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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
June 2020
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A bird wearing a brown polyester shirt

I’m helping my mom with her psych/child development class, so I’ve been reading a lot about gender issues and gender typing and differences in development and treatment of the different genders. I know growing up we joked with my mom that she was very sexist. She would make my younger brother go out with me, not because it was safer in numbers but because he was a boy. Considering that he’s a year and a half younger and that at 17 and 15 this made a big difference I always thought she was nuts. I love my brother and often didn’t mind taking him along thankfully. Once we got past the annoying boy cootie stage of our lives, I’ve mostly loved having Carl around.

Back onto the topic. Linda and I have talked about when we have children multiple times. We’ve both also got a fair amount of exposure to young children and have experience taking care of children. I know at least once Linda’s made a comment about how she hates it when boys do x, where x is crying or whining or something. I know that feeling. When a little girl does something annoying, it can be fifty times more annoying in a boy. Or vice versa. A girl crying because she tripped and fell mostly makes me want to pick her up, smack her on the butt and say “Stop crying.” A little boy doing that though makes me want to pick him up and cuddle him until he stops. Mostly because boys do it more rarely than girls and boys tend to not even really want the cuddling whereas girls, the second you give them that attention they will just glomp all over you. But I’m wondering if this behavior is trained. I’m reading these papers about studies showing how parents will very subtly and unknowingly reward girls for “submissive” emotion and boys for “disharmonious” emotions.

I would really really REALLY love to know if anyone has any examples of things that annoy them more when a boy does them instead of a girl or vice versa. Not just because it helps with this class, but because now I’m curious whether this is just Linda and I reacting to our admittedly sexist natal cultures or if it’s more widespread.