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Talking to Boys the Way We Talk to Girls


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A 2014 study in Pediatrics found that mothers interacted vocally more often with their infant daughters than they did their infant sons. In a different study, a team of British researchers found that Spanish mothers were more likely to use emotional words and emotional topics when speaking with their 4-year-old daughters than with their 4-year-old sons. Interestingly, the same study revealed that daughters were more likely than sons to speak about their emotions with their fathers when talking about past experiences. And during these reminiscing conversations, fathers used more emotion-laden words with their 4-year-old daughters than with their 4-year-old sons.

 

What’s more, a 2017 study led by Emory University researchers discovered, among other things, that fathers also sing and smile more to their daughters, and they use language that is more “analytical” and that acknowledges their sadness far more than they do with their sons. The words they use with sons are more focused on achievement — such as “win” and “proud.” Researchers believe that these discrepancies in fathers’ language may contribute to “the consistent findings that girls outperform boys in school achievement outcomes.”

 

After visits to the emergency room for accidental injuries, another study found, parents of both genders talk differently to sons than they do to daughters. They are nearly four times more likely to tell girls than boys to be more careful if undertaking the same activity again. The same study cited earlier research which found that parents of both genders used “directives” when teaching their 2- to 4-year-old sons how to climb down a playground pole but offered extensive “explanations” to daughters.

 

From Talking to Boys the Way We Talk to Girls (The New York Times)

 

 

Johan

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From the article:  Just as women’s studies classes have long examined the ways that gendered language undermines women and girls, a growing body of research shows that stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys...

 

Why do we limit the emotional vocabulary of boys?

We tell ourselves we are preparing our sons to fight (literally and figuratively), to compete in a world and economy that’s brutish and callous. The sooner we can groom them for this dystopian future, the better off they’ll be.

 

I find this article a bit confusing.  I they subscribe to evolution, then the tougher they are, the better the survival.  So, evolution teaches that men are meant to be the tough ones, no?  Now why would they find that "stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys"?  Because we live in a world that is becoming genderless and fluid.  It suits the LGBQTI agenda as well.  Well, that's what I got out of this article when I read it.

 

But, here's a thought: Maybe they were created "male and female".  The scriptures give a balanced approach to the gender roles, as complements of each other, both with the capacity of a range of emotions in reflection of Jehovah God in whose image we are made.  Too simple and basic for them?

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That's funny when I watched my cousins when I was younger if anyone got hurt (boy or girl) I was hovering like a hawk trying to care for them. :lol: The boys were usually like it's just a scratch I don't need a bandaid. It's funny how the world makes it so wrong for a guy to cry. I always told my friends, it takes more courage to cry than it does to hold in your emotions. Satan is out to confuse the young ones, it's saddening..

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From the article:  Just as women’s studies classes have long examined the ways that gendered language undermines women and girls, a growing body of research shows that stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys...
 
Why do we limit the emotional vocabulary of boys?
We tell ourselves we are preparing our sons to fight (literally and figuratively), to compete in a world and economy that’s brutish and callous. The sooner we can groom them for this dystopian future, the better off they’ll be.
 
I find this article a bit confusing.  I they subscribe to evolution, then the tougher they are, the better the survival.  So, evolution teaches that men are meant to be the tough ones, no?  Now why would they find that "stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys"?  Because we live in a world that is becoming genderless and fluid.  It suits the LGBQTI agenda as well.  Well, that's what I got out of this article when I read it.
 
But, here's a thought: Maybe they were created "male and female".  The scriptures give a balanced approach to the gender roles, as complements of each other, both with the capacity of a range of emotions in reflection of Jehovah God in whose image we are made.  Too simple and basic for them?

I think what they mean is that we are quick to tell kids that boys like blue and girls like pink, boys like tools and weapons and girls like dolls, boys are spoken to in a rough ways but girls are spoken to in a milder manner. This is not ALWAYS true, but usually. In extension, when the kids grow up we tell our daughters that bad things will happen if they walk outdoors by themselves after dark, but not to boys even if statistically they are more prone to become victims of violence. And then we wonder why our boys grow up the way they do.


Johan
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That's funny when I watched my cousins when I was younger if anyone got hurt (boy or girl) I was hovering like a hawk trying to care for them. :lol: The boys were usually like it's just a scratch I don't need a bandaid. It's funny how the world makes it so wrong for a guy to cry. I always told my friends, it takes more courage to cry than it does to hold in your emotions. Satan is out to confuse the young ones, it's saddening..

In many cultures, it is not ok for boys and men to show emotions. It is not ok to show soft qualities. Some parents fear letting their sons play with dolls, as they think it will make them gay, whereas it will encourage young boys to become sensitive to the needs of other people, and thereby become better men.


