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The Times Section 2 today article about boys

(63 Posts)
edgarcat Mon 21-Apr-03 20:23:39

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judetheobscure Mon 21-Apr-03 20:27:29

Didn't see it, but boys do seem to hug differently to girls.

edgarcat Mon 21-Apr-03 21:39:57

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GillW Mon 21-Apr-03 21:41:46

Not sure if it will let you view it without registering - but the article's here if it does:,,1-2966-653600,00.html

edgarcat Mon 21-Apr-03 21:43:26

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judetheobscure Mon 21-Apr-03 21:46:09

edgarcat - my dd certainly seems more manipulative than the boys, the boys are "what you see is what you get". Also, my boys seem to be more affectionate as toddlers than my dd although as they get older this reverses.

miriamw Mon 21-Apr-03 21:50:05

Oooh loved that. We already have the previous version of the book, which DH loved, and he has certainly taken a lot of it on board (though as our eldest is just 2 I suspect that I won't get the support role yet). It has persuaded him to cut back to a 4 day working week, and he has a really strong bond with ds1. He's not so sure he wants the same depth of bonding quite so early with ds2 (not due to make an appearance for another few weeks)!

jasper Mon 21-Apr-03 22:11:34

I have to say I am always a bit uncomfortable about generalisations about boy and girl children ( particularly how "loving" one sex is compared with another) based on comparisons between just one or two of each within a family. (" my son is so much more affectionate than my daughter" translates as boys are more affectionate than girls)

Show me a group of mothers with ten boys and ten girls each and I might be prepared to accept their conclusions!

beetroot Tue 22-Apr-03 12:19:41

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Rioja Tue 22-Apr-03 12:23:57

I've got 2 of each and I can honestly say there isnt much difference, in fact my dds were/are more affectionate and still are even though they are older, ds1 was very cuddly but is becoming less so as he gets older and ds2 is just a baby (so v cuddly!!!)

Is there a Raising Girls book? And should we treat them differently?

Rioja Tue 22-Apr-03 12:27:39

And I've noticed that people who only have boys always mention that girls are 'manipulative' and play 'emotional games'...I think its envy talking.

monkey Tue 22-Apr-03 14:03:26

Rioja, I'm sorry to be argumentative, but why should it be envy talking? This statement basically says that in your opinion girls are better than boys and mothers of sons have missed out and actually wish they had girls. What nonsence. I have 2 sons and am not jealous at all of women who have daughters. Sorry if you didn't mean this but it's very much how it comes across and very irritating.

Rioja Tue 22-Apr-03 14:07:19

I dont think that at all monkey. But I have noticed that there are often lots of comments about girls being manipulative and it is always mothers without daughters that say this. It is a fallacy to think that daughters always want to wear pink and indeed that they sit quietly talking (as the woman in the article said) and it infuriates me to read that she somehow wants to protect her boys from the emotional mind-games of girls. I have two of each sex and both can be equally manipulative - girls can be as open and friendly and loving as boys, its a complete myth that they play mind-games, so I can't honestly understand why women say it.

mum2toby Tue 22-Apr-03 14:12:23

Rioja - my Mum had 2 boys and 2 girls and I've heard her say on more than one occasion that girls can be very manipulative! So that certainly isn't envy!!!

But TBH, I think my sis and I were very manipulative. Still are I s'pose!!

hmb Tue 22-Apr-03 14:16:30


I have one of each. I was a 1970s feminist (still a feminist just older now!) and I was convinced that sex differences between boys and girls were cause by the way society/families raised them. Now I have one of each I am not so sure. My son, like Judetheobscure's is 'in your face'. He is physicaly more hard work, and is more a physical handful. For example he will never stay put, come when he is asked, and thinks it is a great joke to run away from me. Dd is more manipulative, is a drama queen, and a first class emotional wind up artist! Without exception the toys she ignored, the trains, cars and building bricks, he loves. He is physical demonstrative, and she is verbally demonstrative.

