Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. Genesis 2:21-23 (after the creation of Adam and realizing that it was not good for man to be alone) says, "So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her the man.
If God wanted man and woman to serve the same purpose, He could have easily just created one of the other, but He did not. He created man and woman, both made in His image and likeness. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that seems to want to minimize these differences.
For the science and research-minded, here are a few of the ways boys and girls are different:
- The different regions of the brain develop in a different sequence, and different tempo, in girls compared with boys. A young woman reaches full maturity, in terms of brain development, between 21 and 22 years of age. A young man does not reach full maturity, in terms of brain development, until nearly 30 years of age. (Leonard Sax, M.D. PhD. Gender Differences in the Sequence of Brain Development.) That explains a lot, eh?! :-)
- The largest study ever conducted on the genetic differences in the human brain found that 1,349 genes (across 46 chromosomes) are expressed differently in the brains of men compared with women. Gender differences are therefore programmed before birth and not societal. (Sax. Gender Differences in the Expression of Genes in the Brain.)
- During a fight or flight moment, boys experience the physiological responses of increased heart rate, rapid breathing, widened pupils more intensely than girls. Boys are also more likely to react physically while girls tend to react emotionally. (Abigail James, PhD. Gender Differences in Response to Stress.)
Shortly before Larry’s second birthday our second son, “Moe”, arrived. Equally spunky but certainly distinct, our two boys collectively pack enough punch to power to a small country. Always on the move: climbing, exploring, building. I realize that although sometimes I would love for them to be still and passive, God has work for them to do. It is our job as parents to help our sons discern their gifts, strengths, and limitations. If it were not for the fact that we live in a developed nation, there is no doubt that their energy would already be put to use. (I recently heard a story from another Ethiopian adoptive family about their five year old climbing banana trees with machetes.) My sons love it when there is “work” for them to do. Whether it’s helping dad with a project around the house, doing lawn work, or “painting” the deck, when they are constructively engaged, everyone is happy. Instead of trying to make our sons fit into societal slots or molds, I pray that I can help them use the gifts God gave them at birth in order to fulfill His purpose for and in them.
Obviously, neither all boys nor all girls will fit into any particular mold. We are all created uniquely with special gifts and talents. However, it is important to note that the most brood classification of all human being is male and female. We are different for a reason and that reason should be embraced, coached, and molded as opposed to scoffed at or minimized.