embed embed2
  • Toddler Milestone and Developmental Differences Between Boys and Girls

    What sets apart boys and girls during their early developmental stages? We give you the answers.

    Published Aug 14, 2009
  • Cognitive


    • Testosterone surge in the male fetus during pregnancy leads to the dominance of the right brain in boys. Because of this, boys tend to excel in math and spatial tasks. But the right brain's dominance also partly inhibits the development of the left brain. This may predispose boys to learning difficulties because the left brain hemisphere, which controls language and facilitates socialization, may be underdeveloped.
    • Boys' brains are biologically wired to systematize. Language is primarily used to "get things done." But this could be a classic case of nature and nurture at work together: given our patriarchal society, boys are trained to be assertive in speech and manner.


    • Communication and language skills develop earlier in girls: they have a wider vocabulary and can name objects more quickly. During class recitations, girls are more likely to give detailed answers/explanations, while boys tend to give phrases or one-word answers.
    • Girls tend to immediately apply new words they have learned and use language to exercise intimacy.




    • Author Jane Healy writes in her book, Your Child's Growing Mind, that boys like to play in big groups and maximize their play area. Hence, they have a natural preference for high-energy activities that tap gross motor skills (e.g. climbing, building, sports).
    • Competition is part and parcel of a boy's makeup. As a matter of survival, little boys constantly compete with one another. On the other hand, some boys who find it difficult to outperform would rather not compete than do so and lose.


    • Girls are more socially amenable, and are thus inclined to ask help from others.
    • Healy opines that girls are generally more stable in gross motor performance than boys-but their preferred activities make use of fine motor skills (e.g. dressing up a doll). Girls typically spend 20% less time than boys on the playground, being more inclined to keep up conversations with their peers.




    • As early as age 2, boys will start identifying with their fathers-imitating the way their dads walk and talk, or wearing outfits similar to the kinds of clothes their dads wear.


    • At around the same age, girls will imitate the women in their lives. They will pretend to put on lipstick or wear mommy's shoes. In the book Psychological, Anthropological, and Sociological Foundations of Education, author Espiritu Bustos explains how young children are merely experimenting with which parent they feel comfortable imitating. They are more inclined to take after the same sex as a role model, although this is not always the case.



      • Psychological, Anthropological, and Sociological Foundations of Education, by Espiritu Bustos
      • Your Child's Growing Mind, by Jane HealyThe Female Brain, by Luanne Brizendine
      • "Feminism and Freedom," by Michael Levin, narth.com
      • "Your Child: Birth to Three," by Michael Levin, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, mermaid.freeuk.com
      watch now


View More Stories About
Trending in Summit Network
View more articles