As men and women are very different, each being unique and intricate, the idea that psychologically they differ and develop in contrasting ways is not a new concept. But, be prepared to put the nature-versus-nurture debate to rest, as you’ll soon learn it’s a bit of both by reading these psychological facts about boys.
Now, to understand the men in your life, a lot of that starts with understanding the boys they were. And, along with some incredible facts about men, knowing the most prevalent facts about boys is sure to enlighten, entertain, and educate.
So, count yourself lucky as you’re in the right place to find out the most interesting psychology facts about boys.
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41 Psychological Facts About Boys
It’s no secret that boys are pretty distinct in how they approach life right from the get-go. From learning to relationships and everything in between, the way their minds work and develop is quite interesting, to say the least.
Here are 41 facts about boys that’ll blow your mind.
1. Boys Learn Through Experience
During their developmental years, boys are more heuristic learners. This means that a lot of the things they learn about the world around them are done through physical experience. In the case of boys, actions are more valued than words.
2. Boys Develop Different Skills Than Girls
Studies have shown that, especially during the first five years of life, boys’ minds develop gross motor skills, spatial skills, and visual thinking. At the same time, girls develop fine motor skills and verbal and social skills.
3. There Is an Ever-Present Maturity Gap Between Boys and Girls
Yes, it seems that girls do mature quite a bit faster than boys. On average, boys mentally mature anywhere from 12 months to two years slower than girls. And this gap follows them until adulthood.
4. Boys Value Loyalty Above All
Psychologically boys have a far deeper attachment to loyalty than their counterparts. This means even from a young age, their minds will be focused on proving their loyalty to their families and friends, regardless of risk.
5. Boys Are Visual Learners
Using the art of visualization aids boys in excelling and succeeding. Boys can be influenced to strive for something when they can visually imagine themselves already accomplishing it. For example, a boy who is told that he can play in a band one day will learn to play an instrument far more quickly.
6. They Are More Likely to Get Into Fights
The mental image of seeing boys fight amongst themselves on school grounds is quite popular. And in fact, they have been found to engage in fights 20 times more than girls do. But, that’s because part of socializing in a boy’s psychology relies on aggression. And often, those they fight with will become better friends afterward.
7. A Moment of Silence Goes a Long Way
While girls tend to have an innate ability to reflect regardless of their environment, boys benefit from silence and isolation. Some quiet time allows them to process their thoughts a lot easier.
8. It’s All About Fitting In for Boys
If you’ve ever seen boys get together, you’re probably already aware that they have a strong sense of connection. This comes from their base group-orientated nature, making them want to fit in or blend in. It is suggested that this is due to evolutionary traits dating back thousands of years.
9. For Boys, Approval Is a Strong Driving Force
In connection with their need to fit in, boys mentally thrive on approval. Be it from their families or peers. There is one condition, though—whatever form the approval takes, if it’s not sincere, psychologically, boys will take note, and it won’t mean anything to them.
10. Boys Have a Relatively Short Focusing Ability
No, this isn’t related to attention span. When it comes to boys, their focus has been reported to be far more time based than girls. Living in the moment is an easy way to think of it. Psychologically this means that when boys are engaged in something, it’s best to talk to them about it while they’re doing it.
11. They Tend to Talk More While Active
Boys, more often than girls, find it difficult to express themselves verbally. This comes down to a pressure-sensitive approach to communication, but boys are activity-based. Thus, talking to them while physically doing something takes away this sensitivity.
12. It’s Important for Boys That You Ask the Right Questions
Boys respond far better to specific questions. A classic example is asking “what” instead of “why”. This goes back to them having a momentarily focused mind.
When a boy needs to recall a particular emotion or reaction, using the right words helps a lot. Especially during their developmental years, asking “what were you thinking/what were you doing” will get a better response.
13. Boys Need to Have a Private Space
Closely connected to allowing boys to sit and process in silence, boys tend to do better in their own space. This means that boys need a certain place, like their bedrooms, where they can feel safe and alone to process and deal with emotions.
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14. Boys Need to Be Guided When It Comes to Emotional Regulations
Yes, they need privacy to process, but the minds of boys struggle by default, with abstract concepts like emotions. Especially anger. When growing up, boys benefit from having a guiding hand in learning how to handle strong emotions.
15. They Really Like to Collect Things
Despite the hunter-gatherer evolution of humans, boys seem to really like collecting things. Studies have shown that it’s a method of putting their world into the structure and creating a spectrum of everything around them. Basically, seeing everything that belongs in a certain category together helps boys understand how to work out extremes and limits.
16. Boys Like to Be Praised
Not to be confused with approval, boys psychologically like to be praised for their achievements, regardless of how big or small. But, just like their sense of approval, this praise has more meaning when done in private and meant sincerely. They’ll quickly pick up on fake praise.
17. Encourage Them to Excel in an Environment Where They Succeed
Studies have shown that allowing boys as much time in an environment where they do well or show a lot of enjoyment helps them succeed. Naturally, boys are drawn to these areas, and if they get discouraged from pursuing certain activities they excel in, it can be damaging to their mental health.
18. Boys Are Pragmatic Learners
Simply put, if you don’t give a boy a solid and logical reason to do something, they probably won’t do it. The same goes for learning something new. If a boy doesn’t see the reason for learning something new, they won’t pay much attention to it.
The same goes for taking action. If a boy does not see or understand the logic of a certain action, he is less likely to take it.
19. Although They Might Not Like Reading, They Pick It Up Quick
Let’s be honest. Ask any parent if it’s easy to get their boys to read. The answer will often be a resounding “no”. But, psychology suggests that due to boys being visual learners, if they see people reading while they grow up, they’ll be more likely to do it themselves.
