biological differences between the sexes

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
biological differences between the sexes
61
Thu, 01-24-2008 - 4:03pm

Do you acknowledge any biological difference between the sexes when it comes to childrearing? (apart from the obvious pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding)


Is the relationship between a mother and her child unique, in terms of being different than the relationship a father has with his children, in enough cases that one could generalize and say that it is?


Do SAHDs parent in a way that is different than moms?

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Avatar for myshkamouse
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 01-24-2008 - 10:58pm

Apart from the obvious, I really don't think so. I don't think that SAHD's parent differently than mom's because they are male. They differ from parent to parent because we all differ. I'm very nurturing to my kids, but so is DH.


I'm exlusively BFng my son, who is now 10 weeks (on Sat) old. And I think we have a naturally closer bond at the moment than does DH and he. But I pumped for my twins till they were able to nurse strongly so both of us bottle fed them BM. And we both had that bond. I think moms' and dads can both be nurturing. Its not about gender its about parenting style.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 4:50am

Maybe I am married to a girlieman or something, but dh is far more anxious when away from dd than I am. One time, recently, when he could not reach her on her cell phone, he first called me hysterically 3X in Copenhagen, then he called the police.

I do think there are differences between the sexes in all kinds of ways, but I also think that the average difference between men and women in any given trait is smaller than the typical differences between two random people of the same sex.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2005
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 5:23am

I think sometimes this prospective comes from SAHMs because they have never had to see DHs really handle "childcare".

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2007
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 6:22am
That's an interesting perspective coming from a WOHM whose husband works 7 days a week.
Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 6:36am

I happen to

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2005
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 7:22am
My DH may work 6 to 7 days a week, but he has 4 days a week where is he is the only one getting the kids ready and a soild 3 hours with them alone.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2007
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 7:23am

Maybe my husband is just more of an independent thinker than some?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2007
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 7:29am

Great for him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2007
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 7:47am

Biologically, no.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Fri, 01-25-2008 - 8:34am

I think that at the moment a woman has given birth, she has a little bit of a headstart on bonding with the baby. Depending on the parenting style and breakdown of responsibilities, that headstart either disappears or snowballs. Maybe the family comes home from the hospital, and the mother nurtures the bond she already has, while the father takes more of a backseat, supporting the mother but not really taking the initiative with the baby. His bond is going to grow slowly with the baby in comparison to the mother's, because she is doing most of the caregiving. The mother's bond with the baby will grow quickly because she is doing all of the caregiving. And the child, when in need, will look to the mother because that is the source of their comfort almost all of the time. On the other hand, if the family comes home, and right away, the father is taking an equal role in caregiving, he will bond with the baby more quickly than if he did not take that role. The child will bond to both parents, and over time, that headstart will disappear.

The thing is, I think many families believe that the dynamic in their family is based at least in part on nature. Women who have shared caregiving role equally from birth have a hard time understanding the viewpoint of women who say that women are much more nurturing, that there is a unique bond between mother and child that makes the mother a far superior caregiver to anyone else, etc. Women who have been the primary caregiver cannot understand how a mother can feel that anyone else can be an adequate substitute because in their experience, the baby equates comfort to mother, and without mommy, there is no comfort.

That's just my opinion.

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