[ Seeing ] [ Hearing ] [ Engaging ] [ Processing ] [ Responding ] [ Choosing ]
GENDER DIFFERENCES IN HOW BOYS
AND GIRLS "ENGAGE" THE WORLD
Gender Differences in How Boys
and Girls “Engage” the World
differences are based upon groups and averages. They are not meant to define an
individual. Educators should use gender differences in the same way that they
use information regarding multiple intelligences, learning styles, prior
experiences, human development, etc. Information allows a teacher to better
understand and interpret her or his students.
I do not
conduct research myself. I read texts, reviews, and articles about gender,
gender differences, boys, girls, and education and try to make it accessible to
educators and meaningful within classroom instruction. As such, I have grouped
recent research into six broad differences: Seeing, Hearing, Engaging,
Processing, Responding, and Choosing.
some important points that must be made before moving forward.
differences are not absolute. All boys are not one way and all girls are
not one way.
information should inform educators and they try to better educate students
in coed and single-gender classrooms. Gender is an important within
single-gender classes and coed classes (and with your own children and
girls can be successful with the same activities, learning the same skills,
and understanding the same content. The process of learning may be
different, but not necessarily.
Differences are not deficits.
differences are not set in immutable or unchangeable in individuals.
Experience changes the way our brain is “wired”.
listed below were selected because they all relate to the issue of nervous
or movement. Educators need not agree with all of these passages, but they should
be aware of recent information on how “engaging” affects the learning of students.
- Amazingly, the part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning. Brain-Based Learning, page 163
- Boys are unquestionably more active than girls after birth, a difference that grows during early childhood. Pink Brain, Blue Brain, page 45.
- In recognition member test 3 weeks after scanning, highly emotional pictures were remembered best, and remembered better by women than men. Men and women activated different neural circuits to encode stimuli effectively into memory even when the analysis was restricted to pictures rated equally arousing by both groups. Sex differences in the neural basis of emotional memories. Canli, Turhan et. Al. PNAS August 6, 2002. Vol 99, No 16. 10789-10794. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.162356599
- Literacy, boys learn, is not a form of activity, but a pallid substitute for activity; it is not engagement with the world, but a retreat from it. Misreading Masculinity Page 42
- More than half of the boys in the study talked about the importance of physical activity, the drive to be doing something at all times. Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys, page 46.
- Over a lifetime, the unhealthful effects of sitting add up. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40 percent higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives. Patel. (2011) New York Times Magazine.
- Perhaps related to this preference for rough-and-tumble play, boys are also more physically active than girls. Brain Gender, Page 17
- Rather than constantly suppressing or disapproving of boys’ physicality, we need to adapt to it and structure their environment so young boys can express this drive in safe, respectful ways. Pink Brain, Blue Brain, page 126
- Some research suggests that, whereas many girls may prefer to learn by watching or listening, boys generally prefer to learn by doing, by engaging in some action-oriented task. Real Boys, page 247.
- Starting around ages 2 to 4 and lasting at least until age 10 and perhaps later, boys may be more active than girls as a result of higher basic metabolism. Teaching the Male Brain, page 49.
- The female autonomic nervous system has been shown to be influenced more by the parasympathetic nervous system, which is energized by acetylcholine rather than adrenaline and which causes an unpleasant, nauseated feeling rather than the “thrill” of the sympathetic nervous system. Why Gender Matters Page 69
- The results showed that men are more efficient at sweating. While exercise training improves sweating in both sexes, the degree of improvement is greater in men, with the difference becoming even more pronounced as the level of exercise intensity increases. The untrained females had the worst sweating response of all requiring a higher body temperature than the other groups (or work intensity) to begin sweating. In other words, women need to get hotter than men before they get sweaty. 2010, Science Magazine News.
- The reticular activating system, which receives incoming sensory data, constitutes our attentional system. The interaction between the two systems helps us keep our balance, translate thinking into action, and coordinate body movements. Typical playground games and motions like swinging, rolling, and jumping stimulate this system. Brain-Based Learning Page 162
- Yet for many readers, and particularly boys, the attraction of sustained silent reading is baffling. Nonreaders see it as a form of isolation that runs counter to every social instinct they possess. Misreading Masculinity Page 67
- Baron-Cohen, Simon. (2003). The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain. New York, NY: Basic Books.
- Belgrave, Faye. (2009). African American Girls: Reframing Perceptions and Changing Experiences. New York, NY: Springer.
- Cahill, L. (2009).
- Cahill, Larry. Nature Reviews Neuroscience | AOP, published online 10 May 2006; doi:10.1038/nrn1909
- Caplan, Paula; Crawford, Mary; Hyde, Janet Shibley; Richardson, John. (1997) Gender Differences in Human Cognition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Deak, JoAnn. (2002) Girls Will Be Girls. Hyperion.
- Ding, Ning. Ph D Dissertation on “Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and Gender” Rijksuniversteit Groningen, July 2009.