There are neurological data that show that men's brains and women's brains function differently. There is some overlap, naturally, but I have two kids at the opposite ends of the scale.

Rioja Tue 22-Apr-03 14:22:28

What do you all mean by manipulative? Maybe Ive got the wrong end of the stick. I think it means cleverly and calculatingly getting what you want - but boys do this too (running away when you ask them to do something, thumping when they don't get their own way). My dd's can be drama queen-ish at times but so can my son who can blub for mommy with the best of them.

I do agree that there is a definite difference about what toys they play with (dds more artistic, dolls, animals etc, ds cars trains etc) but emotionally I am not so sure.

rosehip Tue 22-Apr-03 14:23:57

I agree. Boys are very loving but bloody hard work, mine (2.8) has reduced me to tears on a number of occasions unlike my dd (6.6. I somehow think I will be telling a very different story in 10 years time ............

iota Tue 22-Apr-03 14:31:03

Aren't we slagging ourselves off here? I'm a girl (or was a few years ago) and I'm not that manipulative - I've just been training dh for 9 years

hmb Tue 22-Apr-03 14:43:18


The difference between my two is that ds will thump me if he is unhappy, and dd will have a tantrum. He externalises his rage/unhappiness/fear, and my dd internalises it. His anger is expressed in physicality, and hers in emotional blackmail.

They both can wind me up, and string me along, but in very, very different ways. Ds is in your face, and dd is more 'canny' about it. Sorry to post a steriotype, but that is what they are like!

Rioja Tue 22-Apr-03 14:44:23

But a tantrum IS externalising rage and anger.

Lil Tue 22-Apr-03 14:48:55

Agree with all the stereotyping mentioned here.

Afterall girls have to be manipulative to handle boys/men/husbands... its not like we are strong enough to thump THEM!

hmb Tue 22-Apr-03 14:50:05

But it is directed at herself and not others. Sorry should have been clearer.

easy Tue 22-Apr-03 15:34:16

I really think this is interesting. I am mum to 1 ds, so have no direct comparison EXCEPT TO MYSELF.
As a little girl I loved playing with cars, had a much better trainset than any of the boys i knew, and a meccano set. As I became a teenager had a minor fling with Sindy (much preferred to Barbie) then discovered clothes and makeup at 14 and became all flirty girl, but to this day with a masculine type interest in cars, and a career ambition which I was told was very male (given up at 39 to care for ds, at least for the time being). My mother has commented that as I grew up I was not as physically affectionate as she expected me to be.

My son (3.5 yrs)loves his cars and trains, does creative things in short bursts (painting, sticking etc) and CAN BE very affectionate, usually when he's tired. He loves playing with his friend's Barbie, but can't stand baby dolls. He is, without doubt, very manipulative, and can throw a tantrum or a thump with the best of them.

Make of it what you like.

Lorien Tue 22-Apr-03 16:04:47

What do Mumsnetters think about PINK? Its one of those colours that is almost always classified as "girly." And many of my girlfriends with daughters say their daughters are obsessed with pink frilly dresses and the like. My ds (26 months) has always liked pink too, but I think I subconsciously steer him away from pink and frills, into khaki stripes and the like. A quick check in his wardrobe and there are no pink items at all, and no frills either.

Bozza Tue 22-Apr-03 16:18:24

A lot of it must be conditioning lorien. I know I wouldn't dress DS in pink but would a DD (probably if it was bought by someone). I do try to steer clear of the stereotypical boys blue and beige when I buy DS clothes and go for bright reds, oranges, greens etc. But most of his clothes are bought by others and are blue or beige - dull. Apart from my Mum who can be relied on to come up with something red most birthdays or Christmas's.

DS is also 26 months and takes zero interest in his clothes apart from his pjs (because they have pictures on) and a T-shirt from Adams with an helicoptor on the front. He even went so far as to seach for "Harold" in the laundry basket the day after wearing it. But colours - no idea what he likes.

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