Please Explain: Girls

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today's Please Explain is about the nature of girls--their minds, bodies, brains, emotional lives, and behaviors. We’ll be joined by psychotherapist Lisa Machoian and Margaret M. McCarthy, professor of physiology at the University of Maryland.

Listen to last week’s Please Explain: Boys.


Lisa Machoian and Margaret M. McCarthy,

Comments [27]

Nila from Bronxville, NY

Your program on BOYS and GIRLS was fascinanting. I would love to hear in PLEASE EXPLAIN on the following related gender/sex topics:


May. 24 2009 08:44 AM
Joe Adams from Hillsdale, Bergen County, NJ

Gloria, please answer this: The boss chief or chief boss of WNYC is a woman as is the chief boss of NPR as is the chief boss of PBS. Not a man among them. Is that all right with you? Ofcourse ofcourse.

May. 22 2009 02:58 PM
radha from Brooklyn

yes db, that's a handful of women.

now count the MEN.

do a ratio of male vs. female guests.

i'm sorry but it is hard to miss. the men outnumber the women by far. every program, every single day.

May. 22 2009 02:11 PM
db from nyc

Very interesting set of shows.

May. 22 2009 02:03 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I wonder if the increase in depression in girls around age 12-13 corresponds in any way to the fact that addictions so often begin at that age. It seems to me I often hear men say they started smoking/drinking/taking drugs in early adolescence; I don't know if that's as common in girls. Maybe it's more acceptable for the girls to admit to feeling depressed & for the boys to self-medicate?

May. 22 2009 02:03 PM
John Schindler from Stony Brook, NY

After hearing both shows I have to say well done. But as someone with a hormonal Intersex issue my question is about children and adults with Intersex configurations. Can adequate numbers of Intersex test subjects be found in a large city like New York to create accurate and reliable results? Has the internet helped this come about?
Thanks again for a great series.

May. 22 2009 02:00 PM
Enrique from Elizabeth, NJ

Is ADHD stronger in girls?

May. 22 2009 01:57 PM
db from nyc

... Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter... Lisa Cohen... Elizabeth Strout... Monona Rossol and Keri Powell... Elizabeth Edwards... Joy Behar... Tyne Daly... Ruth Reichl...

That's a cursory evaluation of recent show... like I said, GIVE US A BREAK!

May. 22 2009 01:55 PM
Belinda from Brooklyn

On the lighter side, you've got to love the news story today about the 3 year old girl in Australia who logged on and bought a $12,000 digger while her mother slept. That's a stereotype bucker if ever I heard of one. Imagine all the Barbies you could buy with $12,000...

May. 22 2009 01:55 PM
Joe from Brooklyn

So basically there's not physical difference between the male and female brain, the differences all stem from social upbringing/environments?

May. 22 2009 01:55 PM
Gil Fox from woodbridge,nj

I am continually amazed at the difficulty between the sexes concerning "driving directions"...
I find that women navigate via "landmarks", or terra-centric "rat in the maze" view..
Whereas I find it much easier/logical to think "as the crow flies"...visualising the "maze" as a bird would...using the compass idea of north/south/east/west...

May. 22 2009 01:52 PM
John-Paul G from Elizabeth, NJ

Leonard, have you even TRIED budding? No? Then don't knock it. You may like it more than the alternative.

May. 22 2009 01:52 PM

How about objectification of females? Do you ahve anything to say about that?

May. 22 2009 01:50 PM
radha from Brooklyn

db, she's right. count the number of male vs. female guests. include "please explain" segments. go back as many months as you want. the proof is in the programming.

May. 22 2009 01:47 PM
Allison from Brooklyn

I feel like I act more like the descriptions of boys than of girls (I am female). My parents were from the 60s and raised my brothers and me without defined gender roles. My brothers played with dolls and I had Hotwheels. I also studied math, physics and art in college.

These discussions always confuse me. I really don't feel like I fit the stereotypes. Nobody in my family does (mom was tough and dad nurturing).

Am I a freak or is being raised without prescribed gender roles really going to make a huge difference?

May. 22 2009 01:46 PM
Erin from Brooklyn

I am wondering if your guests can comment on differences between girls. I don't relate to some of the typical aspects of girls' preferences that have been mentioned; I always preferred toy trucks and being active. What about girls who are tom boys?

May. 22 2009 01:45 PM
Claudia from New Jersey

Do girls intellectual potential stagger for social reasons in puberty and adolescence? Being smart and being good at science and math is not perceived at girly or facilitate popularity and thus seem to impact girls.

May. 22 2009 01:44 PM
db from nyc

I'm wondering if these two have kids themselves. Since having a kid I have come to the conclusion that nature is beating-up on nurture.

This especially apparent if you have more than one kid.

May. 22 2009 01:43 PM
db from nyc

... #3: GIVE US A BREAK, will ya?

Lenny keeps it balanced!

May. 22 2009 01:41 PM

Who cares? People generally object to research about biological differences between different races because we realize it usually has insidious motivations and implications. Why don't we treat research about sex differences the same way?

May. 22 2009 01:41 PM
Tony from San Jose, CA

Regarding the color perception, it may not be due to the brain, but the cones in the eyes.

~7% of males are colorblind, and some women have one extra cone.

May. 22 2009 01:40 PM

that's funny about the spatial differences - As a young artist (tested in the late 70s) I was told that my spatial perception was very strong "even for a male" (I'm female) and that my form perception was weak-ish - if you look at my artwork it is obvious!

May. 22 2009 01:37 PM
Julie from manhattan

I was wondering if you could talk about the developmental difference in girls who have twin brothers. Is there a change in utero because of the exposure to the male's testosterone?

May. 22 2009 01:37 PM
Anne from Manhattan

Do women and girls have better balance or agility than boys?

May. 22 2009 01:35 PM
Gloria B from NYC

Speaking of girls, a growing number of us have been interested in asking:

Why does Leonard Lopate so rarely invite women on his shows? Aside from his two token female regulars (brought on to cover the feminine topics of food and proper grammar, of course), we can find greater female representation in, say, an NFL locker room at halftime, a Pakistani madrassa or a prostate cancer support group meeting, than on the Leonard Lopate Show.

Today's sweepingly titled program "Women and Girls" does not fix the ongoing problem, rather, it amplifies the extent to which Leonard routinely and quite flagrantly silences womens' voices.

You have no right to continue to fail to find women interesting or worthy, Mr. Lopate. Surrender your radio licence, or open the airwaves to the other half the population.

May. 22 2009 01:00 PM
Byron from Brooklyn

I wonder if there are studies that talk about the benefits of playing sports for teenage girls. Are teenage girls more susceptible to certain kinds of injuries than boys or than younger girls or women?

May. 22 2009 12:44 PM
Gabrielle from brooklyn

There has been a lot of talk that school-age girls tend to use psychological bullying - as compared to boys using physical bully. how much of this is societally charged and how much of this can be attributed to chemical makeup? Are girls from certain racial or socio-economic backgrounds more susceptible to behaving this way?

May. 22 2009 07:17 AM

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