Monday, December 19, 2005

Boys and Girls are Different - Eyes & Ears

From a review of Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leonard Sax found on The Claremont Institute via Arts & Letters Daily:

[note: scientific debate is encouraged but flaming is not. I have pasted enough material around the specific sentences on eyes and ears to give context. Any opinions expressed are those of the writer being quoted. If anyone out there has references to studies that support or refute the positions stated in the quote, please post them. Keith]

Fortunately, Sax, a family physician and child psychologist, subscribes to none of the usual cant. Indeed, I thought I was a connoisseur of sex differences until I read Why Gender Matters, where I learned in the first chapter, for instance, that girls on average hear better than boys, especially higher-pitched sounds, such as the typical schoolteacher's voice, which is one little-known reason girls on average pay more attention in class.

Males and females also tend to have different kinds of eyeballs, with boys better at tracking movement and girls better at distinguishing subtle shades of colors. Presumably, these separate skills evolved when men were hunters trying to spear fleeing game and women were gatherers searching out the ripest fruit. So, today, boys want to catch fly balls and girls want to discuss whether to buy the azure or periwinkle skirt. Cognitive differences are profound and pervasive. Don't force boys to explain their feelings in great detail, Sax advises. Their brains aren't wired to make that as enjoyable a pastime as it is for girls.

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