If you are a parent of one boy, people call you “lucky”. If you’ve got two boys, you’re “busy”. Three boys makes you “crazy”. Four boys and everyone is secretly sad for you, and assumes you are still “trying for a girl”.

Probably have a girl after this, innit… Photo: Herald Sun

The assumption, you see, is that no one in their right mind would voluntarily have more than two boys. Three or four girls? No problem.

But there is a real stigma in our society, it seems, about having a family with lots of boys.

However, is there really such a difference between raising boys and raising girls?

And why does everyone act as if girls come from Venus and boys come from Uranus?

A new book, called MOB Rule: Lessons Learned by a Mother of Boys, makes it clear that a family of boys and a family of girls is a world apart.

Author Hannah Evans, mum of three boys, explains that Mothers of Boys (MOB) learn to burp the alphabet backwards, stockpile cereal, and do school drop-off in
“seen-better-days fleece”.

Meanwhile, Mothers of Girls (MOG) arrive at the school “groomed and gleaming” in white trousers and tight pink tops, with manicured nails matching their immaculate motor cars.

MOGs, Evans says, will smile sympathetically at the MOBs and quickly “huddle the girls off in the opposite direction”.

Can this really be true? Yes, I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

The real question is why no one writing books bemoaning how hard it is to be the mother of three girls. Surely someone knee-deep in ballet costumes, Barbies and One Direction fan clubs deserves a 300-page winge-fest of their own?

So is there really such a big gender gap? Sadly, it would seem so.

One of Australia’s most eminent children’s psychologists, Steve Biddulph, certainly thinks there is.

In fact, he’s made a lot of money convincing us that the two sexes are so divergent that we need to buy entirely different books to help us raise them properly.

Indeed, after decades of buying dolls for boys and matchbox cars for girls, the differences between boys and girls seems wider than ever.

I was recently in a department store toy section and I saw aisle after aisle of branded “boy” toys like Ben 10, Transformers and Lego. Girls’ aisles were a sea of pink dolls houses, Little Ponies and annoying tiny little fluoro bead sets.

And there’s always an endless supply of advertisers to keep the gender game going: most recently Cottee’s released cordial with blue or pink labels as part of its “boys v girls” summer promotion.

I have one girl and two boys, so have seen a bit of both sides. It does seem the presence of both genders does seem to take the edge off things somewhat. My seven-year-old girlie-girl daughter, who loves doing hooker-style makeup with her friends, also loves playing cricket with her brothers.

And my younger son, who’s a real tear-away little boy, recently demanded to know why there was no “big boy nail polish”. (Don’t tell my husband I actually bought him some).

But at the same time, I know how intractable gender differences seem to be.

I know when my first son was a baby I speed-drank coffee standing up in cafes for years: I was always on alert, ready to pounce commando-style in case he started crawling under other people’s tables or pulled his willy out to wee on a nearby chair leg.

My daughter loved sitting still, and I remember her early years fondly as the era of the long leisurely latte – which was nonetheless still 15 minutes max.

Ultimately, stereotypes exist because they reflect the realities we see in daily life.

As MOB Hannah Evans concludes, you can lead a boy to Barbie, but you can’t make him pink.

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    • TheHuntress says:

      03:22pm | 16/02/13

      I always thought I wanted a girl when I was pregnant, I thought I wanted a little dolly to dress up in gorgeous outfits and play princesses with. So, when I found out I was having a boy I was a little miffed (boys outfits just weren’t the same).

      But then I found out how awesome little boys really are! They are so cool! You get to play with much cooler toys, they’re always entertaining you with their latest adventure (finding my son upside down in a tree wearing little more than boots and being watered by a rogue sprinkler springs to mind) and you don’t have to do their hair before you leave the house in the morning.

      Being the mum of a boy means that you can be gleaming and groomed at the school gate because you didn’t have to fuss over their outfit for the day. Being the mum of a boy means everything is an adventure to be explored and everyone is invited. Being the mum of a boy makes your heart swell every time they grab your hand and say “you’re the most beautiful mum, ever, I hope I marry a lady like you” (my boy is only 8, so I cherish each of these comments ‘cause I’m sure they’ll stop soon).

