Monday, August 16, 2010

Gender Matters

Every summer we have the football assistant coaches and their families over for a cook-out. It's something we really look forward to, and it's neat to see all of our kids connect. Sam is about 15 months old here and loving the ice cubes. Isn't he adorable?

A few years ago I read an incredible book called Why Gender Matters by Dr. Leonard Sax. Dr. Sax has a way of explaining massive amounts of scientific research in a way that is interesting and meaningful. The core of what he's saying is: girls and boys are biologically very different from each other, and when we take those differences into consideration (especially in the educational arena), every child benefits. The social, educational, and physical differences of each gender are important; gender-neutral toys and education have had a negative impact on our children's learning and development.

I can definitely see the advantages of same-sex education, at least on a small scale. All-girls and all-boys classes and schools where teachers have had training to thoughtfully address their students' specific strengths (and where each gender is free to achieve and not worry what the opposite sex is thinking of them) have seen high achievement and happier kids. As a parent, the book is a great read that confirmed some deep-down inclinations I already had about how we are raising our daughters versus our son. For example, Mark and I tend to be more abrupt (rougher) with disciplining Cy than we are with his sisters. Equal? No. Fair? Yes, because every child is different...and boys respond more readily to physical placement/louder talk than girls.

See how boys relate to one another? They're not fighting or upset. This is how they "talk". This is how they have fun.

That doesn't mean that girls just sit around and color all day. There is a place for physical activity among girls, as well.

It just tends to be less violent than boys' interaction, however. More social. Girls tend to be more encouraging of one another.

There are four 9-year-old boys among our coaching staff. All going into fourth grade. Boys definitely are different from girls.

Anyone who insists otherwise, I have some pretty good research to show you (beginning with some family pictures)!

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.--Matthew 18:10 ESV


Blogger Astrid @ The Lopsided House said...

I really need to read that book. I wonder if it'd help me relate to/or understand my nephews. I love 'em to death but they're certainly a different breed (from my girls)! LOL!

August 17, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I loaned my copy to a friend, but you could definitely check one out from the library. :)

August 18, 2010 at 5:54 AM  

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