- Eliot, Lise. (2009). Pink Brain, Blue Brain: how small differences grow into troublesome gaps – and what we can do about it. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Evans-Winters, Venus. (2005). Teaching Black Girls: Resiliency in Urban Classrooms. New York: NY: Peter Lang.
- Fletcher, Ralph. (2006) Boy Writers. Stenhouse.
- Geary, David. (1998). Male, female: the evolution of human sex differences. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Ginsberg, A., Shapiro, J., Brown, S. (2004) Gender in Urban Education. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
- Hall, J. (1984) Nonverbal Sex Differences: Communication Accuracy and Expressive Style. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Hanson, Sandra. (2009). Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
- He Said, She Said By Deborah Tannen , April 2, 2010 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=he-said-she-said
- Hines, Melissa. (2004) Brain Gender. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- James, Abigail. (2007) Teaching the Male Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
- Jensen, Eric. (2000) Brain Based Learning. The Brain Store.
- Jensen, Eric. (2000) Learning Smarter. The Brain Store.
- Jensen, Eric. Enriching the Brain.
- Kafele, Baruti K. (2009). Motivating Black Males To Achieve in School and In Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
- Kimura, Doreen. (1999) Sex and Cognition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Kunjufu, Jawanza. (2005). Keeping Black Boys Out of Special Education. Chicago, IL: African American Images.
- Maccoby, Eleanor, Ed. (1966) The Development of Sex Differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Maccoby, Eleanor. (1998) The Two Sexes: Growing Up Apart, Coming Together. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. Seattle, WA: Pear Press
- Men Perspire, Women Glow: Men Are More Efficient at Sweating, Study Finds; October 9, 2010 http://www.sciencemagnews.com/men-perspire-women-glow-men-are-more-efficient-at-sweating-study-finds.html
- Mental Health For Teens For Parents Drugs Alcohol Teen Drinking May Result in Permanent Brain Damage April 30, 2010 http://www.teendrugabuse.org/alcohol/teen-drinking-may-result-in-permanent-brain-damage/
- National differences in gender-science stereotypes predict national sex differences in science and math achievement. Nosek, Brian et. Al. PNAS, June 30, 2009. Vol. 106, no. 26. 10593-10597. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0809921106
- Navan, Joy L. (2009). Nurturing the Gifted Female: a guide for educators and parents. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
- Newkirk, Thomas. (2002) Misreading Masculinity. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
- Patel (2011) New York Times Magazine, April 17, 2011, pg 41.
- Paul, Dierdre Glen. (2003) Talkin’ Back: Raising and Educating Resilient Black Girls. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Pinkner, Susan. (2008) The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women, and the Real Gender Gap. New York, NY: Scribner.
- Sex differences in the neural basis of emotional memories. Turhan Canli, John E. Desmond, Zuo Zhao, and John D. E. Gabrieli http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10789?related-urls=yes&legid=pnas;99/16/10789
- Pollack, William. (1998) Real Boys. Owl Books.
- Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in College Science: A Classroom Study of Values Affirmation. Akira Miyake1,*, Lauren E. Kost-Smith2, Noah D. Finkelstein2, Steven J. Pollock2, Geoffrey L. Cohen3 and Tiffany A. Ito1 ; November 2010. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6008/1234.abstract
- Rimm, Sylvia. (1999) See Jane Win: The Rimm Report on How 1,000 Girls Became Successful Women. New York, NY: Crown.
- Sax, Leonard. (2005) Why Gender Matters. New York, NY: Doubleday.
- Sex differences in the neural basis of emotional memories. Canli, Turhan et. Al. PNAS August 6, 2002. Vol 99, No 16. 10789-10794. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.162356599
- Sex differences in response to red and blue light in human primary visual cortex: a bold fMRI study. Cowan, Ronald, et. al. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging Section 100 (2000) 129 – 138. Page 129.
- Simmons, Rachel. (2002) Odd Girl Out. Harcourt.
- Simmons, Rachel. (2009) The Curse of the Good Girl. New York, NY: Penguin Press.
- Slocumb, Paul. (2004) Boys in Crisis. aha! Process.
- Sousa, David. (2006) How the Brain Learns. Corwin Press.
- Sprague, Marsha & Keeling, Kara. (2007) Discovering their voices: engaging adolescent girls with young adult literature. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
- Tate, Marcia. (2003) Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites.
- Tatum, Alfred. (2005) Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
- Teens prefer texts to phone calls, emails: study by QMI Agency, Toronto Sun; April 21, 2010. http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/04/21/13669061.html
- Under Threat, Women Bond, Men Withdraw, By Ingrid Wickelgren, April 19, 2010. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=under-threat-women-bond&print=true
- Wiseman, Rosalind. (2002). Queen Bees & Wannabes. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.
- Women Experience More Chronic Pain Than Men, Research Finds, August 12, 2011. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/641942.html
- Wynn, Mychael. (1992). Empowering African-American Males to Succeed. Marietta, GA: Rising Sun Publishing.