      Every time someone announces a pregnancy I always hope for them they have a boy. Maybe it’s a mother/son thing but I never imagined having a gorgeous, grubby little boy could tug your heart so much. I am now grateful for having had a boy, rather than a girl (yes, partly selfish, I would rather do my own makeup and hair than that of a child) and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Boys rock!

    • vox says:

      01:57pm | 16/02/13

      If your husband’s genes are so arranged toward the masculine propensity, you will have a majority of male children. If he is dominated by the feminine gene you will have only girls. And I should know because my six sons prove it.
      I have the scientific evidence to prove my statement’s validity.

    • bj says:

      04:34pm | 16/02/13

      Please help us to find the scientific studies you mention.

    • NSS says:

      03:21pm | 16/02/13

      No actually, that’s not completely correct biologically. Several factors determine the sex of the baby, including sperm motility (not the gender). viz :

      “At conception, gender is determined by chromosome characteristics - and it will be the male (or rather the male’s sperm) that dictates whether the baby will be a boy or a girl.
      Prior to conception, the unfertilized egg carries an X chromosome while the sperm can carry either an X or a Y chromosome. The gender of the baby comes down to one simple event:

      If the sperm carrying an X chromosome fertilizes the egg, a girl will be conceived.
      If the sperm carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes the egg, a boy will be conceived.

      Timing of Intercourse.
      Studies indicate that the sperm with the X chromosome - or female chromosome - have a longer life span than the male sperm (with the Y chromosome).
      Yet the male sperm appear to have a higher motility. Sperm motility is measured in two ways: percentage of sperm exhibiting movement, and the quality of this movement, which is called the forward progression. Poor motility means the sperm have a difficult time swimming toward the egg.

      It is said that the sperm carrying the Y chromosome uses energy faster than the sperm carrying the X chromosome. The energy utilization is said to be due to the speed in which sperm swim. Supposedly, the Y sperm is speedy or contains less mitochondria whereas the X sperm is slower or carries more mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy producing cellular components which are absolutely necessary for life. Sperm contain, and can only produce, so much fuel for their journey.

      If one sperm type swims faster than another, the consequence of that, of course, is faster arrival - but also faster expiration. That said, if a woman knows her cycle and when she ovulates, the odds of baby gender prediction can be in one’s favor. Sperm can reach the fallopian tubes in about 20 minutes to 2 hours. Sperm are viable for about 4-7 days inside the woman.”

    • kitteh says:

      01:25pm | 16/02/13

      And once again, the issue of gender differences is hijacked by the latest instalment of ‘I’m A Mommy Martyr’. That’s really all Evans’ book boils down to. Biddulph at least approaches the subject without having to bleat about how easy every other parent has it.

    • Miss Wormwood says:

      01:17pm | 16/02/13

      What a boring bloody subject.  I can’t remember ever having been interested in anything Susie wants to talk about.  Where did Laurie get to?

    • Mik says:

      03:36pm | 16/02/13

      Just the lull before the storm so just chatting away aout our modern families.

    • Mik says:

      12:52pm | 16/02/13

      Have both - the most delightful thing is how “individual” they were right from birth. There were days in their teens when I loved them but didn’t always like them but at those times the feeling was probably mutual. Anyway, in spite of my parenting which at times was a bit haphazard, they have grown into fine adults.

    • Katie says:

      12:33pm | 16/02/13

      ““Meanwhile, Mothers of Girls (MOG) arrive at the school “groomed and gleaming” in white trousers and tight pink tops, with manicured nails matching their immaculate motor cars.”

      Um… seriously? You obviously never met my mother, who rocked up in the battered old 4WD in her trackies because, really, it was a school run, not a glamour parade. But then, my sister and I aren’t particularly good at being girls, if your sumerisation of our gender is correct.

      And… just because your girl sat still, while your son didn’t, means that the stereotypes are true? No, that’s just your experience. The stereotypes persist because parents, not children, keep them in business. Why else has ‘girl lego’ come out? When I was a kid, lego wasn’t for either gender.

      Frankly, I feel sorry for anyone with 4 kids, no matter the gender. 4 kids of any gender would be a nightmare.

    • Michele says:

      12:12pm | 16/02/13

      I have almost sucessfully raised 2 girls - both finished School and 2 boys both in their last years of school.  Give me boys anyday is all I can say. Love them all to death but teenage girls nearly killed me - teenage boys as long as they are fed and have had plenty of sleep are angels…. and despite what all the politically corrrect people say boys and girls are totally different and need to be parented accordingly.

