Thank God for Girls!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
Thank God for girls!
Okay, okay, and for girly-men too.
Because without them—there would be no colour in this world.
“Once when my mother and I were coloring, I didn’t have a green crayon and couldn’t figure out how to color the trees. ‘The trees can be any color you want,” she told me. I’ve made that my life philosophy ever since.’” – Bobby Blue –
I was crossing the rain-strewed street this morning, as usual admiring the symmetry and the simplicity of the lines, when suddenly splashes of bright pink, light froggy-green, and a touch of blue scurried before me.
The stark contrast between the black and white geometry against the running splatter of softer pastels, on this dark and dreary morning, was utterly delightful.
What a pleasure to view the world in all its splendor regardless of the weather, regardless of whether or not the sun shines to showcase all its hues.
It so happens that today I’m wearing the same as usual—my monkey suit, fairly standard corporate fare; a dark-grey, pin-stripped two-button three-piece with a cobalt blue dress shirt with a wide-spread collar—nothing too colorful, nothing flamboyant, nothing that might bring unnecessary attention to me while I “work.” In other words, I look like your basic and boring heterosexual American male, again, today. And, admittedly, I’m almost ashamed to admit it.
That said, you’ve got to wonder, at least, I’ve gotta wonder, “Who wrote the book of love?” Ooops, sorry wrong discussion…
I mean, “Why pink and blue?” Wherefore and where from did we get the tradition of distinguishing genders via these two colors?
A 2001 study of college students by Ficek and Ellis in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences, found that that “the males had a stronger preference for shades of blue than the females. Findings indicated no color preference differences between self-identified heterosexuals and homosexuals of either gender.”
Hmmm, that’s interesting. But was that nurture or nature? Was this penchant inherent from day one or was it instilled in them over the years?
The year before, a study done by a number of scientists at the Brain Imaging Center and Behavioral Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory, Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, concluded that their findings “support a sex and color-dependent differential pattern of primary visual cortical response to photic stimulation and suggest a method for assessing the influence of specific dopamine agonist/antagonist medications on visual function.”
In simpler terms, they found a significant difference in how men and women responded to blue and red light stimulation. Using the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique, “males and females showed similar BOLD signal change to red light, but males showed a threefold greater increase (0.52%) to blue light stimulation when compared to females (0.14%).”
Thus, once again, it appears that men, males, primates, have a true-blue penchant for the darker hue.
Moreover, more current findings by Dr. Leonard Sax, who published Why Genders Matter in 2005, show that the male visual system (optical and neural) relies more heavily on type M (magnocellular) ganglion cells, which detect movement. Girls, on the other hand generally have more type P (parvocellular) ganglion cells, which are sensitive to color variety and other fine sensory activity. Consequently, boys use more images and action when they write, whereas girls tend employ words that reference color and other fine sensory information.
Speaking at the International Coalition of Boys’ Schools Conference in Washington DC in June of last year, Dr. Sax concluded his presentation with the following:
Adults need to get serious about the question of gender. They need to accept the
responsibility of helping children to develop a pro-social meaning for masculinity and
femininity…the result of our society’s indifference to the deep meaning of sexuality is sometimes resulting in social chaos.
For the past thirty years, any suggestion that there are innate differences between girls and boys, in how they learn and think or interact with one another, has been viewed in many quarters as chauvinistic backsliding. We have been indoctrinated in the dogma that girls and boys should be taught the same subjects in the same way at the same time.
We must create a society that has the courage and the wisdom to cherish and celebrate the innate differences between the sexes, while at the same time enabling equal opportunities or every child of both genders.
As much of my writing has indicated in the past, I tend to agree. There are differences for a reason. Opposites attract and attraction is critical to the survival of the species.
Vive le Difference!
Thank heaven for little girls
thank heaven for them all,
no matter where, no matter who
for without them, what would little boys do?
Thank heaven... thank heaven...
Thank heaven for little girls!
- Thank Heaven for Little Girls (Gigi), Lerner & Lowe, best known by Maurice Chevalier -