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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Differences In Girls & Boys

Many are embracing what they believe to be the innate, God-given differences between boys and girls.

Dr. Meg Meeker is a mother of four and a pediatrician who is supporting parents and others who are interested in building a better understanding of those differences.

In her books, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know and Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, Dr. Meeker uses clinical experience and data to present insight into the different needs of girls and boys and how parents can best address those needs.

On Family Life Today, Dr. Meeker spoke more specifically about boys. She explained that she asked the question, “Have they [boys] been victims of a war that has been fought culturally in the United States?” Are they sort of the casualties, in other words, of feminism?

She explains that with the feminist revolution, much of our focus has been put on girls, and boys are feeling marginalized. In fact, our school systems and society in general often devalue authentic "boyness." Boys are being misdiagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other behavioral and learning deficiencies as a result.

She argues,

....There is a real subtle sense in which we parents dislike boy activity. Boyness! It is not politically correct to let your five year old boy play with a squirt gun, or any kind of a gun, because he will be violent. But, if you allow him to play war-games, if you allow him to have sword fights, if you allow him to jump over couches…… We don’t want wild out of control violent boys! Of course not! But we have gone the other way. We want our boys to sit in classrooms and when the schools get budget cuts, what do they cut? P.E. ! When the boy acts up in class, what do they do? They keep him in from recess. YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH A BOY! You must get him outside!...

Furthermore, Dr. Meeker suggest that as boys get older they differ in how they bond. Whereas girls tend to bond through talking, boys tend to bond through spending quality time doing physical activities. She says it is vital that boys have a relationship with their father and/or some male role-model from who they can see masculinity in action and then and internalize it.

I found Dr. Meeker's interview very interesting and I agree that there are innate, God-given differences between girls and boys. In fact, the broadcast made me think about what a difference having a father present makes in the lives of sons and daughters and how vital that relationship is! It is so sad that so many of us grow up without that.

As a mom, my prayer is that the Lord will continue to give my husband and I insight and wisdom as we are raising our children, when it comes to their gender-specific needs. I pray he will also help us know when we need to step-up or step-back as they mature and those needs change.

How has your family addressed this?


  1. Haha! I've just understood why my brother likes to jump on and beat up on my Dad so much! And why Dad doesn't get mad, like I do, when he does it!!

  2. Hubby and I have two sons and the first thing I made a vow to do was to raise them as I would girls in regards to cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc...
    It's just not fair to teach only girls domestic tasks and let the boys do 'boy things'.
    You brought out some great points!

    Great post!

  3. I have three boys and they know how to do basic cooking and cleaning...but that's it. They aren't interested in nesting...sewing...etc and I don't feel the need to torture them with it. I heard the show as well. Many times I've heard teachers at church, etc tell my boys to color in the lines...I always tell them...they're not into coloring...but they'll draw a picture on the back. We do need boys to be boys.

    and for Momsweb...I suspect your boys are small like my own...the older they get...the more difference you can see in how they REALLy differ from girls...


Your ideas, questions, and comments are welcome!