    • trash says:

      11:47am | 16/02/13

      This is the same “writer” who recently said that she thinks all toy guns should be taken off the shelves and banned.
      She obviously has very little uderstanding of boys or men in general.

      Buying your son nail polish and promoting girl values will make him a gay. But you seem to be a half brained feminist anyway. Maybe you can take your boys in and get their disgusting doodles chopped off and then you can have 3 girls. Take your husband in too then you won’t have to worry about males in your house at all. And you can get as dressed up as you like when you take you princesses to school.

    • Tez says:

      03:40pm | 16/02/13

      I really hope you dont breed, as the world needs less bogans with these types disgustingly vile anachronistic, xenophobic and misogynistic views.

    • LaDiva says:

      11:41am | 16/02/13

      Three weeks ago I gave birth to two beautiful twin boys at 23 weeks’ gestation. One was stillborn and the other died two days later. While pregnant I worried how on earth I would cope with twin boys and a two year-old daughter. Now my worries seem so stupid. I would put up with anything just to have my boys back.

    • TheHuntress says:

      03:36pm | 16/02/13

      LaDiva, I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss. I can’t imagine what kind of pain you and your family are going through. Wishing you kind thoughts.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:13am | 16/02/13

      One kid or three, it seems that parents will always play the martyr. It’s not like humans haven’t been breeding for thousands of years. Send them to the fields to work or send them down a coalmine…..

    • Sickemrex says:

      10:58am | 16/02/13

      The boys vs girls toys options are very strange. Why is it that the boy’s toys seem to encourage physical activity and hand eye co-oridination whilst the girl’s toys primarily seem to encourage dimwittedness and vanity?

    • Paul says:

      10:58am | 16/02/13

      Just wait until they hit the age of twelve, then you will wish you only had boys.  While boys stuff ups are quite often spectacular, pubescent and teen girls are the most vile, psychologically destructive creatures in existence.  While being put through the ringer by a teenage daughter a colleague with three daughters advised that the best thing to do is dig a deep hole and bury them between that ages of 12 and 17, dig them up once they were past their worst and you can honestly bare living near them.

    • Jim Moriarty says:

      10:37am | 16/02/13

      I grew up with four older sisters (Irish Catholic parents) and so got most of their hand me down toys. I remember saving up for a whole year to buy a Voltron Lion.

      I still really, really hate Barbies. I stuck one in the oven once and called her Toxic Avenger Barbie.

    • Tez says:

      03:33pm | 16/02/13

      Yeah, my sister’s childhood friend had the unusual habit of knawing the breasts of her barbies. I hope she didn’t grow up to be a bra fitter.

    • Happy Dude says:

      10:29am | 16/02/13

      My parents got a set of each. Two boys, two girls. One boy is gay and one girl is gay too.

    • A Bryce says:

      10:21am | 16/02/13

      I have 2 boys. They are nothing like you have portrayed here. They have never tried to pee on anything in public, are not violent, or crass or impolite.People are all different, regardless of gender, and I have never been seen in ‘seen better days fleece’ I think people need to stop stereotyping, especially those who write columns such as this one. Im with you Rachel.

    • cybacaT says:

      10:13am | 16/02/13

      I loved this article - entertaining and thoughtful without being judgemental.  As a parent of both a boy and a girl, and growing up with both sorts of siblings, it’s very obvious that there are huge fundamental differences between the sexes.  As a society we need to accept that equal rights and opportunity doesn’t mean we have to pretend that both sexes are biologically, intellectually, or otherwise the same.

    • Bevan of Qld says:

      09:32am | 16/02/13

      With our boys and girls the only iron clad rule they had to learn was respect and friendliness for everyone, including strangers. Once that is set in stone they are free to develop their skills, boys in managing their risk and girls in managing their safety, thats what they all do, all of them, quite naturally and in every culture that I can see.

    • Rachel says:

      09:30am | 16/02/13

      Every individual is different and I’ve seen no evidence that personality is dictated by gender…only moulded by societal perceptions of gender.

    • Tez says:

      03:27pm | 16/02/13

      Mata, how then do you explain male ballet dancers, and female mechanics in your black and white world of limited understanding of gender roles. I’d hate to be an individual growing up in your household.

