Why girls are not like boys?

Why girls are not like boys?

Learn the sex of a child eager, probably, all the families in history. It would seem that with the advent of ultrasound diagnosis of the problem disappeared. Not a bit of it! As it turns out, with final certainty can not even tell the child already born. Of course, this is not about anatomy and about the psychological side. Who feels like a little child - a girl or a boy? Which tends to belong to the floor, who will choose as a partner when he grows up? All these questions relate to the concept of "gender identity" that has arisen relatively recently, about 50 years ago. Gender in psychology and sexology, by definition, sexologist Igor Kon, is any mental or behavioral characteristics that are associated with masculinity and femininity with masculine and feminine. Although we often use this word in a narrower sense, as a "social sex", referring to the socially determined roles of men and women.

But before we talk about the difference between sex and gender, it is necessary to deal with boys and girls. Sigmund Freud believed that awareness of gender identity is formed around the age of three years (see. "This"). It was at this time, the boys begin to experience the desire to possess his mother and father's perceived as a rival. Girls just discovering his undeniable anatomical Unlike brothers or friends boys see it as a manifestation of their own inferiority. Unconsciously blaming the mother, they are looking for love and comfort her father. Thus formed the Electra complex: the desire to have a father and rivalry (or jealousy) in relation to the mother. Overcoming this complex allows further feel like a woman and to build relationships with the opposite sex.


"Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" Sigmund Freud Ignoring the age-old taboos, the author analyzes the foundations of human sexuality (ACT, 2006).

"Secrets of the floor. Man and woman in the mirror of the evolution of "Marina Butovskaya

Informative and witty - a model of sexual behavior of men and women (Century 2, 2004).

"The origin of the brain", "Atlas of the Human Brain" Sergey Saveliev

Biologist look at man as a species and the evolution of its main body - the brain (Lead, 2005).

Why girls are not like boys?

Myths and evidence

In Freud's theory of the missing opponents. One of the main arguments is very simple: the boys and girls behave differently even before three years, in fact - since birth. Does not that mean that the male or female behavior "programmed" biologically? At first glance, the remark is true. So, it is assumed that girls are much more sensitive and receptive. If next to the newborn baby starts to cry, she herself immediately bursts into a shout. And the boys in the same situation often do not react to the experience of neighbors. In addition, if a newborn show two objects - the human face and a movable mechanical design - the girls are mostly staying longer look on his face, and the boys - to an inanimate object *. Girls tend to start talking earlier, and it is not evidence that the need for communication, to accompany them all my life, too, lies in the very nature of them?

This is not proof, argue psychologists. According to them, the girls and their emotional need to communicate are not necessarily biological, innate properties. American scientists Joe Cunningham and Lawrence Shapiro (Joe Cunningham, Lawrence Shapiro) believe that life itself from the very first days of forcing girls to develop and manifest these qualities. ** They argue that boys are born more robust and hardy, ie, have a greater chance of survival. And in order to equalize the chances, the girls have to shout louder, and seek every opportunity to be heard and understood. As the physical development of the question of survival, of course, be removed. But the skill is. And as an adult, the girl is still easier to express their feelings and emotions, retain more than boys, the tendency for communication and empathy. The same reasons can explain and famous female intuition. Other researchers go even further, denying the behavioral differences between boys and girls at an early age. Psychologist, a professor at Boston University (USA) Leslie Brody (Leslie Brody) casts doubt on the original emotions of girls and boys active. In her opinion, the results of experiments do not give grounds to assert that the behavior of boys and girls in the first months of life differs in any significant way. *** Today, this view is becoming more common. And scientists already quite confidently say, for example, that boys are more active and more obedient girl - no more than a myth.

"Who are you, child?"

In 2010, a very unusual kindergarten opened in Stockholm. Thirty-three of his pupils as if there is no sex. Anyway, the staff makes every effort to ensure that children saw themselves that way. Caregivers even specially invented does not exist in Swedish neuter to avoid communicating with words children, "she" and "he". Among the toys there and dolls and cars, and building sets, but the staff is strictly monitored to ensure that no one could influence the choice and preferences of the child. A majority of the famous children's fairy tales, such as "Snow White" or "Thumbelina," absent in the local library, because abound "gender stereotypes". Sweden is known for his liberal views and long-term struggle for full and complete equality between the sexes. kindergarten creators believe that in this way they save children from the pressures of society, giving a unique opportunity to deal with their own gender inclinations. Many psychologists are concerned about the consequences of such an experiment, but so far the number of those wishing to enroll your child in kindergarten amazing far exceeds the number of places in it.

