13 Surprising Scientific Facts About Boys

Jodi Meltzer | Sep 10, 2014 Big Kid

Just like the old nursery rhyme suggests ... "snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of," while little girls are made of "sugar and spice and everything nice" ... boys and girls are definitely very different. We're by no means suggesting that those things are true (seriously, who would use a puppy dog tail to make a boy?), we're just pointing out that even way back in the days of yore (or whenever that nursery rhyme was written), people have known that boys and girls got different things going on inside. We're not talking about things like feelings, peeing standing up or preferring dolls to trucks, we're talking about things like who the real geniuses are and who makes better drivers. (The answers to those two might surprise you -- see #1 and #7!)

And it's not just a matter of opinion. It's fact.

Here, 13 fascinating facts about little boys.

What do you think about these findings?

For more surprising facts, read:

11 Surprising Scientific Facts About Firstborn Children

9 Surprising Scientific Facts About Youngest Children

11 Surprising Facts About Babies Born During the Summer

10 Surprising Facts About Babies Born in the Winter

8 Surprising Scientific Facts About Only Children

8 Surprising Scientific Facts About Breastfeeding

Images © iStock.com/comptine; © Blue Jean Images/Corbis

  • 1. They're Geniuses


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    It's a fact: There are more "boy geniuses" than "girl geniuses" ... and more boys in the top 1 percent of the IQ scale. That's the good news when it comes to boys and school. On the flip slide, boys are 30 percent more likely to drop out or flunk out of school than girls. According to the U.S. Department of Education, they also make up two-thirds of students in special education classes.

  • 2. They Have Bad Hearing


    Image via © Samantha Scott/Sam I Am Photography/Corbis

    It's not you ... it's them. According to studies, boys have less sensitive hearing than girls right from birth, and the gap gets greater with age. It's a double whammy for boys: 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. The next time you feel like you're going to freak out because your little guy ignores you, try touch. Put your hand on his shoulder when you tell him he has five more minutes to play before you leave the park. It may help.

  • 3. They're Confident With Cash


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    Boys feel more confident about cash than girls do, according to T. Rowe's annual Parents, Kids, and Money Survey. The survey found that 58 percent of boys said their parents talk with them about financial goal setting compared to only 50 percent of girls. That might be tied to a confidence gap, as 45 percent of boys felt smart about money versus just 38 percent of girls.

  • 4. They Spend More Time in the ER


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    It's not just your imagination. Your son is a bigger risk-taker than your daughter ... and emergency room stats confirm it. Boys are more likely than girls to visit the ER for accidental injuries in every category from bike accidents to playground falls to couch gymnastics.

    Hot tip: To keep your boy out of the ER, child proof your home (coffee tables with sharp corners are the worst offenders for accidents) and ensure they wear safety gear (helmets, wrist guards, knee guards) biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading.

  • 5. They're Nicer Than Girls


    Image via © Ragnar Schmuck/Corbis

    Researchers say the "mean girls" reputation is earned. According to the Cyber-bullying Research Center at Florida Atlantic University, teenage girls are much more likely to engage in cyberbullying than boys. Girls' preferred method of cyberbullying? Spreading nasty rumors.


  • 6. They're More Likely to Get Sick


    Image via © Sandro di Carlo Darsa/PhotoAlto/Corbis

    Basic biological differences that are built into boys make them more vulnerable than girls to pollution and a range of illnesses, according to Scientific American. Boys undergo more changes than girls in the womb, introducing more opportunity for problems. As a result, boys are more likely to suffer damage from lead and have asthma, among other illnesses.

  • 7. They're Better Drivers


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    This one is shocking, but true. According to a study by The Allstate Foundation, girls are more likely to speed, text, and drive aggressively. Who knew?

  • 8. They're More Likely to Be Diagnosed With Autism


    Image via ©AMELIE-BENOIST/BSIP/BSIP/Corbis

    According to Autism Speaks, boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism. It strikes 1 in 42 boys ... 1 in 68 children overall when girls are factored into the equation. Mind-blowing statistics. And new research shows females are better able to overcome genetic mutations that contribute to autism.

    More from The Stir: Autism Facts vs. Fiction: What Every Parent Needs to Know

  • 9. They're Quitters -- When It Comes to Smoking


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    Interestingly, boys are 80 percent more likely to quit smoking than girls. So, even though their inhibitions may lure them to try tobacco products, they are more responsive to pleas to quit. Boys on sports teams are even more likely to take them to heart.

  • 10. They're More Likely to Be Color Blind


    Image via © Peter M. Fisher/Corbis

    Color blindness occurs more frequently in boys than girls. And the stats vary by race. One in 20 Caucasian boys is color blind compared with only 14 out of every 100 African American boys. Fascinating!

  • 11. They're Diagnosed With ADHD More Frequently


    Image via © Alison Wright/National Geographic Society/Corbis

    If you have a son, there's a one-in-seven chance he has been diagnosed with ADHD. A recent study found that boys born in December were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (as the youngest in the class) compared to boys born in January (a full year older).

    Moms need to recognize the symptoms of ADHD and seek an evaluation if there's a concern.

  • 12. They Have an Increased Risk for Cancer


    Image via © Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Corbis

    Masculine boys are significantly more likely to engage in behaviors that pose cancer risks, according to a new Harvard School of Public Health study. For example, the most masculine teenage boys are more likely to use chewing tobacco and smoke cigars compared with their gender-nonconforming peers.

  • 13. They're More Likely to Commit Suicide


    Image via © Bruno Ehrs/Corbis

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, boys are more likely than girls to die from suicide. Of the reported suicides in the 10 to 24 age group, 81 percent of the deaths were boys and 19 percent were girls. However, girls are more likely to report attempting suicide than boys. So, it seems when boys make up their minds, they're more serious about follow-through.


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