Girls Take the Jump Start in Language Development (Part I)

This is the first installment on a series of  articles on gender differences as reflected in communication and learning skills

signing for babies, language, bilingual babiesWe’ve all heard raising a boy is different than raising a girl – and many have made the case for why one sex is easier than another – but gender plays a role in how your baby will develop his or her language skills, too.

Boys and girls develop language at different speeds – the jist being that girls take the jump start in this department. A girl’s hearing develops faster and she is better at understanding language and faster at language processing.  Boys and girls use different parts of the brain when performing language tasks, and studies have shown that the language development parts in the brain ‘work harder’ when a girl performs a language task.


So what does this mean for our BSL babies?

First, don’t be discouraged if your boy isn’t picking up sign language as quickly as your daughter did, or if he stares at the babbling baby girls like they have sprouted antennae.

Second, be consistent – repeat, repeat, repeat the signs. Remember you shouldn’t expect results before seven months of age.

Third, Maintain a long-term perspective. Language acquisition is a life-long process; to put things in perspective each sign is a brick that will serve as a foundation for a lifetime of discovery. Signing for babies reduces frustration now, which serves as a basis for a well-balanced adult. Signing creates new neural connections resulting in improved testing performance but most importantly signing allows our babies to feel understood forming a priceless parent-child bond which is equally valuable for our boys and our girls.

Have you noticed language development differences between boys and girls? Share with us via a comment or by liking us on Facebook and joining a community of baby signing mamas with a huge heart for little ones

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