Decoding human behavior, especially of what makes man and woman, has been a favorite topic of research. A frequently heard or said verse is, ‘women mature faster than men’. Really? Do they? Fact or myth? … revealed here.
A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s; she changes it more often.
– Oliver Herford
Men and women; talk about these two species on Earth, and any discussion falls short of time and arguments. Right from superiority, looks, morals, to rights and social obligations, we (I mean the social world here) have always been on our toes to decode them in the simplest possible manner.
By decoding we mean all that makes a man and all that makes a woman. While the whole melodrama about how women were not treated as equals in the past has taken a considerable drop, there still is an age-old, dragged, (hyped?) and courageously carved statement – women mature faster than men. Believe me, I have known this fact, being the center of research and discussion, when it came to maturity and growing up.
So do women really mature faster than men? Or is this just another thought embedded by society, that is going to route feminism to another degree in the social world? Well, the answer is quite subjective, and it may irk a few readers, but from a neutral perspective, and after a good survey (which includes inputs from both men and women) we could say, YES. Most women mature faster than men. We take you through an interesting thought curve that supports this answer.
Maturity; Thy Name is Woman (?)
Let us begin with the scientific side of how and why women have a more matured behavior than most men their age.
✧ Girls hit puberty earlier than boys, by at least 2 – 3 years. Since that moment, a girl becomes a woman, and is capable of producing babies! Strong enough fact? Now add to this the surge of hormones, making women go in all emotional directions at all times.
✧ With puberty, just like the body goes through various changes, there also are many emotional and psychological changes that a woman experiences. It is also during this time that the gray matter develops in a woman’s brain. Social maturity gradually makes way during this whole process.
✧ This is the point where we can define maturity, as the minds of both men and women diverge; which is puberty. It is the point where society starts implying the perspective that may define them as mature or not.
✧ Have we heard of comparisons of maturity of a 4 year old girl with a boy of the same age? No. Mainly, because maturity as a trait, has for long been envisioned, only after a girl or a boy reach a certain age; that is 12 or 13, which is also the age when they hit puberty. So, get the point why we say, early puberty in girls than boys is an important factor reasoning why women mature faster than men.
✧ Women were often given meager rights in the past. The fact that they had to prove themselves in all segments of society, made them more socially, physically, and spiritually aware than most men their age.
A scientific finding by Dr. Daniel Amen, highlights some physical aspects of the brain structure of men and women. This perhaps may prove why women ‘tend’ to mature faster.
✧ The structure of the brain for men and women is different. A woman’s brain has more neural connectors from the limbic brain to the prefrontal cortex (also known as our thinking brain). So, here, in the thinking brain, we analyze, control our impulses, experience, learn, and create emotions. Hence, it can be said that women are more sensitive and expressive.
✧ Expression gives freedom to be oneself and value for emotions. Girls can talk out issues, they can handle certain things that men are too practical to face. They have the warmth, the understanding, and a different perspective, that perhaps lifts them above men in terms of maturity.
✧ Being emotionally more connected, graceful, and sexually active, a woman gradually develops a deeper sense of attachment, a better understanding of all that is going on in her life, and all that is surrounding her.
✧ We could say that most young girls develop finer skills like self control, moral, and social values, while boys during the same age are getting good at sports and endurance. In society, being good at social presentation, wise and thoughtful, is considered as maturity, which obviously is portrayed by the fairer sex, considering the above said.
The Not So Mature Woman
Having talked about the scientific theories, we come to the more logical aspect of defining how girls are more mature. I say it all depends on what you define as maturity. The definition of maturity may be different (and perhaps is different for girls and boys). For most people, the qualities of being compassionate, sensitive, and social etiquette in a girl, may justify maturity. While for boys, being settled, career-oriented, and the similar, may be the norms for considering him a matured man.
The other side of the argument also states that, maturity cannot be gender-based. It is all about the way an individual is born and brought up. The cultural influences, family and upbringing; all matter. Maturity also depends greatly on how much you learn in life, and in what way. Facing a mountain of issues makes one emotionally stronger. It is basically what all you have dealt with, and in what way. And that is a huge contribution towards being mature.
A friend of mine has a neighbor in her 30s, who is far less matured than girls in their early twenties. The reason? A pampered, stress-free, luxurious life. She never had the opportunity to face any hardships or let experience be her teacher. Whereas, another friend of mine who is a guy, lost his father when he was barely in his teenage years. He is more matured than most girls his age. So here the exposure to the outer world and early responsibility, even though not on the financial front, did make a difference on how he thought, his attitude, and overall maturity.
Social perspective plays a very important role in gender-based maturity. The society that we have today is still patriarchal in many ways. A woman with a boyfriend, marriage, and children, is considered mature, while men ‘earn’ their maturity only through good education, a secured life, and a job, most often.
This article may look like it is going to end with a diplomatic conclusion, that maturity is too vague and subjective, and we cannot place it on one platform to decide whether men or women are cut precisely to be entitled as mature. However, considering all that is said above, the fact that ‘women mature earlier and faster than men’, stands TRUE.