Sex – sexual anatomy and sexual behaviour
Gender – perception of maleness or femaleness related to membership in a given society
The brain grows at a faster rate than any other part of the body. By age 5, child’s brain weighs 90% of average adult brain weight, whereas total body weight is merely 30%.
One reason is due to increase in the number of interconnections among cells. These interconnects allow for more complex communication between neurons, permit rapid growth of cognitive skills.
Amount of myelin (protective insulation that surrounds parts of the neurons) increases, which speeds the transmission of electrical impulses along brain cells but also adds weight to the brain.
Rapid brain growth not only allows for increased cognitive abilities, but also helps in the development of more sophisticated fine and gross motor skills.
Children who are malnourished show delays in brain development.
Lateralization – process in which certain functions are located more in one hemisphere than the other, becomes more pronounced during preschool years.
Right hemisphere – nonverbal areas i.e. comprehension, of spatial relationships, recognition of patterns and drawings, music, and emotional expression
Left hemisphere – tasks that necessitate verbal competence, speaking, reading, thinking and reasoning
Although there is some specialization of hemispheres, in most respects they act in tandem. They are interdependent, and the differences between the two are minor. Also, the if one area of the human brain is damaged, the other hemisphere can take up the slack.
Gender differences – boys show greater lateralization of language in the left hemisphere, females – language is more evenly divided between two hemispheres. Why girls’ language development is more rapid during preschool years
Differences in brain within gender v. controversial, still not known properly!!
1. genetic – females