The desire of parents

If there is some type of behavior to which girls are less prone from birth, it is aggression. The fact that aggressive behavior is caused by hormonal factors. Proof of this are the long-term observations of the patients suffering from adrenal hyperplasia, which is responsible for the production of male hormones. Girls are born with the disease, a more "androgynous": they are more aggressive peers and prefer toys and games, traditionally intended for boys, and eager to spend time in the company of children is not the same sex. However, proper treatment gives consistently good results. Importantly, this treatment combines both hormone therapy and competent educational approach: a maximum of attention and patience. In this case, excessive aggression fades out and the girls go back to the dolls and girlfriends society.

But if you do not take into account the aggressiveness, it turns out that by nature does not depend so much. But the very important role of parents in shaping femininity. Sometimes they want a boy and a girl is born. Then there is the risk that, unconsciously, guessing the desire of parents, the daughter tries to behave like a boy (from the naive, but an omnipotent child fear of losing parental love). in principle, the attitude of parents of boys and girls is different, they realize it or not, points out anthropologist Marina Butovskaya: "Boys often take on his hands, but they are treated less gently than with girls. On the contrary, the mother often speak with the girls, and make it more gentle voice "(see." This "). Thus, parents from the very first days of life inspire children belonging to one or other sex and the corresponding behavior pattern. Gradually the child learns to understand and then to anticipate the reaction of the parents and seeks as much as possible consistent with their ideas about how to proceed in a given situation a girl or boy. "The reaction of the adults on the emotions and behavior of an infant has a significant impact on how the child will subsequently experience and interpret their own feelings," - says psychiatrist Alan Bracon (Alain Braconnier).

As with the nature of the dispute is difficult to

In the early 1970s, the Canadian couple had twin boys. However, at the age of eight months, one of them as a result of medical errors, lost his penis. Parents and experts have decided that the sex of the child would be better to change in such a situation. The boy is a successful plastic surgery on the formation of female genital mutilation was made. Since two years the boy John turned into a girl, Joan. Of course, she did not remember and did not know about your field by birth, but has consistently demonstrated boyish inclinations: preferred toys and games for boys and pass for tomboy in a skirt. At age 14, deviations in her behavior had become so severe that after consultations with psychologists, parents were forced to Joan truth. From that moment she cherished dream to return its true sex, and implemented it in 25 years. Joan suffered another sex-change operation, becoming again John. John later even married and with his wife raised several foster children, quite successfully coping with his father's role and her husband. *

* M. Diamond, K. Sigmundson "Sex Reassignment at Birth: Long-term Review and Clinical Implications". Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 1997, vol. 151 (3).

The two big differences

Yet reduce our gender identity to education would probably be a mistake. It is easy, of course, to say that the girls play with dolls and boys with cars, because these are the toys parents give them. But how then to explain the results of an experiment in which young vervet monkeys offered a choice of a variety of toys? Males choose cars, while females were taken to coddle dolls! ****

We have to admit that the peculiar one or other sex behavior has a biological basis, although social factors can significantly influence it. In favor of this conjecture says the difference in the structure of the male and female brain. "The most important difference lies in the fact that men and women differently developed limbic system and cerebral cortex - explains biologist Sergey Saveliev. - Bark (it is responsible for conscious perception, analysis, comparison, and selection) male brain contains about 11 billion nerve cells, the woman as they are about 9 billion, but in the female brain is dominated by the limbic system (the more ancient area of ​​the brain that controls the physiological, hormonal. processes, emotional and instinctive behavior) "(see." this "). It is known that the amygdala - a brain structure pair that play an important role in emotions such as fear and aggression - are larger in men, and the hippocampus is required for memory - in women. These differences arise from the combined influence of genes, hormones and environment. But personality differences between men and women is much more pronounced than was previously thought: this difference is close to the difference between the two biological species! From the combination of the personal characteristics of the intersection of the male and female sample was only 10%. The most striking differences were observed in the level of sensuality, sociability and anxiety (higher for women), on the one hand, and emotional stability, dominance, high normative behavior and suspicion (higher in males) - c other. At the same time, according to other sources, such qualities as computing skills, common speech abilities and leadership potential, although it is often considered to be independent of sex, do not really differ in men and women *****. Of course, these facts - not a reason to underestimate the importance of education. Nature lays the foundation for change that we obviously can not. But here is what kind of building will be built on this foundation? What parents want to see their daughter, his sister - brothers, his pupil - teacher, my friend - friends and lovers? There is something to think about. * S. Baron-Cohen "The Essential Difference: The Truth About The Male And Female Brain" (Basic Books, 2003).

** J. Cunningham, L. Shapiro "Infant Affective Expression as a Function of Infant and Adult Gender". Unpublished manuscript, Brandeis University, 1984.

*** L. Brody "Gender, Emotion, and the Family" (Harvard University press, 1999).

**** Evolution and Human Behaviour, 2002, number 23.

***** M. Del Giudice et al. "The distance between Mars and Venus: Measuring global sex differences in personality". PLoS ONE, 2012; D. Pfaff "Man and Woman: An Inside Story" (Oxford University Press, 2010).