While every child develops at his or her own pace there are certain developmental differences between girls and boys that do stand out.
1. Physical growth
Girls and boys actually grow at a similar rate until elementary school. Girls start growing at a fast pace in late elementary school and the boys then catch up and overtake growing taller than girls.
2. Onset of Puberty
Girls hit puberty at an earlier age than boys. Some girls begin puberty as young as eight years old, but others as late as twelve years old.
Boys usually start hitting puberty at the earliest only around the nine year old mark.
3. Verbal Skills
Girls usually start talking much earlier than boys do. They also have a higher vocabulary and much more complex understanding of language than boys.
This extends right to school years where in general girls have better spelling, writing, reading and overall language skills than boys.
4. Gross Motor Skills
Boys are known to be more active than girls in general and they show more advanced gross motor skills such as running, jumping and balancing.
5. Fine Motor Skills
Girls show more skill than boys with fine motor skills such as writing and holding a pen.
6. Spatial Skills
This is one of the major differences between the developmental differences in girls and boys. Boys have a much better grasp of spatial skills. Girls seem to struggle more with boys excelling in this from the age of nine years on.
7. Hand eye coordination
Boys generally have a better grasp of hand eye coordination skills probably due to the fact that their gross motor skills and spatial skills are more advanced than girls.
8. Handling and understanding emotions
Girls tend to learn how to understand and handle their emotions faster than boys. This could be a result of girls being able to communicate easier than boys. Girls tend to express their emotions verbally while boys express themselves physically.
9. Sensory and Cognitive Development
Before the age of three years old girls tend to have more advanced skills in memory, touch, hearing, smell and vision.
After the age of three years old this gap gets narrowed when the boys skills advance with hand eye coordination and spatial skills.
10. Potty Training
When it comes to potty training girls vs boys the girls tend to take the lead here, starting potty training much earlier than boys. They not only start earlier but they tend to master the skill in less time with fewer accidents than boys.
When children grow up into adults there are often differences between them as men and women. Some of these are because often men and women do have aptitudes for different things.
However, a lot of differences in adults come about from gender stereotyping while the child is growing up.
It is interesting to note how men and women very often seem to gravitate towards certain careers.
This is true not only in the workplace, but also in education. For example some statistics from the team at DevelopIntelligence highlight the large gap between male and female students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields at school.
What developmental differences between girls and boys have you noticed?