According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, girls develop language skills faster than boys. By age 2, girls are saying sentences and answering questions.
Boys are still trying to figure out what words mean. At age 3, girls can read simple words while boys struggle with simple phonics.
Boys catch up when they’re 5 or 6, but by then the girls have moved on to reading comprehension and math skills. Girl power may be one reason why American women now earn more college degrees than men do.
56 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in 2004 were awarded to women, as were 58 percent of master’s degrees and 52 percent of doctorates. The gap is even greater in some elite universities; for example, at Harvard University last year, women earned 75 percent of all bachelor’s degrees and 71 percent of all advanced degrees (Masters and PhDs).
While most psychologists agree that there are no real differences between boys’ and girls’ brains, there is one area where males seem to excel: spatial skills. Some studies show that males are better at imagining things in three dimensions than females are, although there is disagreement about whether this ability is a product of nature or nurture.
And some scientists believe that males may have an advantage in math and science because of their more active approach to problem solving. The key point here is that all brains are different.
Girls’ brains develop differently than boys’ brains, and that’s okay. Boys’ brains develop differently than girls’, and that’s okay too.
So don’t be surprised if your son isn’t talking at age 2 or if your daughter is struggling with her multiplication tables — or if your child has a “gender-neutral” brain!