Johan
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I guess I cannot really comment on this entire subject since I only had girls. That said, two of my girls work in the LDC installing carpet.

 

My oldest daughter is a "machine operator" for a newspaper and my third daughter is a "press operator" at the newspaper. Just because they are girls does not mean they can't do "man's" work. After all, my wife is the warehouse manager and drives a forklift and "clamp-truck"

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That was brought out well on jwbroadcasting ... in fact secular companies dealing with JW's were surprised at how many women were on the construction sites - that's a huge indication of how Jehovah and his organization have utmost respect for women, but they did make an interesting comment which fits into this thread - they said: "We just have to learn to talk to them differently" - so perhaps speaking to a woman differently does not mean they are headed in different directions, we just simply have a different makeup emotionally and sometimes in our thought processes.

 

Interesting thread.

 

John lovely to hear that your daughters are being used so much by Jehovah ... sounds like you and your wife have raised some very capable sisters who are benefiting our organization very well. 

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I actually wrote a little something on this a while back on the topic of questioning what masculinity or femininity really is as well as the topic of men and expression of emotion. 

 

https://theuniverseofeccentricm.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/masculinity-vs-femininity-and-the-laws-of-attraction/ 

 

https://theuniverseofeccentricm.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/emotions-and-manliness/

Edited by EccentricM
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My viewpoint is that men and women are different, feel differently and express themselves differently, so it's just normal to talk to them differently. Of course it may be positive to teach boys to express their feelings and the like, but in the end boys will be boys and girls will be girls.

 

2 hours ago, Thesauron said:

Some parents fear letting their sons play with dolls, as they think it will make them gay, whereas it will encourage young boys to become sensitive to the needs of other people, and thereby become better men.

I don't agree with this thought. If I had a son, I wouldn't want him playing with dolls and girls' games. Nor for fear that he may become gay, but he certainly may become effeminate.

 

There was a young boy in our congregation who always wanted to be a princess when playing with the other children in the KH. Naturally he spent all the time watching princess movies, playing with dolls and trying princess clothes. Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I don't want my boy to be a princess. Boys need to learn to be boys and girls need to learn to be girls.

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It's what I was trying to say in my comment above too.  Gender roles, as per what the Bible says, are not what is wrong.  We know that.  But the world has a view that gender doesn't really exist, at least in a binary man/woman sense, but rather is fluid.  And that is fed by the homosexual movement.  I think that as a society we should allow both genders to feel emotions and be able to express them - for this is what being a human is.  Jehovah himself commands us to feel compassion, to show courage, to show love etc, and we all need to be doing that.  But drilling down to each gender, we do things differently - as designed.  That is not a bad thing.  

 

It seems to me that the studies mentioned are showing that humans treat their sons differently than their daughters - and they conclude that is not good.  I don't agree with this blanket statement.  I think we are designed to treat our girls differently than our boys because of the gender roles assigned to us.  However, humans have always stuffed up the way they do things, so parents have not been able to do this natural nurturing as was intended by Jehovah.

 

"gendered language undermines women and girls, a growing body of research shows that stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys... " Jehovah, though, speaks to all of us as his human children, and is kind to both sexes, but still expects us to adhere to our gender roles.  These two scriptures are examples of how Jehovah wants it done.

 

Teach them to your children*, speaking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. Deut 11:19

 

We became gentle in your midst, as when a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children*.  - 1 Thess 2:7

 

* both genders of children

 

And then there are gender specific scriptures such as Num 27:8, which talks about inheritance rules, and Prov 31 the capable wife.  And they show what Jehovah wants of his male and female human creation and how it adheres to his original purpose for us: It is not good for the man to continue to be alone. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him. - Gen 2:18

 

The findings from these studies seem to show that we should treat our children equally, not using gendered language, because that is harmful.  However "gendered language" is not the problem.  It is the whole of society hell-bent on blurring the gender roles, and using their conclusions to further their bias, contrary to what Jehovah wants for his children.

 

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1 hour ago, carlos said:

Boys need to learn to be boys and girls need to learn to be girls.

I'd be less inclined to disagree if you had said:

 

boys need to learn how to become men and girls need to learn how to become women, because until puberty, boys and girls are biologically and psychologically near identical.

 

Puberty is really where sex-gender comes from.

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12 minutes ago, Brandon said:

I'd be less inclined to disagree if you had said:

 

boys need to learn how to become men and girls need to learn how to become women, because until puberty, boys and girls are biologically and psychologically near identical.

 

Puberty is really where sex-gender comes from.

I'm not saying you're wrong. :) But most boys I know don't want to be princesses.

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4 hours ago, Qapla said:

I guess I cannot really comment on this entire subject since I only had girls. That said, two of my girls work in the LDC installing carpet.

