In many ways, we have been taught to raise our boys and girls differently. Some cultures and religions dictate that men must grow up to be strong, both physically and emotionally. As such, there has been a tendency to treat males more harshly than females, even when they are just infants.
In the past, some people have believed that doting on baby boys too much could prevent them from eventually becoming the men we want them to be. As such, parents can often be less responsive and caring towards their sons than they would be towards their daughters. But is this really a beneficial approach?
Interestingly, our instincts in treating boys and girls slightly differently could well be well founded – but not in the way you might expect. In fact, rather than toughening boys up, parents should in fact be paying them more attention than perhaps girls would need. New research is now suggesting that a “tough love” attitude towards boys could well be entirely the wrong approach.