12 Surprising Scientific Facts About Girls

Jodi Meltzer | Sep 19, 2014 Being a Mom

Girls, girls, girls! Of course we know about their passion for all things princess (apologies for the mostly true stereotype) and their flair for the dramatic (again, apologies), but girls are unique in fascinating ways.

Turns out girls have some advantages straight out of the womb ... and some that pop up in adolescence. Other characteristics really do make them vulnerable to topsy-turvey teenage years. 

Here are 12 facts about girls that may surprise you.

Is #9 in the slideshow true of your daughter?


Images © Samantha Scott/Sam I Am Photography/Corbis; image © iStock.com/princessdlaf

  • They Have the Gift of Gab


    Image via © November/Corbis

    Girls are naturally chatty. While both boy and girl babies say their first word around their first birthday, girls usually have more words at 16 months than toddler boys do. Girls are also first to hit the 300-word vocabulary mark.

  • Concussions Are More Severe in Girls


    Image via © Raphye Alexius/Corbis

    The whole saying "play like a girl" is really out of vogue, and for good reason: Girls take their sports seriously. According to The American Journal of Sports Medicine, they are more prone to the damaging effects of a concussion. Research shows female athletes show more symptoms and take longer to recover from a concussion than males.

  • They're Depressed


    Image via © Kaori Ando/Corbis

    Before adolescence, equal numbers of boys and girls are depressed. About 10 to 15 percent of all children report moderate to severe signs of depression. By age 13, a dramatic shift occurs, and more than twice as many girls as boys are depressed. Two possible reasons? Girls mature faster and are more prone to self-esteem issues.

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  • They Borrow Money


    Image via © iStock.com/DNY59

    The study Gender, Debt, and Dropping Out of College uncovered some fascinating reasons why more women graduate from college. Men are less willing to take on the heavy debt loads to complete their degree. When they reach the point of owing $12,500 in school loans, men are "more likely to be discouraged" than women -- and to decide it makes sense to quit school and start working full-time. 

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  • They Know How You Feel


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    After reviewing more than 100 studies, researchers concluded that girls, even in infancy, are better at figuring out people’s emotions based on their facial expressions. They also recognize faces more readily than boys

  • They're Mean


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    Moms, keep an eye on your girl's social media accounts. According to the Cyber-bullying Research Center at Florida Atlantic University, teenage girls are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying than boys. Their preferred method of attack? Spreading nasty rumors.

    13 Surprising Scientific Facts About Boys

  • They Have Good Hearing


    Image via © iStock.com/nullplus

    Chances are, your little girl does, in fact, hear you when you tell her it's time to get ready for school. According to studies, girls have more sensitive hearing than boys right from birth, and the gap gets greater with age. Girls’ hearing is more sensitive to speech patterns, making it easier for them to hear what you're saying ... and their verbal processing develops earlier so they understand better, too.

  • They Have Better Taste


    Image © Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

    Of course girls have better taste, that's no surprise. But we're talking taste buds. Research that shows girls are better at recognizing tastes than boys. Even though we have the same number of taste buds as boys, we process taste impressions differently. Sugar? Spice? We've got it down (and yeah, girls have better taste in clothes, too). 

  • They're Born Afraid of Bugs


    Image © Image Source/Corbis

    Girls are four times more likely than boys to fear spiders in all of their creepy crawly glory. Researchers found that girls are genetically predisposed to develop fear for potentially dangerous insects. Baby girls start to associate pictures of spiders with fear at only 11 months old while boys remain indifferent. Fascinating.

  • They See a Whole Lotta Red!


    Image via © Roberto Westbrook/Corbis

    Girls see more variations of the red-orange spectrum, thanks to a gene that sits on the X chromosome. Researchers found girls have two copies of the chromosome and boys have only one ... giving us the real ability to see red.

  • They're Born Crybabies


    Image © CAMERIQUE/Corbis

    Girls are biologically wired to shed tears more than boys. The male tear duct is larger than the female's, so if a girl and a boy both tear up, the girl's tears will flow down her cheeks quicker. It's not all about sensitivity ... it's about science!

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  • Their Hearts Beat Fast


    Image © 237/Paul Bradbury/OJO Images RF/Ocean/Corbis

    When it comes to resting heart rates, girls are ahead of boys ... from the womb (wives' tale) to adulthood (science). Men have larger hearts and lungs than women. They're able to oxygenate more blood as their hearts pump more per minute. To get a similar oxygen saturation, women's hearts have to pump faster.


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