    • Mata Hari says:

      10:11am | 16/02/13

      @Rachel - That’s probably because you don’t have any children, numnut. If/when you do, hopefully you will have a girl and a boy and, despite your thinking that children are ‘moulded by societal perceptions of gender’, you will discover that boys actually like boy things (cars, motorbikes, toy guns) and girls like girl things (dolls, fairy wings, pretend makeup). Hopefully your stupid thinking won’t screw the poor things up too much. Move to Sweden for the full gender non stereotyping idiocracy. Numnut.

    • Josie says:

      09:06am | 16/02/13

      I am very anti-stereotyping children. My son had a pink ballet dress, because he wanted one, and my daughter loves Ninja Lego.

      But, I have friends with all girls or all boys, and they’d pretty much agree with everything you said. Go out with the MOGs and they ARE all neat, calm and manicured. The girls daintily open their menus and will sit through lunch. Even the sporty / outdoorsy / chess playing ones. The MOBs are running late, the boys sit still for 3 minutes then they’re desperate to be anywhere else.

    • ozballa says:

      09:06am | 16/02/13

      what i really want to know is why you are taking your kids to cafes in the 1st place? you can tell they arent designed for kids and that they dont enjoy going there by all the f*#king screaming they do when there…

    • infamous16 says:

      09:02am | 16/02/13

      This article is very inconclusive and shows Susie’s inability to give an opinion in an opinion piece. The style of this article would be more fitting in a gossip/whinge session rather than to be posted here. Gender differences remain because boys and girls are physically different and hence biological look for different things in their formative years; this is not to say that such barriers cannot be transcended but that they should indeed be recognised instead of being ignorant to such reality as many new age parents would suggest; to complain otherwise is nothing more than a self-righteous hissy fit.

    • NSS says:

      02:57pm | 16/02/13

      Yes and no. Sex (as in children being male and female biologically) becomes much more of an issue as puberty arrives and hormones begin rampaging. Hopefully, the upbringing one’s kids have had prior to this time will have given them role models and a grounding in ethics to help them cope and become well -adjusted, functioning adults. As well as receiving as continuing guidance from their parents,

      “Gender”( ie identifying as male or female) is much more of a continuum. Kids can be very masculine, very feminine and any mixture of the two on the spectrum.

    • Carz says:

      08:56am | 16/02/13

      I have one of each and if I am to be honest have to say parenting my son is less emotionally taxing than parenting my daughter. She, like many of her peers, isn’t known as a pre-teen drama queen for nothing.

    • Anne71 says:

      11:07am | 16/02/13

      I can only speak as an aunt rather than a parent, but in my experience boys are definitely easier to deal with - until they hit their teens and verbal communication is suddenly reduced to “one grunt for yes, two for no”
      wink Still beats the heck out of teenage girl histrionics, though!

    • Lucky says:

      08:50am | 16/02/13

      As the father of four girls I can assure you our car is neither immaculate nor do they sit still…...ever. They do punch on however, though its usually over pilfered makeup or clothes.

    • Bitten says:

      09:40am | 16/02/13

      One of my friends has three girls and the funniest thing I have ever seen is them tearing through the house, one in tears and angry as hell and the other two in fear of their lives but still giggling and when we pulled them up, the offence was the cryer had been annoying the first giggler over something to do with sport at school, the first giggler responded eventually by wiping a snot booger on the cryer’s arm, cryer was completely horrified and demanded a dettol bath, and the second giggler got caught up in it for laughing I guess.

      So ladylike and refined smile

    • Megs says:

      08:05am | 16/02/13

      I have 4 boys, all in 6 years. Mostly I hear comments along the line of how busy they’ll keep me, I think with a “glad it’s not me” mumbled under their breath. Occasionally a person with a genuine smile on their face will tell me how lucky I am and I truly appreciate those comments.

      Boys do everything bigger. They take up more space in most things they do. They play big, hug big, eat big, walk down the hallway big, clean their teeth big…you get the idea.

      I am noticing being a mother to boys more now that they are in and approaching teenage years than when they were younger. I am 1 female living with 5 males - and we only have 1 toilet.
      I can’t help being a female and needing to communicate as women do nor can they help what comes with being male, immature ones at that, and somehow we have to live together. I don’t have any sisters either, just brothers. Female friends are very valuable to me.

