Stop Saying That "Boys Mature Slower Than Girls"

Throughout childhood, children are constantly bombarded with the old adage “girls mature faster than boys.”  When a boy misbehaves in class, their poor behavior is just brushed off and concealed by the fact that it is believed that boys are more immature than girls.  So, is it true?  Do girls mature faster than boys?  There is no scientific evidence that proves that boys and girls mature at different rates. We’re all humans and all humans should mature at the same pace.

Girls shouldn’t have to mature faster than boys, and the lingering myth that girls are more mature than boys is problematic.  As a result, girls are forced to comply with unrealistic standards and expectations for behavior.   Girls shouldn’t have to change the way that they act in order to entertain this normalized ideology.  Certainly, this is problematic, but how can we change such a norm embedded so heavily in our day-to-day lives?

1. Stop making generalizations about genders

Before you make a sweeping generalization such as, “girls mature faster than boys” or say a cliche like “boys will be boys,” take a step back and think about what you’re really trying to say. Making generalizations is problematic because makes one’s own assumption seem like a reality.

2. Discipline our children the same way, regardless of gender

In order to rid of this stereotype, we must change the way that we discipline our children.  We shouldn’t feed into such “a discipline gap” where boys and girls are punished differently.

3. Hold boys and girls to the same standard

Ultimately, we need to hold all humans to the same standards regardless of their gender.  It is unfair to assume that boys and girls have different behavioral capabilities and therefore should held to different standards.

As you can see, the current way we view the maturity levels of boys and girls is problematic and holds girls to unrealistic standards. By doing these three simple things, we can change the way we view young girls.  

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