Rueven Bar-On, a leading expert in emotional intelligence, reported that “no differences appeared between males and females regarding overall emotional and social competence.” That is not to say that both sexes were identical. “Females appear to have stronger interpersonal skills than males, but the later have a higher intrapersonal capacity, are better at stress management, and are more adaptable.”
Scientists have now looked at the brains of both sexes at the age of 10, 16 and 20 to see if there truly are differences in maturity levels between the two. WJSOnline reported “Although boys’ and girls’ brains show differences around age 10, during puberty key parts of their brains become more similar.” By measuring the brain’s cortex and how it may change as boys and girls age, the National Institute of Mental Health Child’s Psychiatric Branch studied 284 people and found “boys’ and girls’ brains, on average, differ significantly at age 9, but by the time the participants reached 22, the brains of the two sexes grew more alike in many areas critical for learning.”
Some interesting differences in Gender Development noted in the article included:
Some typical milestones and when boys and girls tend to hit them:
At birth: Girls are a few weeks more mature neurologically and have more advanced hearing. Boys on average weigh half a pound more.
First words: Girls typically utter their first word at 11 or 12 months, one month ahead of boys.
Vocabulary: At 18 months, girls on average know 86.8 words, more than double boys’ 41.8 words. By 30 months, boys’ and girls’ language skills have converged, at about 500 words.
Walking: Caucasian girls and boys tend to walk around 12 months. African-Americans walk sooner, at nine to 10 months.
Potty training: Girls are fully trained by 36 months, according to one study. Boys took a bit longer, training by 38 months.
Onset of puberty: For girls, the process can start at age 9 to 10. For boys, it’s closer to 11 to 12.
Source: WSJ research
- As Little Girls and Boys Grow, They Think Alike (online.wsj.com)
- Are Humans Getting Dumber as Our Brains are Shrinking? (drdianehamilton.wordpress.com)