      Despite the challenges and there are many, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Male or female, my children have personalities and that’s what I love them for.

    • Faith says:

      12:30pm | 16/02/13

      Joan, both of my sisters in law and their husbands have no shame in turning their backs on their elderly mother.
      My husband and I, however have been there for my mother in law and have helped her financially many times.

      Your example may be the general rule, however, not all daughters step up and help their elderly parents when they need them.
      As the youngest son, my husband is there for his mum more than his selfish sisters.

    • willie says:

      11:34am | 16/02/13

      What a horrible thing to say

    • JTZ says:

      10:09am | 16/02/13

      @Joan and there is the issue. Having any chidlren is always easier when both parents are involved. I remember reading an article a while ago that outlined the increase in the number of boys being diagnosed with ADHD. When they looked further into it, it was discovered the reason for them being sent to doctors for ADHD testing was because they had large amounts on energy to burn and due their activeness the teachers in years 1 and 2 were not able to cope.

      The activeness in boys is natural thing when they are young but due to the teachers not being able to cope the boys were being sent to doctors who were putting them of the drugs to help reduce their energy levels.



    • Joan says:

      09:05am | 16/02/13

      Megs Congratulations , you seem to have your act together with all those men in your life. Generally I feel sorry for any woman who has four boys only. A friend of mine had five boys and her useless husband made it six.  She never had a spare moment wiping their noses etc etc. including Babe `hubby`s.  Any spare time left she would spend in her bedroom reading books as they hogged every other space in the house and TV.  Imagine all the smelly sports clothes etc etc. Yuk- sure felt sorry for her. I hope they are there for her in her old age,. As a health professional   I see that sons and daughter inlaws are never as helpful ,useful and caring as a daughter. My suggestion to you Megs, look for the son with the kindest most caring heart and help develop that aspect so that at least there is one son to be there for you in your old age.- you will deserve it.

    • NSS says:

      08:04am | 16/02/13

      ““Meanwhile, Mothers of Girls (MOG) arrive at the school “groomed and gleaming” in white trousers and tight pink tops, with manicured nails matching their immaculate motor cars.”

      .You’ve seen this happen time and time again? In your dreams, perhaps.  Ha!I have three daughters and this was never me. My life  when they were young (and the life of my friends in the same position ) was always hectic and perfect grooming was rarely achievable. Besides, I hate pink! 

      Time to spend on details for parents has much more to do with the number and personalities of one’s children than their gender. And your organisational skills.

      Now having a young boy in our household, sure, there are differences between the genders, but they are not so striking as you (and those who peddle books) would have us believe. Children are children. Letting them follow their interests, understanding their learning styles and providing adequate role models will ensure parents of either sex are on the right track.

    • NSS says:

      10:31am | 16/02/13

      In my experience, definitely, Sickemrex. My three girls are very different to one another personality-wise. In fact, they are so different people have trouble believing they are sisters -until they answer the phone. We all sound alike! Ha!

      The young boy in our household is already also beginning to develop a clear personality. It will be fascinating to see whom he becomes as he matures,

      Gender is a social construct and is a continuum anyway. Sex is biological and is not. The terms are used interchangeably (by me too, alas) but mean different things.

      PS. I have been fascinated with the recent series on ABC2 about the ladyboys of Thailand. If anything proves the above statement that sure does.

    • Sickemrex says:

      09:21am | 16/02/13

      +1 internets NSS. I think the differences between individuals much more relevant than the difference between genders.

    • willie says:

      11:29am | 16/02/13

      Some solid points there

    • Bill says:

      07:52am | 16/02/13

      Well why would you want boys when with goverment funding and policy aimed at assisting females but no assistance at all for boys. Boys have poorer health and education outcomes later in life, so I would not want boys for this reason.

    • Tubesteak says:

      04:19pm | 16/02/13

      Bill is probably referring to things like this: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/women/overview/office-for-women

      Despite there being no input bias in our society women are still the beneficiaries of significant government funding and programs. Also, the education system has been changed to favour female learning styles. This has also been discussed on The Punch

    • Rose says:

      12:55pm | 16/02/13

      I have both girls and boys and am completely unaware of any government funding benefit that my girls are eligible for but my boys aren’t!!