20. Boys Need to Learn How to Anchor
The act of anchoring does not come naturally to boys. This simple mental act by which a new behavior or interest is automatically connected to an existing one needs to be taught. Helping them to link a new behavior to an existing one mentally increases their development, but without external guidance, they struggle to do this.
21. Take a Step Back When They Reach Adolescence
Hands-on parenting is never a bad idea, but studies show that it often has less of an impact when it comes to boys and their adolescent years. For boys, these years are all about learning independence, and too much interference is a bad thing.
22. Boys Think in Unique Ways
Boys often use the phrase, “I don’t understand”. And while this doesn’t mean you aren’t making sense, it simply means that boys think uniquely. Studies show that individual unique thinking is a big thing for boys, so you might just not be thinking in the same pattern.
23. They Need to Feel Safe Before They Can Show Emotion
Yes, we’ve mentioned boys needing a safe space to process emotion, but feeling safe is far removed from this. Often boys need to be reassured that showing their emotions around others they feel safe with is perfectly fine before they are willing to open up.
24. Boys Tend to Be Geniuses
Not to take a swing at girls, but studies have reported that boys feature far more in the top 1 percent of child geniuses than girls. Because the world is very geared to a boys’ way of learning, their minds are more stimulated from a younger age. This leads to a higher rate of developmental IQ scores, which eventually evens out as they grow older.
25. Their Sense of Hearing Is Less Sensitive Than Girls
Right from birth, boys have less hearing sensitivity than girls. And as they age, this sensitivity worsens. This comes down to boys being more physically inclined, and thus their sense of touch takes priority.
26. Boys Have More Money Confidence
In a survey by T. Rowe, it was found that 58% of boys are often spoken to about using money wisely, and 45% of boys verbally express their confidence in handling money. Even from a very young age.
27. They Visit the E.R. a Lot More Than Girls
This might be because of their physical predisposition and how they learn, but boys take more risks when young. This leads to more injuries and trips to the E.R. Statistics have shown that annually boys are more prone to injury in almost every conceivable category.
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28. Boys Are Nicer Than Girls, Digitally at Least
“Mean Girls” was a great movie, and, in fact, solidly based on some research. While socially, boys and girls don’t go out of their way to be mean, boys are less likely to do so in other areas. The Cyberbullying Research Center at Florida Atlantic University found that boys are far less likely to engage in the act of cyber-bullying or spreading false rumors.
29. Boys Are More Prone to Getting Sick
This comes down to quite a few things, but boys can get sicker from things like pollution a lot quicker than girls. Scientific American reported that because boys undergo a lot more physical changes in the womb, they’re more susceptible to infant illnesses.
30. They Learn How to Drive Better Than Girls
Okay, one that’s a bit hard to believe but true. When they learn to drive, boys pick up on the more delicate intricacies of driving quicker than girls. And according to the Allstate Foundation, girls tend to speed, use their phones while driving, and drive in a more aggressive fashion than boys.
31. More Boys Are Diagnosed With Autism
Boys have been reported to be five times more likely to suffer from autism than girls. Autism Speaks, a foundation in the US, released shocking statistics that report 1 in every 42 boys is born autistic. When combined with girls, 1 in 68 children are born autistic.
32. Boys Quit Things More Easily
Time for a paradox. Although boys are less inhibited in trying new things, they tend to quit easier as well. One such example is smoking. Boys are 80 percent more likely to kick the habit after starting at a young age.
33. Boys Have an Obvious Role Model
No drum roll is needed on this one. A boy’s role model by nature is his father. Psychologically boys will instinctively mimic their fathers’ actions and behavior far more than their moms.
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34. Boys Hate Nagging
This goes both ways. It’s reported that boys react less and less the more they are nagged or asked to do something. In the same inverse effect, they are not as inclined to keep asking for the same thing if they get no response. This also impacts their general demeanor and can affect their personalities.
For more on psychological facts about personality, check out this post.
35. Boys Believe in Santa for Long
This is an odd one, but it’s true. Boys, on average, believe in Santa Clause with a lot of certainty between the ages of 9 and 12, while girls tend to stop believing in him after age 7. Psychologists still don’t know why this is. Some believe that boys become aware of the idea of deception and masking at a younger age.
36. They Are More Prone to Suicide or Suicidal Ideation
A staggering 81 percent of suicides in the age group from 10 to 24 have been reported to be boys/men. This correlates to psychologists estimating that from the age of 10, boys tend to have far more moments of suicidal ideation than girls.
37. Falling in Love Doesn’t Come Easily for Boys
Back to mental maturity. Because boys mature at a slower rate than girls, teenage boys quite literally struggle to fall in love. And not just with another person, but with interests, hobbies, or any other love-worthy concept. Boys experience infatuation far more than girls, however.
38. Boys Can Be Confused Easily Because of Their Hormones
Hormonal changes affect both boys and girls in very different ways, but boys get mentally confused during these changes. Environmental and social situations tend to cause a lot more confusion in boys due to their hormones, while girls remain more focused during this time.
39. It’s All About Appearance
Yes, boys tend to have messier rooms or surroundings, but psychologically they innately focus on looking their best. Especially when in public or in front of their peers. Boys will instinctively do as much to increase their physical appearance disregarding other things like environmental cleanliness.
40. Everything Is a Competition for Boys
Quite literally, everything is a competition. And psychologists believe this to be because boys suffer from a higher sense of insecurity than girls. Thus, everything is a chance to showcase their prowess or ability. And, when challenged, they will go out of their way to prove they are better than their challenger.
41. Boys Like the Thrill of the Chase
This ties into their competitive nature, but boys get a psychological jolt from having to chase something. This could be anything, from the approval of others, the affection of a counterpart, or their parents’ praise. It also stems from evolution as boys are instinctive hunters, so the thrill of the chase is a fundamental construct for progress.
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