The Real Differences Between Teenage Boys and Girls

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, featured, Health


One of most commonly quoted facts about the differences between boys and girls is that the girls do better academically. What’s not so well known is that boys have higher rates of suicide, conduct disorders, emotional disturbance, premature death and juvenile delinquency than girls of their age.

This startling conclusion came from a paper on the “The State of American Boyhood,” published in the Journal ‘Gender’ and based on work done at the University of Alaska. They acknowledged that depression, suicide attempts and eating disorders are common in teenage girls but that the boys problems are more serious.

Young people themselves have negative stereotypes as to why boys do less well, and centre on three themes: young men are lazy, they don’t plan ahead and they are prone to peer pressure. The result is that they get little respect and so have even less enthusiasm for continuing education and low self esteem is made even worse.

Another difference between the sexes in the teens is that overweight girls tend to enter puberty early but overweight boys may begin puberty later than thin boys. Being a bouncy chubby baby is one thing, but when it persists it is setting a pattern for health problems later in life. As rates of obesity among teenagers has nearly tripled since the 1960s, this late development of puberty in boys may well become a cause for concern as it can lead to loss of self esteem with peers and this can increase comfort eating, and obesity, still further.