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Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 4:40 p.m.

Boys and girls and their brains

This Saturday, May 24 I’ll be attending the conference that Julie Muhlstein wrote about in her article "Goal of summit in Edmonds: Help boys thrive."

I am very excited to hear Michael Gurian speak. Right now I’m reading his book, “Boys and Girls Learn Differently! A Guide for Teachers and Parents,” and it’s incredibly eye-opening. The thesis of the book is that once parents and teachers understand how male and female brains develop differently, they are better able to educate children.

The book is based on the latest MRI and PET scan research. There is a big chart showing every last part of the brain and how it often develops and reacts differently in boys and girls.

For example, research shows that girls often process emotions quicker than boys. If you and your daughter get in a fight over breakfast, she will probably have processed her emotions by the time she is at school and supposed to learn.

But for your son it can be different. After an argument at the breakfast table, his brain might stay flooded with emotions that he’s unable to process for a few hours. When he gets to school, the limbic system is the middle of his brain might still have heavy blood flow. His emotions could literally shut down the top part of his brain used for higher order content thinking – like math.

This has profound implications in real life. I haven’t finished the book yet and I’m already inspired. I can’t wait to learn more about the neurological differences between boys and girls so that I can become a more effective parent.



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