 

My oldest daughter is a "machine operator" for a newspaper and my third daughter is a "press operator" at the newspaper. Just because they are girls does not mean they can't do "man's" work. After all, my wife is the warehouse manager and drives a forklift and "clamp-truck"

Nice visuals of sisters on this month's broadcast.

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My viewpoint is that men and women are different, feel differently and express themselves differently, so it's just normal to talk to them differently. Of course it may be positive to teach boys to express their feelings and the like, but in the end boys will be boys and girls will be girls.
 
I don't agree with this thought. If I had a son, I wouldn't want him playing with dolls and girls' games. Nor for fear that he may become gay, but he certainly may become effeminate.
 
There was a young boy in our congregation who always wanted to be a princess when playing with the other children in the KH. Naturally he spent all the time watching princess movies, playing with dolls and trying princess clothes. Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I don't want my boy to be a princess. Boys need to learn to be boys and girls need to learn to be girls.

I don't agree. You're not a gender, you're a person. And you have chances to grow up into a good person with a good upbringing. Being 'effeminate' is not wrong, if that's who you are. Men and women are different, sure, but it does not need to be enforced by upbringing. It's there anyway. So if a boy wants to play with a doll, by all means, make him happy. If a girl wants to play with cars, sure.

What the kids need to learn does not differ much - they need to learn to take care of each other, not the macho, have-no-feelings, stuff. Boys do well to learn how to cook for their family and themselves, and girls do really well knowing how to take care of house and cars, etc. You don't speak to girls in a rough way, and you don't speak to boys that way either. If your girl needs a hug and a kiss, you give it. If your boy needs a hug and a kiss, you give it.


Johan
I'm not saying you're wrong. But most boys I know don't want to be princesses.

Exactly, you don't need to force them. Some boys will rather play with dolls than cars. So let them.


Johan
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It's what I was trying to say in my comment above too.  Gender roles, as per what the Bible says, are not what is wrong.  We know that.  But the world has a view that gender doesn't really exist, at least in a binary man/woman sense, but rather is fluid.  And that is fed by the homosexual movement.  I think that as a society we should allow both genders to feel emotions and be able to express them - for this is what being a human is.  Jehovah himself commands us to feel compassion, to show courage, to show love etc, and we all need to be doing that.  But drilling down to each gender, we do things differently - as designed.  That is not a bad thing.  
 
It seems to me that the studies mentioned are showing that humans treat their sons differently than their daughters - and they conclude that is not good.  I don't agree with this blanket statement.  I think we are designed to treat our girls differently than our boys because of the gender roles assigned to us.  However, humans have always stuffed up the way they do things, so parents have not been able to do this natural nurturing as was intended by Jehovah.
 
"gendered language undermines women and girls, a growing body of research shows that stereotypical messages are similarly damaging to boys... " Jehovah, though, speaks to all of us as his human children, and is kind to both sexes, but still expects us to adhere to our gender roles.  These two scriptures are examples of how Jehovah wants it done.
 

Teach them to your children*, speaking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. Deut 11:19

 

We became gentle in your midst, as when a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children*.  - 1 Thess 2:7

 

* both genders of children

 
And then there are gender specific scriptures such as Num 27:8, which talks about inheritance rules, and Prov 31 the capable wife.  And they show what Jehovah wants of his male and female human creation and how it adheres to his original purpose for us: It is not good for the man to continue to be alone. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him. - Gen 2:18
 
The findings from these studies seem to show that we should treat our children equally, not using gendered language, because that is harmful.  However "gendered language" is not the problem.  It is the whole of society hell-bent on blurring the gender roles, and using their conclusions to further their bias, contrary to what Jehovah wants for his children.
 

I think you've misunderstood the article. The point is that society tells us to treat children differently to their harm. Boys are taught not to feel and girls to be submissive, fragile, and afraid, not so much necessarily in what the parents and people around them say, but in how they are treated. But you need to raise strong, happy, and emotionally stable kids. You cannot do this if doing things "like a girl" is something negative. But try to treat them equally, and they will no doubt be happier and more stable. The bible nowhere says that boys cannot play princesses, if they like to, just as it doesn't say a girl cannot play a prince.


Johan
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44 minutes ago, Thesauron said:

 The bible nowhere says that boys cannot play princesses, if they like to, just as it doesn't say a girl cannot play a prince.


Johan

I think there are clear Bible prinçipals on this, like not dressing as the other gender (in the Torah, Deuteronomy 22:5). That's a completely different issue to neglectful abuse ~ or more speçifically, the especially damaging emotional neglect.

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I think there are clear Bible prinçipals on this, like not dressing as the other gender (in the Torah, Deuteronomy 22:5). That's a completely different issue to neglectful abuse ~ or more speçifically, the especially damaging emotional neglect.

