Two worlds

Joanna Wolenska-Operacz

Why do girls play house and boys play war in nursery? Is it that people from their births belong to two worlds as far as the physical as well as the psychological and emotional aspects are concerned? No, the differences begin earlier.
Twenty years ago the British scientists Anne Moir and David Jessel published the book entitled ‘Brain Sex. The real differences between men and women (the book was published in Poland in 1993). Making details research on children the authors came to the conclusion that the sex was not only a cultural category. Girls and boys differ in their interests and predispositions. Using maximal simplification one can sum up that little women are more pro-social and sensitive and the world of little men is filled with objects and fight. Naturally, inherited features can be strengthened or deadened depending on the influence of the environment, but they are inborn. Human brains become ‘female’ or ‘male’ in the prenatal life. The authors of that famous publication did not write anything new what parents had not observed for thousands years but yet they evoked disputes. Why must one not describe the differences between the sexes and draw conclusions from them? The feminist ideology, which has contributed most to eliminate this common sense knowledge from public dispute, presumes that women need to free themselves from men’s power and that cannot be done without unification. Publications, various foundations and gender studies, which almost every Western university offers, serve to prove the thesis that the sex is only a cultural category. Is it really? Let us look as some facts.

XX or XY?

Biology is simple. The decisive factor to be a girl or a boy is the chromosomes in the father’s sperm: XX (a girl) XY (a boy). But that is not all. At first the foetus has the precursors of the organs of both sexes but it develops into a little man only when about the sixth week of his life the foetus begins producing male hormones. The dose of testosterone is shocking – for times more than a child gets in its later development, compared to the dose a teenager gets. A child with the chromosomes XY produces male hormones and sexual organs and the child with the chromosomes XX, not producing testosterone, becomes a girl.

Sensitive and sociable

The differences between the sexes are revealed in babies. Several hours after birth girls are more sensitive to touch. The difference is amazing – the hands of the most sensitive boy are less sensitive than the hands of the least sensitive girl! Little women are also more sensitive to sounds – they can hear sounds almost twice more loudly than boys. Perhaps that’s why girls become agitated and irritated much quicker if the noise around them is too big, when they feel some pain or when they feel uncomfortable. Most boys bare these obstacles with bigger peace. In turn girls are easier to comfort when parents sing or whisper soothing words. As if the female child’ nature lets it discern the emotional contents of the words much before it can understand them. From their first days girls show more interest in communication with other people. They are eager to babble. Boys are also talkative but they are equally eager to ‘talk’ to toys and to their dearest. The girls’ interest in people becomes more visible as they grow.

Talk to her

The differences in the development of speech are the most distinctive features testifying that women are from Venus and men are from Mars. My two and a half year old daughter has two boy friends of her age but when she plays with them it could seem that she is twice older than them. She utters complete and complex sentences and invents unimaginable stories whereas the boys know only several words such as ‘mummy’, ‘auntie’ and ‘give’, which they do not actually speak clearly. Most girls learn speaking earlier and enrich their vocabulary quicker. They also have less trouble with grammar. This is because the ‘female’ brain is organised better. The centre of speech is placed in front of the left hemisphere whereas in men it is placed in front and at the back. The second setting is less effective.

Male adventures

The research shows that in their first weeks of life boys sleep less and are more active. Many mothers state that they have noticed these differences before their children were born – boys moved more and kick more often in the womb. When children begin walking, boys show more interest in experimenting and examining the environment. Perhaps their bigger muscles let them walk more and desire risky adventures. After all, in their adult lives men are more inclined to distant expeditions than women are.
Boys more rarely seek their mothers’ soothing. They instinctively and spontaneously get involved in the tasks that make their skills cope with space perfect. It is most likely that boys who are in some new environment desire to examine the territory and its objects. Girls will focus more on people. Scientists have invented a test wherein a barrier is placed in the middle of the children’s room separating children and mothers. Girls stood in the middle of the obstacle and cried. Boys attempted to reach the end of the obstacle to see whether they could go around.

Fight and collaboration

In nurseries girls and boys play separately. Boys would want to spend all their time in the playgrounds where they could see and hear much better. They are more expansive and occupy much more space. The owners of the chromosome Y are eager to build things from woodcuts, drive various vehicles and use all accessible objects to play with. When seeing a new toy boys find more ways to play with it – they are interested in its function and structure. Maybe that’s why their irritating inclination to dismantle all objects into pieces (which one can very rarely see in girls). However, despite the appearances it does not testify about some inborn destructiveness. Boys are equally eager to dismantle and assemble various objects, for example, they order puzzles, including the tri-dimensional ones.
An average girl in the nursery likes to sit with other girls in the corner where she plays and talks a lot. When she gets woodcuts she builds rather long and small constructions whereas a typical boy decides to build cranky towers. Girls welcome a new child in the group with much interest and sympathy whereas boys rather show indifference. If the new child wants to join boys it evokes their irritation whereas the child is friendly welcomed in the girls’ group. Boys will accept the child into their group if they can have some benefit of the child whereas girls accept the new child if it is ‘nice.’

Playing tag and school

Boys seek rather older colleagues whereas girls are eager to play with younger children. Girls know and remember other children’s names whereas boys are not interested in them. Later the ugly sex does not pay much attention to such ‘details.’ When a psychiatric wants to check whether some male patient is aware of his situation he does not ask him about the date of the wedding or the age of his children. Girls, like their mothers and grandmothers, have much bigger abilities to discern the emotional condition of another person and of the characters from books or films.
Pre-school boys invent stories full of fighting, violence and suspense whereas girls speak about emotions. Boys’ games can be brutal and violent, often involving physical clash. Little men need more space for playing and the measure of success in boys’ games is their active contact with colleagues. Additionally, it is clear who has won and who has lost. In turn girls’ games involve the sequence of participation, precisely defined stages (what is first and what is next). In other words, the symbol of the best girls’ game will be playing school and the boys will be playing tag. Boys’ groups are usually bigger and more hierarchical. Boys are interested in proving their strength: they take risk, provoke and accept challenges, manifest their selves and conceal their weaknesses. Girls are much more interested in keeping the group united, caring for friendship and their relationships are more intimate and cordial.
Why to know?
Does actually everyone that speaks about the differences between the sexes intend to persecute little girls, which feminists say? And speaking more concretely, push girls from their cradle to ‘dishes and nappies’. It rather seems that understanding the differences between the sexes is necessary to accept children as they are and support their growth wisely. Leaving aside the contempt for such activities as upbringing and housework, which is idiotic in today’s mentality, women’s and men’s advantages are useful in various fields of life and various professions.

WHAT are they GOOD at?

Imprisoned in an alien body? And what about if the genetic sex does not match the physiological one? It means a child has the chromosomes XX and male sexual organs or the other way round it has the chromosomes XY and looks like a girl? Such situations are very rare and connected with other hormone disorders that are often dangerous for the child’s life. But they have nothing to do with the problems with sexual identity, which only belong to psychological disorders. Despite intensive research scientists have not found a biological justification of transsexualism.

good visual memory
skill in counting
ability to discern human characters

good spatial imagination
ability to solve text tasks
inclination to take risk
ability to read maps and technical drawings

"Niedziela" 10/2010

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: