Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sons and daughters

I don't think there is any doubt that strong differences exist between young boys and young girls.  I only had one sibling, a sister.  I only had daughters, no sons.  I only had granddaughters, no grandsons.  But then, a greatgrandson came along.  That was my first chance to experience a little boy growing up.  Sure, I am a boy but that is not the same as being mature and watching the little toddler and the later stages.

It seems to me that a major part of many girls is the internal satisfaction they get when they have pleased their mother or some other significant grown-up.  Boys tend to lack that sort of motivation, being far more interested in exploration of their world, including experimentation with what happens when lamps are pulled off their support and allowed to fall onto the floor.  These two traits, relative indifference to social costs or being somewhat "bad" and interest in exploration and experimentation, amount to much of the difference you can see in the two genders.

As childhood ends and adolescence takes over, with its approach to sexual and physical maturity, the single minded drive of boys for girls' bodies is well known by everyone.  Of course, as the tv series "The Wonder Years" makes clear, boys' minds are often on flesh but their actual feelings to sexual activity and advances toward it make take some years to develop.  Delicacy, easy embarrassment, doubt in one's self can, of course, appear in either gender but those sorts of characteristics seem to be longer lasting on the feminine side and even are often thought to be basic characteristics of mature women.

Recently, I spoke with a father of two boys, now grown men. The man now has a granddaughter and feared that as a college freshman, she might not realize the sorts of thoughts she inspired in college men.  I urged him to relax and explained that she probably had a very sharp notion of their thoughts and her own as well.  

We recently went to a performance of several young college theater majors singing songs from Broadway shows.  One of them was "Undressing Girls", from "So Long, 174th Street".  The song is sung by a young man who worries about his normality.  He explains that just about every girl, every woman he meets, he undresses her with his eyes.  I believe that more experienced men can be rather accurate in their minds guessing what a given woman looks like naked but it seems to me that many women do not practice as ardently at such imagining of men.
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