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Boy Brains, Girl Brains
At the recent annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, five researchers held a panel on this very topic, discussing the difference in male and female brains, and how superior the female brains actually are. (Kidding!) The actual findings can be read in this terrific summary on Slate, which details who's afraid to be "neurosexist" and which girls are whomping boys in math, but here are a two highlights for those of us dealing with actual little people:
"Anyone who dismisses boy-girl differences as cultural artifacts...isn’t accounting for similar patterns in animals, such as research showing that male monkeys prefer to play more with cars and less with dolls than female monkeys do." That's right. On one hand, any parent can tell you that little boys are magically drawn to wheely things, while girls will, you know, turn a wrench and hammer into dollies. But monkeys? Really?
"Maryjane Wraga, a psychologist at Smith College, presented research on stereotype threat, showing that women perform worse at mental rotation (compared with other women) when they’re told that men are better at it. So if scientists go around saying girls are bad with numbers, tests might appear to validate that prediction, but the prediction itself will be the culprit."
(Let us all now run to the girls in our lives and chant, "Girls are good at math. Girls are good at math.")
Dr Oz on the differences between men and women's health
Why males and females react so differently to emotions
How (and why) to talk to little girls without saying "You're so pretty!"
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