Boys and Girls: 7 Ways to Compare and Contrast

Learn the similarities and differences between the genders.

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1. Infant Exploration

Similarity: Both male and female infants explore their surroundings.

Difference: Girls look at new objects without touching. Boys explore new objects through touch and manipulation. Girls are more likely to reach out to caregivers. Boys become more independent from caregivers than girls.

2. Skills of Strength

Similarity: Girls' and boys' verbal and spatial abilities are relatively similar until 9 to 13 years old.

Difference: Girls perform better during the school-age years in spelling, language measures, and writing. Boys have a stronger ability to visualize and mentally rotate objects.

3. Masters of Math

Similarity: More girls are taking advanced math classes with boys, such as calculus.

Difference: Girls earn higher grades in math during elementary school. Around age 15 boys surpass girls in math computation and problem-solving.

4. Stereotypes in Society

Similarity: Western culture places expectations for how boys and girls should behave and feel.

Difference: Girls are portrayed as more helpful and emotional. Society views boys as more active and aggressive.

5. Acts of Aggression

Similarity: Both boys and girls display aggression.

Difference: Girls use relational aggression more than boys (name-calling, excluding friends). Boys show more physical aggression than girls (hitting, kicking).

6. Styles of Influence

Similarity: Both boys and girls display influence through assertion.

Difference: Girls are more likely to verbally persuade. Boys are more likely to influence others with threats or physical force.

7. Adolescent Emotions

Similarity: Both boys and girls are capable of feeling and acting suicidal.

Difference: Girls are more likely to show anxiety or depression and attempt suicide. Boys are less likely to report feelings of sadness, shame or guilt. Boys are more likely to actually commit suicide.

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