[ Seeing ] [ Hearing ] [ Engaging ] [ Processing ] [ Responding ] [ Choosing ]
GENDER DIFFERENCES IN HOW BOYS
& GIRLS "RESPOND" TO THE WORLD
Gender Differences in How Boys
and Girls “Respond” 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 the nervous
or stress. Educators need not agree with all of these passages, but they should
be aware of recent information on how “responding” affects the learning of students.
- Adrenaline increases in competitive situations in men but decreases in most women, according to studies by Swedish psychologist Marianne Frankenhaeuser, which show how women’s neuroendocrine systems set them up to experience competition differently from men. The Sexual Paradox, page 206.
- Girls’ pretense tends to involve more cooperative role-playing. The Essential Difference, page 46
- In one study, young boys showed fifty time’s more competition, while girls showed twenty times more turn-taking. These are everyday examples of large sex differences in empathizing. The Essential Difference, page 30
- It has been suggested that in women the opposite reaction occurs, a response termed tend-and-befriend. Teaching the Female Brain, page 53.
- Many of our successful women listed “winning in competition” as an important positive experience for them. The third, fourth, and fifth most frequently chosen positive experiences were “award in a talent field,” “exhibition of work at school,” and “school-elected office.” These are all competitive experiences. It seems that winning is motivating. In light of the controversial effort by many schools to eliminate or minimize competition in education, this finding is enlightening. Coping with winning and losing in competition builds resiliency. See Jane Win, page 12
- Overall, the cognitive outcomes of acute stress are significantly more positive in males than in females. … The effects of cortisol on working memory have also shown a sexually dimorphic pattern, such that a positive relationship is found in men, while the relationship in women is negative. Cahill (2009), page 258.
- Testosterone, secreted in greater quantities in males, may alter some neural connections related to reading others’ emotional states. And oxytocin seems to do the reverse. It seems to help women guess what’s going on inside the heads of other people, enabling them to trust them enough to seek them out especially when they’re stressed, and to feel pleasure and relief when they do. The Sexual Paradox, Page 112
- The flip side of the coin is that boys’ friendships, on average, are less intimate. There is less mutual self-disclosure, less eye contact, and less physical closeness. The Essential Difference, page 44
- The men under the influence of high cortisol levels showed less activity in a key face-processing region of the brain (the fusiform face area or FFA) than the unstressed men did, suggesting that stressful situations diminish the ability of men to evaluate facial expressions. By contrast, the brains of the women under strain worked harder on the faces: in these females, the FFA was more active than it was in women who did not experience the cortisol boost. Under Threat, Women Bond, Men Withdraw (2010)
- This difference in styles of play between girls and boys suggests that girls tend to be more preoccupied with the emotional aspects of relationships, either to become close to someone, or to exclude others from getting between them and their “best friend.” IN contrast, boys are more preoccupied with the activity itself and its competitive aspects. The Essential Difference, page 44
- This is consistent with McClelland’s (1953 The Achievement Motive) finding that among women the level of achievement motivation is not affected by an “arousal” treatment involving academic competition, while among men it is increased. Moriarty (1961 article: coping patters of preschool children in response to intelligence test demands. Genet. Psycho. Mongogr.) observed the task orientation and coping behavior of a group of preschool children while they were taking individually administered intelligence tests. She found that while girls initially approached the task in a more organized way, as the tasks became harder and failures were encountered, the girls became less integrated in their performance and more desirous of leaving the field than did boys. The Development of Sex Differences, pages 32-33
- under acute stress … Men handled the experience by firing up the amygdala in brain’s right hemisphere [gist]. Their left was comparatively silent. Women handled the experience with the opposite hemisphere [details]. Brain Rules, page 251
- Women rated their emotional experiences as more powerful than men did, and used the left hemisphere (specifically the amygdale) to process them. In men it was the opposite: they processed strong emotional stimuli in a network involving the right amygdale. The different hemispheres recruited by men and women may also reflect how the sexes encode these memories. Given that language is lateralized on the left, and that most women also encode emotional memories in the left hemisphere, the researchers speculate that women are using some sort of internal language to process and evaluate their emotions as they experience them. In contrast, men would encode emotions in a more automatic way – in the right amygdale. The Sexual Paradox, page 117
- Women tend to value the development of altruistic, reciprocal relationships. Such relationships require good empathizing skills. IN contrast, men tend to value power, politics, and competition. This patter is fond across widely different cultures and historical periods, and is even found among chimpanzees. The Essential Difference, page 32
- 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.