Nature is fundamental, isn't it? Boys and girls are different. It's in the genes.
I'm a proud father of twins, one boy and one girl. He's obsessed with football, spends break time chucking a ball around and homework is a struggle. She does ballet, skips and homework is the first rather than last things she does at the weekend. We've treated the pair of them exactly the same since the day they were born so it must be nature, right?
Well as I'm learning, slowly, possibly not.
I had this argument with a couple of, vaguely related, paediatric neurosurgeons. (Yes, that argument was only going to end one way).
Look at a new baby's brain and there is NOTHING to differentiate the boy from the girl. But the very first time you put on a dress, "ooh" and "aah" in a girly voice or talk sport to him, you are moulding gender differences into place.
The nurture/nature debate has huge implications for how glass ceilings can be smashed most effectively. Even more tangibly it brings the childcare debate into sharp focus. Just how much learning/education is helpful and from what age? Maybe much more than we thought - or more than I thought at least.
Connecting the dots
Nurture our children in the right way very early on and gender stereotypes, unconscious bias, and heaven forbid men only boards might become a thing of the past?! I'm getting ahead of myself.
When our increasingly demanding social media team asked me to start blogging I vowed I wouldn't talk about my children. I've failed miserably. And whilst I move slowly across from the nature side of the debate to nurture, I'm very proud to tell you that both my girls can catch a ball like boys 3 years their elder!
Must be in the genes…