Girls will be Girls
By John Goetz, M.Ed. L.P.C.
Individual differences are greater than gender differences. To be perfectly clear I will say it again, Individual differences are greater than gender differences. With that being said up front I wish to touch on the fact that boys and girls are different. Now I know you're thinking, "he has a brilliant grasp of the obvious". It is just that sometimes we overlook the obvious.
I was reading the paper a week or two ago and saw an article that reported about a young woman who was at a party where someone allegedly put something in her drink. In affect, drugging her. In this incident this young woman s brother also came to this party where he found her and was able to get her help. Please refer to the original article in the Edmond Sun for the exact details. I was retelling this story to my daughter and a friend of hers as a cautionary tale. We spoke about personal safety, being aware of your surroundings, and above all looking out for each other. My daughter asked me if I was going to have the same discussion with her older brother. My answer was no. I had a different conversation with my son. First I believe it is unlikely a girl will drug his drink in order to take advantage of him. By the way his sister and her friend agree. Second I believe the strong in body, have a duty to look out for those in need (the strong in mind and spirit also have a duty). My son's lesson is the story of the brother in the article. Do not stand by and let things happen. Show respect for all women.
Now before you go there, let me just say that some women are as physically strong as some men. I used to do a little power lifting and my workout partner at 114 lbs. was and still is pound for pound stronger than many men. We simply know sexual predators don't typically target 18 year old males. My point is that as parents, we teach our children boys and girls equally but differently. Researchers and the common person know that dads and moms interact with their children differently and that boys and girls think differently (generally speaking). We also know that children learn by watching us, all of us. Thus it stands to reason that children benefit from being around and learning from both women and men. Boys need men in their lives but they also need women. Girls need women in their lives but they also need men. I know I may be stating the obvious. I just want to encourage you do not be afraid to help young people grow up to be strong young men and women and to embrace their masculinity and their femininity.
(John Goetz is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Edmond Family Counseling 341-3554)