Boys ARE Different than Girls


Viva la difference.

As I watched my boys play, I felt like an observer watching an alien society.

Please, do not try to tell me that little boys are just socially conditioned to behave in a different way than little girls. I loudly declare that, even as babies, little boys are intrinsically different from little girls and I celebrate that difference with joy.

Since I grew up with only one sister, my boys constantly surprised me. It was like I was an observer watching an alien society. As toddlers, my three sons would stare at wheels turning as they ran toy cars back and forth again and again, totally engaged in this repetitious action. It was an inborn obsession that developed into any machine that had wheels. Tricycles, bicycles, waggons, lawn tractors, cars and trucks were not only driven but also examined in minute detail. The boys turned bikes upside down to check wheels, fill tires and fiddle with the gears. Even more hours went by with my sons’ heads stuck under the hood of a car. My boys also seemed born with the ability to drive anything with an engine. While the girls struggled to learn how to drive cars (just ask their frustrated father), the boys learned effortlessly.

I did try to draw out the ‘femine’ side of my boys. For example, one day Matthew was about four or five and he asked for his sister’s water proof doll. I was so pleased. I thought,

“Yes! I have raised a son with nurturing instincts!”

When I came back into the bathroom a few minutes later, the head was off the doll and he was holding the rubber tubing connecting the doll’s mouth to its bottom. Matthew was making loud machine noises as he lowered the head into the water , filled it, slowly lifted his self-made swinging bucket and then swung the head around like a crane, pouring water into a plastic pail. Matthew’s action startled me. I started to laugh at my son, my efforts to change him and this whole nature versus nurture controversy.

Of course, I tried to curb aggressive instincts in my three boys and I definitely didn’t want my first-born to have a toy gun.
What did this little boy do?
He found sticks with stumps to use as the triggers and later made guns out of Lego. I just threw my hands up in defeat after that. Now all three of my farm raised sons are avid hunters but they only shoot as much as their families can eat. I call wild meat chemical free, happy meat because these animals live a life of freedom. More importantly, their death is instantaneous; they do not have to go through the torture of the slaughterhouse.

Do not infer that my sons are ‘red-necks’. I am proud to report that all three of my sons are not macho types but rather they are young men who have a heart for people, particularly babies. In fact they are just as crazy about babies as my six daughters yet they relate to infants in a distinctively masculine way. David, the first father of the group, tosses his baby up high up in the air. As Eva shrieks with delight, her socially conditioned? mum wrings her hands anxiously as she watches nearby. This scene is natural and normal in all cultures, throughout history and I celebrate this symbol of the glorious difference between men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers.

Viva la difference.

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14 thoughts on “Boys ARE Different than Girls

  1. This story reminds me of my brother surrounded by all of us girls and always doing the exact opposite… and making no sense to us… he would get a gift and take it apart and it would be broken and we just could not understand his thinking! We are so different. this is a great story!

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    1. I have 6 girls and three boys. When the oldest boy wanted to play hockey in -30C weather, the only one who could be convinced was the next boy, five year old Dave. He was strapped in adult size goally pads while Mat shot pucks at him. Dave was in Heaven.

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      1. that is Hilarious! As I read your story it reminded me of taking care of my brother when I was around 8 years old and my mother coming home and asking me why I allowed him to play with tampons… ( unused) I asked her what she was talking about and she showed me how they were laying all over the living room and I told her because my brother told me they were parachute launchers… I had no idea what a tampon was at that age, but she looked at me as to why I would believe him after all of the silly things that he does… I still laugh to this day because I was like yeah and I remember asking him while playing how many he had and he said he a big box of them… Only a boy would make a toy out of those and a clueless sister join in his game…

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  2. Great article, I have always had a hard time with people who believe men and women are the same. We are not the same, any passing glance, or long term study should show you that.

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  3. Love it! Nature – I see it all the time in my family. New little ones who resemble their olders not just in looks but actions – uncanny! I love difference – boy ARE boys and girls ARE girls that should be ok. I shuttered when I read about the family who is raising their child without gender cues or even telling people if the kid is male/female. how goofy!

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  4. Great post, Melanie. Yes, boys and girls ARE intrinsically different at the cellular level, and anyone who tries to refute that hasn’t raised kids of both sexes or lived in a large family with opposite sex sibs. My boys grew up hunting, fishing, and primitive camping with their dad, can identify all kinds of native flora and fauna, and could live off the land if necessary. They know middle Georgia like the backs of their hands. Those are skills that a lot of kids don’t acquire nowadays. As rough and tumble and grimy as my boys could be, they retained that sweetness and spontaneity which is perhaps what mothers adore most about our little boys. That being said, when I was a little girl, none of my baby dolls kept their heads very long, either…

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  5. I was an only child, and had an only daughter. I now have one granddaughter and one grandson. They get along great, take care of each other, support each other, but they are from venus and mars. He is into numbers and trying to understand how things work, and she is into reading and creating. I often tell them she should start a business that requires creativity, and he should run the business and they’d be extremely successful. Great post.

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  6. I really enjoyed this piece. It sounds like being a mother is an ongoing task of striving to be and stay objective? In other words, just letting your children be who they are! cheers

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