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Cognitive Gender Differences (page 4)

By — Gender Differences Special Edition Contributor
Updated on May 17, 2010

Conclusion

How children learn is a major consideration in how well your child will do in school. Teachers pay attention to learning disabilities, to visual and hearing handicaps, to cultural issues, to language differences, and to a host of other factors that influence how successful children are in school. If you can help your child acquire skills which will enable her or him to read, write, and listen, you will be helping your child get ready for school.   

Steps Parents Can Take to Faciliate Cognitive Development in Boys and Girls

  • Females begin to talk sooner, but males will likely catch up with later support. To facilitate language development in your son, include him in conversations. Girls are likely to have something to say, but boys need to be encouraged.
  • Males are more likely to be diagnosed with language difficulties, including stuttering, handwriting, and reading problems. Read to you son every night to promote improved verbal abilities and reading habits.
  • Boys have greater activity in the portion of the brain associated with spatial skills. Indeed, boys are more likely to easily learn physical activities involving spatial knowledge. You can help your daughter to further develop her spatial skills by encouraging her to practice these skills, including tossing her toys into a toy box.
  • Boys' advanced abilities in spatial skills may be another reason why boys prefer video games more than girls. To inspire a girl with video games, select games that offer more strategy than quick reactions.
  • Perceptual speed is one spatial task that girls excel in. To promote perceptual speed in boys, suggest the use of find and identify tasks, such as "I Spy."
References
  1. Jaušovec, N., & Jaušovec, K. (2008). Spatial rotation and recognizing emotions: Gender related differences in brain activity. Intelligence, 36, 383-393.
  2. McClure, E. B., Monk, C. S., Nelson, E. E., Zarahan, E., Leibenluft, E., Bilder, R. M., et al. (2004). A developmental examination of gender differences in brain engagement during evaluation of threat. Biological Psychiatry (1047-1055).
  3. Kimura, D. (2000). Sex and cognition. Cambridge, MA: A Bradford Book/The MIT Press.
  4. Halpern, D. F. (2004). A cognitive-process taxonomy for sex differences in cognitive abilities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4), 135-139.
  5. Hyde, J. S., & Kling, K. C. (2001). Women, motivation, and achievement. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 25, 364-378.
  6. Stumpf, H. (1998). Gender-related differences in academically talented students' scores and use of time on tests of spatial ability. Gifted Child Quarterly, 42(3), 157-171.
  7. Howell, P., Davis, S., & Williams, R. (2008). Late childhood stuttering. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 51(3), 669-687.
  8. Berninger, V. W., Nielsen, K. H., Abbott, R. D., Wijsman, E., & Raskind, W. (2008). Gender differences in severity of writing and reading disabilities. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 151-172.
  9. Shaywitz, S. E., Shaywitz, B., Fletcher, J. M., & Escobar, M. (1990). Prevalence of reading disability in boys and girls. Journal of the American Medical Association, 264, 998-1002.
  10. Shucard, J. L., & Shucard, D. W. (1990). Auditory evoked potentials and hand preference in 6-month-old infants: Possible gender-related differences in cerebral organization. Developmental Psychology, 26(6), 923-930.
  11. Hines, M. (2004). Brain gender. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  12. Linn, M., & Petersen, A. (1985). Emergence and characterization of sex differences in spatial ability. Child Development, 56, 1479-1498.
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