Cognitive and Behavioral Differences

Some physical brain sex differences (see above) are linked in turn to cognitive differences (Kimura, 1999). Many of these differences are easily linked to past selection on sex differences (Geary, 1998, pp. 280-295), although it is important to note that, with few exceptions (noted below), most work has been done in Western developed nations, and cross-cultural work may well add considerable variation.

Behavioral differences are obvious between the sexes shortly after birth. Newborn boys cry more, respond less to parental comforting, and require more holding than girls. Newborn girls respond more strongly than boys to adult faces and to being held. Boys are somewhat more interested than girls in inanimate nonsocial objects. Boys seem to begin technical problem-solving sooner, and wander farther from home earlier. These differences are seen very early and occur across several cultures (Freedman, 1974; Kagan, 1981; R. L. Munroe & R. H. Munroe, 1975; R. H. Munroe, R. L. Munroe, & Brasher, 1971; R. H. Munroe, R. L. Munroe, & Bresler, 1985). It seems likely that spatial "practice" associated with wandering farther from home may contribute to boys' advantages by the time they are 7 or so (R. H. Munroe, R. L. Munroe, & Bresler, 1985).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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