    • ren says:

      07:41am | 16/02/13

      Why is it ‘sad’ that boys and girls are different?
      Personally I like the diversity.
      You often hear women complain that boys aren’t like girls, and later, that men aren’t like women. To any women reading this - do you really want men to be like women? Do you really want your sons to be like your daughters?
      If so, then perhaps sexism needs a broader definition.

    • Faith says:

      12:22pm | 16/02/13

      There are positives and negatives in both genders. Both have so much to offer. I do not want to behave or be a male and my husband does not want to behave and be a woman. Opposites attract I guess!?

      I love all of my children equally and feel blessed to have them. It is irrelevant to me that I have both genders. They all offer something unique that makes them each special little people.

      To start a gender war is pathetic. I do know of women who have proudly stated that they are glad that they only have girls as girls are so much easier, whilst turning up their nose at my 2 funny and loud boys. All the while looking at my daughter with what appears to be sympathy….

    • Lynne says:

      07:33am | 16/02/13

      I am the mother of three boys (now in their 20s) but when they were growing up I actually felt lucky to have boys.  I didnt have to put up with tantrums, emotional outbursts, the school cliques etc etc that I saw from the daughters of my friends…it did seem on the surface to be a much easier gig in comparison.

    • Elisabeth says:

      01:05pm | 16/02/13

      I love your comment Lynne as I too am the mother of 3 boys and LOVE IT!  I feel so very fortunate NOT to have had a daughter.  My guys are great - they are real boys who fish, hunt, fix cars, build things, however they can cook, clean toilets, and can make great conversation over a cuppa.  I wouldn’t change them for the world, though I wish they didn’t grow up so quickly…

    • isis says:

      12:29pm | 16/02/13

      I only had one and he soon learnt to self-educate. So many quiet hours on the internet. I wish I had another five just like him.

    • Iggy Crash says:

      07:27am | 16/02/13

      This is the biggest load of crap. Well done on sweeping generalisations and disgusting stereotypes. Just because you had too many children and now can’t cope, don’t take it out of the women who can. I manage to stay well-groomed and tidy because I make an effort, not because of the gender of my children. I’m so sick of women like you trumping up motherhood as some giant battle. Raising children isn’t hard if you stay within your limits.

    • Annie says:

      12:35pm | 16/02/13

      Well said. That was my immediate thought too: what a load of BS! TAlk about the mundane and trivial. How about a little perspective and less navel gazing?

    • Lucky says:

      08:46am | 16/02/13

      Something on your mind iggy? Kids making you irritable perhaps?
      Pour some vodka on your cornflakes and relax FFS.

    • Super D says:

      06:21am | 16/02/13

      I’ve got two awesone boys. There does seem to be a certain something about some all girl families. Perhaps it’s that that last thirty years or so have been, in western cultures, about the best time ever to have been born a woman in the history of humanity.

    • LJ Dots says:

      04:28pm | 16/02/13

      @Jesse - what the UI^*&^&%^ hell was that you ^&$&*%$ posted, are you out of your *&%&*(*&)() mind?

      errr… my apologies fellow Punchers - three boy, two girl family here. My ingrained biological temper obviously got the better of me. Man, I hate it when that happens.

      Anyway, no time to elaborate on this interesting theme, I’m off to bash rocks with bigger rocks and sticks and stuff.

    • Rose says:

      03:47pm | 16/02/13

      Just trying to work out who is more stupid and ignorant, Jessie or Jake. Being a decent human being is not related in any way, shape or form to a person’s gender. It has to do with their upbringing, their own personal choices and the environment they find themselves in.
      Both of you give your own genders a really bad name!!

    • Mum of 2 says:

      01:57pm | 16/02/13

      Yes Jesse Bell - that is why there is an increase in girls bashing the cr#pp out of each other and posting on Youtube, and girls binge drinking and becoming violent and throwing up in the street.  I have two sons - both who are quite passive and have a lot of respect for women, especially me!  I think you need to take a long hard look at yourself and I hope you haven’t been allowed to breed!

    • Faith says:

      12:12pm | 16/02/13

      I too have a daughter and two sons.
      My daughter loves both femminine and masculine things like games and clothes and toys. She is very funny and clever and makes her father and I prouder by the day.
      My boys love playing with guns, war games and all types of gross bodily function type jokes and games. However, they are caring, kind affectionate, intelligent and well mannered.

