Debate of the Month -- The Biological Gender Differences that Influence Learning

We've all sensed it--that boys and girls don't learn the same way or at the same rate. At last, there's scientific data to support what parents and teachers have known all along: biological gender differences exist. Dr. Michael Gurian, author of Boys and Girls Learn Differently, charts some of the contrasts found in boys and girls from the time they are toddlers until they are teens. Based on his findings, do you think boys and girls should be treated differently in the classroom? Share your opinion.


Girls: 99% of speech is comprehensible by age 3
Boys: 99% of speech is comprehensible by age 4 ½

Girls: After learning to stand, less likely to roam than boys
Boys: After learning to stand, shows more interest in roaming

Girls: At age 3, still more fatty tissue than muscle evident
Boys: At age 3, greater muscle mass already evident

Preschool and Kindergarten

Girls: Tends to build long, low stable structures of blocks
Boys: Tends to build higher structures to topple

Girls: On the playground, tends to congregate with other girls, welcomes newcomers
Boys: More individual running around, waits for newcomers to prove value or worth

Girls: Expresses emotions with words
Boys: Expresses emotions through action



Grades 1-3

Girls: Superior at seeing in low light, and hearing
Boys: Superior at certain visual tasks in bright light


Girls: Reads better and sooner than boys
Boys: Takes longer at reading mastery

Girls: Better at tests requiring listening to questions
Boys: Better at test requiring circling of answers

Girls: Comprise 5% of all hyperactive children
Boys: Comprise 95% of all hyperactive children

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