Are there differences between boys and girls? Of course. Anyone that tells you differently either isn’t a parent or they have some agenda that’s blinding them. There are sex differences in every other animal that ever existed. Humans are no exception.
But what does this matter? In terms of our day-to-day obligations as parents and the opportunities that present themselves every day to show them how to be good people, it doesn’t matter at all. Because the things we want to teach our kids… well, there is nothing gendered about that.
We want them to be smart. We want them to be resilient. We want them to be decent. We want them to know how to figure stuff out. We want them to become the best versions of themselves. None of that has anything to do with their genitals.
The Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus—way back in the first century CE—was once asked by a parent whether they should educate their sons and daughters differently. Even then, despite all the biases and restrictions of his time, Rufus understood what really mattered. “Trainers of horses and dogs make no distinction in the training of the male and female,” Rufus is said to have responded, “for female dogs are taught to hunt just as the males are, and one can see no different in the training of mares, if they are expected to do a horse’s work, and the training of stallions.”
Our goal—as we’ve talked about before—is to raise eagles. Have you ever seen a majestic eagle soaring, grabbing fish, surveying the land for miles around in every direction from high up in the trees, and thought, “I wonder if that’s a male or female eagle?” Of course not! What matters about a dog is if it’s a good dog. The same with a horse. Can they do the job? Can you trust them? Have they fulfilled their potential, met their promise?
This is why we raise our kids the same. It’s why we have high expectations for them in whatever they do, whatever their gender. It’s why our expectations pay no mind to society’s consistently limited and limiting expectations, whether it’s some dumb stereotype about what girls can’t do or boys shouldn’t do.
Everything else is irrelevant.