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Features of the emotional sphere of boys and girls

A survey of educators and teachers regarding the individual characteristics of children’s behavioral characteristics makes it possible to consider that usually boys are more excitable, irritable, restless, impatient, restrained, intolerant, unsure of themselves and even more aggressive than girls. Apparently, in most cases this is true. However, it must be borne in mind that our vision of a child does not always objectively reflect what it really is.

We compared the characteristics given to the same child by parents (almost exclusively mothers, not fathers) and educators (also women). To our surprise, the discrepancies were very significant and different for boys and girls.

So, parents often consider boys to be unemotional when caregivers note their increased emotionality. At the same time, when evaluating the emotionality of girls, the characteristics of both mothers and caregivers coincide. But parents often consider girls anxious when neither the educator nor the psychologist notes anxiety in them. In boys, there are only the opposite cases when the psychologist says that the boy is very anxious, and the parents state with full confidence that their son does not have such a quality.

This means that parents tend to somewhat overestimate the emotionality of their daughters, apparently because it is manifested in their speech and is more visual, and not notice the emotional experiences of their sons. That is, parents usually have a worse understanding of the inner world of boys. Even such seemingly visual features of behavior, which we usually associate with the concepts of “fast” or “slow” child, are assessed differently by parents and educators. If they are unambiguous with respect to girls, then boys in the eyes of their parents are often unduly slow, although educators consider them quick. True, sometimes, on the contrary, it is the teachers who complain about the slowness of the boys, and their parents believe that their sons are very mobile and fast. That is, here, the disagreement concerns almost exclusively the boys.

This leads us to think about some significant differences in the organization, in the regulation of the motor and emotional spheres of boys and girls. And his brain organizes and regulates any human activity. The features of the brain can be studied using objective neuropsychological tests and direct recording of the bioelectrical activity of the brain during various types of activity.

First, we conducted a neuropsychological study, which consisted in the fact that a child was presented with a picture at the same time for each eye separately, but the pictures were different, but the child did not know this. This test is called dioptic scanning. Usually the children said that they see only one picture, and called the right or left. Let us leave the question of the specifics of processing the incoming information by the left and right hemispheres of the brain and focus our attention on the child’s perception of emotionally colored information.

Among other pictures, we showed a smiling and sad face, and if the right eye saw a smiling face, then the left – a sad one. After some time, the pictures were reversed, and positive information was already received in the left eye, and negative information in the right. If you bring all the results for six-year-old children together, it turns out that both boys and girls, regardless of which eye they show which picture, are more often said to see a smiling face. They see a sad face less often, i.e. the eye sees, the brain receives information about what it sees, but it is not allowed into the consciousness.

And so our children went to first grade. This is a tremendous nervous load on their psyche. The whole habitual way of life changes, the external environment in which the child lives changes, and in response to this, his brain begins to work differently. At the end of the first grade, we again conducted the same study with the same and new children. For girls, the picture was preserved almost completely and almost did not differ in different classes. But for the boys this year did not pass without a trace: they began to say more often that they saw a sad face. That is, negative information began to erupt into consciousness, and when both positive and negative were perceived, the brain began to choose negative more often, which is usually not characteristic of children’s (and maybe adult) perception.

It is important that the results of brain analysis of positive and negative influences are very dependent on the personality of the teacher who worked with them. An educator of an authoritarian type (the requirement of unconditional submission, the emphasis on following strict rules, the exclusion of subtle emotional contacts even with the appearance of a goodwill attitude: “I said you did”) has such an increase in the brain’s mood to accept unpleasant, causing negative experiences, and ignoring the positive, emotionally positive side of the perceived world is expressed most strongly.

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