      As their parent, I teach them and remind them constantly about how to behave in public and what is appropriate and what is not. That is my responsibility as their parent, to ensure that they learn how to interact and show empathy and compassion towards others. Regardless of gender.

      Kids should be allowed to be kids, under supervision so as not to endanger themselves or others. They need to be taught how to play fair, how to socialise with others, mainly by leading by example as well as talking to them all the time.

      To base their gender on whether they will become mass murderers is to create a dangerous propoganda and agenda against all male humans. That is so wrong, there is not enough space here to debate it.

      Jesse, you do not sound like you are a parent, therefore what you say is based on ignorance and I find that astounding.
      Your experiences may have exposed you to some horrible men, but do not class every single man as a mass murderer or programmed to be negative towards women! How on earth did you come up with that?

    • Jake says:

      12:11pm | 16/02/13

      Just to counter Jessie Bell and her biased attitudes….in my corner of the world, dozens of our friends who like us raised both boys and girls, overwhelmingly agree that boy are far easier to raise because they are open and honest to a fault. Girls on the other hand, as they approach their teen years, become lying, conniving, narcissistic, evil beings who deserve nothing short of banishment to a desert island. Our boys have made and retained deep friendships for over 30 years with both their male and female friends. Many have married and are raising their own families, yet most of our daughters have moved far from home and maintain few long term friendships or relationships. Our daughter is an exception as she is married and in a long term relationship. From a father’s perspective, I find it puzzling.

    • Nick says:

      11:25am | 16/02/13

      Since when could only ugly people hold ugly views Tiamat?  After all Susie O’brien looks all right but her statement “Ultimately, stereotypes exist because they reflect the realities we see in daily life” is one of the silliest I’ve seen in a while.

    • Sickemrex says:

      10:45am | 16/02/13

      @ Jesse Bell, so my charming husband and his 3 charming brothers who all attended a boy’s school must be the exception then? It’s women like you that give the rest of us a bad name. What a foolish thing to say. Care to justify your comment? Let me guess, it’s your opinion and you have the right to your opinion, right?

    • Tiamat says:

      09:42am | 16/02/13

      Now why do I get the feeling that Jesse Bell is (how do I put this kindly)
      aesthetically challenged ?

    • chungo mung says:

      09:33am | 16/02/13

      It saddens me that there are always people who seem intelligent but hold views of such malcontent like “Males are biologically programmed to be violent and socially programmed to have negative attitudes towards women”.

      If believe you are not an extremist like a religious/race/socialist/capitalist/diet or any other type of extremist and you are not a troll - then what are you, when you lump all of one of the two basic categories of the entire human population from this incredibly diverse and integrated world - into one nasty, narrow, vitriolic column?

    • Bubba ray says:

      09:30am | 16/02/13

      Best time ever in Western Culture to be a dad too smile

    • marley says:

      09:04am | 16/02/13

      Troll Alert!  Troll Alert!

    • Jesse Bell says:

      08:55am | 16/02/13

      Boys growing up in such an all male environment need to be watched quite closely. Males are biologically programmed to be violent and socially programmed to have negative attitudes towards women.

      Having all sons means you run a serious risk of them becoming violent adults. I hope you have avoided the temptation to raise them on a diet of trucks, football and machismo.

    • Daniel D says:

      08:17am | 16/02/13

      My female friends say exactly this. They have equal opportunity, have freedom of choice and anything is possible for them.

    • acotrel says:

      07:15am | 16/02/13

      ’ about the best time ever to have been born a woman in the history of humanity’

      The last thirty years or so must have been be best time ever for anyone to have been born in the history of humanity. So ?

    • acotrel says:

      05:37am | 16/02/13

      ‘But at the same time, I know how intractable gender differences seem to be.’

      Both boys and girls should be taught to play chess.

    • Tez says:

      03:04pm | 16/02/13

      Seeing how the social stigma of chess kids being socially inept and geeky skill exists, the question should be not who to teach, but rather should you teach chess to kids, who will no doubt cop flack from other kids about it.

    • infamous16 says:

      08:54am | 16/02/13

      I agree, acotrel. One only needs to look to the parenting of Laszlo Polgar for the wonders of chess on child development.


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