and other, similarly popular books marshal scientific studies to shore up generalizations about the male versus female brain — claims that girls are better at recognizing emotions, for example, or that boys are hardwired for aggression.
Such generalizations are delicious fare for popular media and have been echoed in magazine articles and on websites including an article formerly published here.
As a result, these claims have filtered into the collective consciousness. Girls are innately more relational, for example, or boys are hardwired to be competitive.
But neuroscientist Lise Eliot, who combed years of research on brain differences for her recent book, Pink Brain, Blue Brainfound scant evidence of innate qualities or hard-wiring in the brains of girls or boys: In adult brains, according to Eliot, there are larger differences between males and females, but even in adults these differences are small.
Nature and nurture If the differences between the male and female brains are relatively modest, why are people so eager to believe the opposite? Eliot points out that emphasizing differences is more compelling than the more humdrum reality. But the truth received much less hype than the hyperbole. Sexy or not, emphasizing the innate differences between the male and female brain discounts the latest brain science.
The human brain continues to develop throughout life. Generalizations about inherent male or female skills can have a self-fulfilling effect, reinforcing stereotypes and expectations that prescribe the way girls and boys are taught.
If a math teacher has lower expectations for the girls in the class, he may not challenge them the same way he does his male students. You daughter is struggling with math? In one study of how attitudes affect math achievementfor example, researchers tested two groups of undergraduate students of both sexes, all skilled math students.
The women in the group not informed of this stereotype performed just as well as the men. The women informed of the negative assumption scored significantly lower than the men. These days, gender stereotyping is arguably more damaging to boys than to girls, when it comes to academics.
But scientists have found no evidence that this achievement gap has anything to do with the structure of the brain.
Girls do better in math in countries with the greatest degree of gender equity. The fact that girls are beginning to catch up to boys in both math and science is further proof that these abilities are not innate.
What you can do Eliot offers a number of concrete suggestions for parents to help their children transcend gender stereotypes in learning and development. Boys should be encouraged to turn off the screen and read, for example, to help strengthen reading and verbal skills.
Playing sports, chess, and building games can help girls improve spatial abilities. Girls should be given a range of math and science opportunities, and encouraged to compete. But the more we learn about the brain, the more complex and magnificent it seems — and the greater the potential for every girl and boy to develop a limitless range of talents and passions.Boys have larger brains, but girls’ brains mature faster.
The hippocampus, where memory and language are derived from, develops more rapidly and is larger in girls than in boys. Girls also have more of their cerebral cortex defined for verbal function.
This impacts vocabulary, reading, and writing skills. This article has multiple issues.
Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages). Top Ten Reasons Men Are Better Than Women iridis-photo-restoration.com reached , visitors early this morning, so I thought I would mark the occasion by posting a very special top ten list of the top ten ways in which men are better than women.
At the same time, boys think they are smarter than girls. When I was in middle school in China, where middle school lasts three years. Many boys think that they are smart enough to slack off the first two years, and actually expect to catch up or even exceed their classmates the last year.
While some boys talk a blue streak from early on (one of my sons never stops), studies show that in addition to developing verbal skills later than girls, boys generally have a more declarative. Counterpoint: girls are better than boys (none / 0) (#23) by moriveth on Tue Oct 30th, at AM PST: Boys are much more likely to rob, defraud, assault, rape, murder, hijack planes, and write free software than girls.