Boys and girls are different. I know much in our culture says they are not. But the biologically boys and girls are different. The arrival of our second child has made this every so clear in recent days. Girls just do a lot of things faster than boys. Although she is only a month old, our little girl is far more interactive than our son every was at this age. And if you go and talk to a pediatrician or pediatric nurse, they will tell you that girls almost universally accomplish their milestones before their male counterparts. According to the website What To Expect, infant girls read emotions faster, talk about a month before most boys, and almost universally get out of diapers quicker. Boys on the other hand tend to be more active, more spatial aware, and are more physically aggressive. As one psychologist told CNN,
And while 18 months is old enough to have been influenced by stereotyped gifts, research suggests that many of the differences we see are evident from birth, and may even be hardwired.
And the biological differences between boys and girls don’t disappear with age. Teenage girls have more body fat than teenage boys. Men tend to have more muscles. Women tend to have more white blood cells and are better equipped to fight off infections.
Regardless what we call people, their reproductive organs, bone size, blood cells, and true gender remain unchanged. We can call a man a woman, but he still can’t have an ovarian cyst. Much more than hormone levels must be altered for one to fully change genders. Not even surgery can do it. For a doctor to treat a person well and compassionately, he must treat them according to their gender at birth. To do otherwise, the doctor would waste time and medical resources. Biological gender is not a social construct, it is science and has to be dwelt with.
Thankfully, the Bible gets this. In Genesis 1.27, we read,
God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
As Christians who affirm the word of God, we are not affirming bigotry. We are affirming nature, good parenting, and good medical practice. God created male and female babies. Both have an equally immense value. Although we appreciate both boys and girls, we don’t get to assign their gender. Nor do we help our kids pick what they want to be. God and nature have already done that. The chromosomes are already set irrespective of our wants.
To care for our kids in a loving and understanding way, we must embrace their physical characteristics. We must treat our boys as boys and our girls as girls. This doesn’t men boys always wear blue and girls always wear pink. It means we give our boys more time to talk before we call our doctor in a panic. It means we don’t get mad at our daughter for not being able to lift what her little brother could. Nature demands this. God requires this. To be a loving parent, we must treat our kids according to their gender.