Yes, this has to do with doing it as an adult. It might have sexual connotations. A child's play does not necessarily. It's a way for them to learn empathy, seeing things from another point of view, teaches creativity and role-play.


Johan
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43 minutes ago, Thesauron said:

Yes, this has to do with doing it as an adult. It might have sexual connotations. A child's play does not necessarily. It's a way for them to learn empathy, seeing things from another point of view, teaches creativity and role-play.


Johan

Would you encourage/allow children to cross dress?

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Would you encourage/allow children to cross dress?

I was visiting and elder and his young family some weeks ago. The 3 year old son suddenly comes into the living room dressed in pink high heels, lipstick, necklaces and a colourful t-shirt. We said nothing about it. It doesn't matter much. Does his parents encourage it? I doubt they're forcing the boy, they're just letting him examine what he feels he has to. The next day he'll dress up as a fireman, policeman, nurse, or doctor.


Johan
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3 hours ago, Thesauron said:

Boys do well to learn how to cook

 

What does this have to do with anything? Since we all eat, we should all know how to cook - so we can feed ourselves.

 

Besides ... where did the idea that "men don't cook" come from? Most of the World's Great Chefs - are men! It has only been recently that women chefs have become noteworthy.

 

Cooking and cross-dressing have nothing to do with each other. Teaching your son to be a "girl" or teaching your daughter to be a "boy" is not consistent with Biblical admonition. 

 

If a girl wants to wear pants .... fine, but they could be girl's/women's pants not "men's" pants (there is a difference). If a boy wants to wear a dress/skirt - let them wear a "kilt".

 

Like I mentioned, I have all daughters. I taught them how to install flooring, drive a tractor and a few other "boy things". However, they also wear high heels, earrings, etc.

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What does this have to do with anything? Since we all eat, we should all know how to cook - so we can feed ourselves.
 
Besides ... where did the idea that "men don't cook" come from? Most of the World's Great Chefs - are men! It has only been recently that women chefs have become noteworthy.
 
Cooking and cross-dressing have nothing to do with each other. Teaching your son to be a "girl" or teaching your daughter to be a "boy" is not consistent with Biblical admonition. 
 
If a girl wants to wear pants .... fine, but they could be girl's/women's pants not "men's" pants (there is a difference). If a boy wants to wear a dress/skirt - let them wear a "kilt".
 
Like I mentioned, I have all daughters. I taught them how to install flooring, drive a tractor and a few other "boy things". However, they also wear high heels, earrings, etc.

Indeed. But you are misreading me. Cooking professionally has been a male occupation for a long time. Cooking for the family not so much, unless it includes fire and is outdoors with a beer in hand.

You do not "teach a boy to be a girl" by letting him explore the world and himself. The same goes for girls. You teach them to be healthy, independent, and emotionally stable human beings.

Let me tell you another thing that is being taught to some boys: boys don't do 'effeminate' things like singing, especially emotional songs. (Although I know some of the greatest singers are men). Their fathers whisper the songs at the Kingdom Hall, or some times don't even bother to move their lips. And if their sons wants to learn dancing, it's a no. ("Only girls and gays do ballet.") It makes me sad and makes me want to tell these men to be a good examples to their sons. The renaissance men got something right, lol.


Johan
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Johan,

 

Just out of curiosity, are you a parent? Are you raising or have you raised children?

 

-------------------------------

 

Not sure how things are done in your neck of the woods, but here in Florida, USA where I live, even though most boys are not given dolls (the "girly kind", I am not talking about G.I Joe) they are NOT taught that guys do not sing, dance or show feelings.

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Most girls I know go through a princess stage ... dressing up as princesses and fairies ... there are very few I know who don't, but not all if many stay in that stage, they move on ... my daughter for instance when little always dressed up pretty ... but in her early teens wanted to be a truck driver ... and is now back apparently, to dressing up pretty again and being a little diva ... so I think everyone's life is full of stages, and most girls as Brother Carlos said, go through the princess stage, some more prolonged than others ... but its all about learning about themselves, grooming, etc.   When it's taken to the extreme, in my opinion, like those preschoolers who do paegeants etc., I think other abilities are stunted and their personalities don't become defined or deep.

 

 

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My parents, and especially my mother, raised me up in a very "girly" way. My mother loved putting me into nice dresses, I was quite young when I got earrings, the presents I received were mostly dolls, etc. 

But the only "typical female" thing about me is my fondness for shoes and handbags :laugh:

I don't like "sob stuff", I hardly use make-up, I wear heels only at the meetings and conventions - if at all - and I simply love soccer.

 

I can imagine my mother shaking her head and wondering "what did I do wrong?" :shrugs:

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