Dads talk differently to their daughters in comparison to the way they talk to their sons. What an interesting and unexpected statement, isn’t it? It is correct to say that dads’ brains react differently to sons and daughters. Let’s see how is that possible.
The authors of a study in this regard have strictly focused on the fathers. They recorded the dads’ dialogues with their children of between 1 and 3 years old, during approximately 48 hours of monitoring.
The specialists noticed the types of words and behaviors they used, and, additionally, dads’ had their brain scanned while the researchers were showing them pictures of their children having happy, cheerful, and neutral facial expressions.
Dads seem to have a tendency to use a more analytical language when they talk to the girls, in comparison to the language they use when they talk to their boys. They use more comparative words, such as more, better. Authors of the study say that the way dads talk with their daughters shows that dialogues with girls are more complex.
With boys, dads tend to often use words and terms related to the idea of winning, of being the first, or of being the best.
In the dialogues with the girls, fathers also opened a little more emotionally. For example, they talked about feelings like sadness
Emotions are not very involved in the way dads talk with their boys. Instead, dads often train in physical games, even simulating battles, when spending time with their sons.
Not only dads make these differences
Such differences of gender approach also exist for mothers. Accordingly to the researchers, mothers also discuss differently with girls and boys, as has been shown from past studies.
For example, when mothers are storytelling episodes of their past (what memories they have from their holidays to grandparents, what gifts they received on their birthday, and so on), the version for girls always has emotionally rich content and more details. Instead, for boys, the version is more dynamic, more schematic, and more actionable.
Good, until now
What the researchers found as very interesting is regarding the study conducted on the fathers, and, more specifically, the part of the study in which the dads were asked to look at pictures of their children, while having their brains scanned.
Researchers noticed that the most intense brain response was recorded in girls’ fathers, when watching the pictures of their girls when they were happy.
The boys’ fathers, on the other hand, reacted most strongly to the pictures in which their sons had neutral expressions.
It has not been clearly established which is the reason for these reactions, but the hypothesis would be that, when it comes to emotions, fathers choose different ways to educate sons and daughters. With girls, dads use direct discussions about emotions and use a more detailed language, while with boys, dads prefer to communicate through games and physical activities.
So they have the feeling of differently preparing their children for life according to their genre. That, even subconsciously!
Do you confirm the results of the studies? Is it a matter of cultural habits and traditions? Or are they instinctual responses? Anyhow, if you can control all these, and if you can remove them from your system, can you then treat your children equally, regardless of their genre?
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