Do you believe that only boys do well in science? Does it seem to you that girls have better vocabularies than boy? In your opinion, are boys better at building things? If your answer to each of those questions is Â“Yes,Â” you are right, according to an article in Current Science. There are exceptions but these are the facts. On the average, males to better on test that require mathematical reasoning, mechanical ability and problem solving skills. Females show superior ability in tests measuring vocabulary, spelling and memory but these differences will probably not always exists. In the future, a personÂ’s abilities may not be determined by sex. As one scientist says, Â“Nothing is impossible for a person to be or to do.Â”
Do you believe that only boys do well in science? Does it seem to you that girls have better vocabularies than boy? In your opinion, are boys better at building things? If your answer to each of those questions is “Yes,” you are right, according to an article in Current Science. There are exceptions but these are the facts.
On the average, males to better on test that require mathematical reasoning, mechanical ability and problem solving skills. Females show superior ability in tests measuring vocabulary, spelling and memory but these differences will probably not always exists. In the future, a person’s abilities may not be determined by sex. As one scientist says, “Nothing is impossible for a person to be or to do.”
Observations of Scientists
In several recent studies, young babies have been observed and tested to discover how different abilities are developed. A scientific team headed by Jerome Kagan, a psychologist at Harvard University, is studying the thinking ability of children eleven to twelve months old. The test is a simple one. The baby, while seated on its mother’s lap, watches a “show” on a small theatre stage.
In act 1 of the show, an orange-colored block is lifted from a blue box and moved slowly across the stage. Then it is returned to the box. This is repeated six times. Act 2 is similar, except that the orange block is smaller. Baby boys do not seem to notice the difference in the size of the block, but girls immediately become excited and begin to make noises that sound like language. They seem to be trying to talk.
It is known that bones, muscles, and nerves develop faster in baby girls. Usually, too, baby girls talk at an earlier age than boys do. Scientists think that there is a physical reason for this. They believe that the nerve endings in the left side of the brain develop faster in girls than in boys. It is this side of the brain that strongly influences an individual’s ability to use words, to spell, and to remember things.
By the time when they start school, little girls have an advantage comparing with boys. Girls are physically more ready to remember facts, to spell and to read. These, of course are physically more ready to remember facts, to spell and to read. These, of course are skills that are important in elementary school.
But what have the boys been doing in the years before starting schools? They have been developing something called aggression. An aggressive person has courage and energy. He feels strong and independent. He is often the first one to start a fight.
What produces aggression in little boys? It has long been considered that aggression is caused by male hormones. A hormone is a substance formed by sex organs and carried by the blood to other parts of the body. Scientists today believe that male hormones are only part of the explanation, however. They say aggressiveness in boys is also caused by mothers.
A team of psychologists discovered this by placing mothers and their one-year-old babies in a room filled with toys. The room had a wall through which the scientists could observe what happened without being seen. They took notes on everything the mothers and babies did.
Here is a sample of those notes, taken during the observation of a baby boy and his mother: “Baby leans against mother, he looks up at her. She speaks to him. She turns him around. He walks away, picks up a toy cat. He goes to mother, drops the cat and leans against her. He looks up at her. She turns him around….”
Conclusion of Observation
From such observations and from conversations with mothers, the scientists learned something about the treatment of baby boys and baby girls. While the mother keeps her daughter close to her, she unconsciously trains her son to move away from her, to develop independence, and to explore his surroundings. She trains him to become aggressive and to be a problem solver.
Consequently, it is easy to understand why little girls often perform school tasks more satisfactorily than boys do, especially if the work requires sitting still, obeying commands and accepting the teacher’s ideas. A girl may pass easily through the first few grades. While boys of her age bring home low marks, the girl may easily get good marks. Girls seem to have “better brains” in school. Why, then, do so few girls become great scientists? Why is the most important thinking in adult society done by men?
According to scientists, the answer is aggression. Because boys are aggressive, they refuse to accept other people’s solutions. They insist on solving problems for themselves. Thus, while little girls are getting high marks in school for remembering what the teacher has told them, little boys are learning to think in more independent ways.
In the adult world, the aggressive person is usually the one who gets the big salary, the great responsibility and the powerful job. Since males are trained at an early age to be aggressive, males are more often chosen for key positions.
Many people believe this situation is wrong. They think that women could be successful in science and industry if their early training included some “aggression lessons,” If they were rewarded for independence and problem-solving, as boys are.
Furthermore, some psychologists believe that boys may get too much training in aggression. Perhaps little boys should be permitted to lean more on their mothers. It might make them become gentle. The world needs gentleness as well as aggressive strength.