Why does it take most guys so much longer to mature?

Why is it that most guys mature a lot slower than girls. Is it really genetics, or does it have more to do with their environment and how they are raised?

It seems like the guys that I know who are more educated and who come from wealthier families usually mature a lot faster, than guys that are less educated and have less resources.

So which plays a MORE significant role; genetics or environment? Or is there another more significant factor.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Environment is by far the most significant factor. It's no mystery that different cultures have different effects on children. Numerous studies have shown that JAPANESE 1st graders for example, used more sophisticated problem solving strategies more consistently than AMERICAN 1st graders. These results are attributed to cultural differences in curricula, teaching, and learning styles, and is emphasized by the fact that identical results are found even amongst the children in the study who were of non-japanese decent (i.e. -- western and european kids raised in japan). It's also interesting to note that U.S. high school seniors score poorly in general science literacy, advanced mathematics, and advanced physics, while European countries take the lead in all three areas.

    In other words, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that environment has a significant effect on INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT, which often times effects "maturity" on several levels.

    In addition, the well-known "pubertal spurt" that "MANY" girls experience from the age of 8 to 13, as demonstrated by their higher MEDIAN heights, is also exacerbated by their often times richer diet -- as in a more rounded diet containing more nutrients. This richer diet is often times reinforced (some would argue imposed) by certain cultures on girls in order to maintain the society's vision of a "beautifully thin" girl. (Though there are many overweight girls in many countries, in certain cultures, western and european for example -- there are more incentives for women to be thin and eat healthier, then there are for men to be thin and eat healthier). As a consequence, studies have shown that this richer diet increases the production of sex hormones causing "precocious puberty" (western girls for example reach their adolescence at 12 years rather than 16 years for their male counterparts).

    And since many factors effect ones environment -- for example financial and social status -- you get a relatively wide variety of maturity and developmental levels amongst kids from different backgrounds. You may also be especially discouraged by the theory that our western "pop" culture gives very little incentive for young boys to pursue advancements in anything other than gaining the top spots in the "Most Viewed" category of exploding coke bottles on YouTube.

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What Guys Said 12

  • Educated + Wealthy usually yields Higher Intelligence. Intelligence is very much connected with maturity as well as depth of thought and awareness. I'd give the nod for manners to environment and upbringing and the nod for internal depth to genetics.

    As for guys in general - and I think your comment on wealthy people relates to that - our country as a whole has seen a decrease in manners overall and a slow, but steady, erosion of Culture. Guys growing up today aren't expected to be polite, nor to have good manners. So they don't.

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  • Complex question. I would have to say environment plays a role. One simple example would be looking at kids raised in third world countries. You put an 8 year old raised in that environment with one raised in a western country, and the differences in mentality are very different. The kid raised in the third world country, by force, will develop mentally a lot faster because he has to learn how to fight to survive at an early age. The kid raised in the western world will be more concerned about playing and seeking comfort, and thus, he could easily mature a bit later.

    Of course, one big significant factor is what knowledge the parents impart on the kid, and what type of love/affection he gets.

    About your observation about the wealthier kids----I've met a lot of those, and I think their advantage was that their parents had the money to give them exposure to education that kids with limited resources didn't have. For example, the ones I met, did exchange programs in other countries, or were sent to 'special' camps that taught them some good skills at an early age. However, I've met a few that had no personality whatsoever, as their drive was business, and their personal touch was just nonexistent. But these were really few. By the same token, I have met plenty of individuals that grew poor, and because of their environment, they grew up mentally a lot faster than others. But again, these individuals had really strong family ties, so I think the parenting is what made the difference. Good question.

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  • I really think that with maturity, comes common courtesy. And some people just don't have any, or very little. Or don't understand the concept. And also, Like sexwiseman said "if you are put into a situation and you learn from it, then the next time your faced with that situation, you make a more mature decision (hopefully)," and you must hone in on your survival skills, too.

    If you are to succeed in future situations. Beliefs, values, customs, parenting, teaching, all that comes into play. And it's not just guys, it's everyone. In some way, everyone is capable of making immature decisions; but one bad decision, is a mistake - learn from it. Now the immature person, will make the same mistake, over and over again. And ignore the lesson to be learned.

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  • Honestly girls mature faster than guys in some ways. But guys mature faster than girls in other ways. I've met plenty of girls that have their shit together but after spending time with them and listening to how the talk about certain things realize they aren't really that mature. Sure girls get bigger boobs before guys get hair on their balls but that does not mean that women mature emotionally faster then men. If I had to choose which has a more significant role I guess I would choose experience I really don't think genetics would be significant unless you are talking about the boob and hairy ball scenario. Environment would go hand in hand with experience because you receive different experiences based on the environment you are in.

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  • I think part of the problem is that a lot of guys actually THINK they're being mature, even when they're not. They confuse attitude and certain accomplishments as signs of maturity, like how many girls they can hook-up with, how many things they can buy, and how many friends they have on their myspace page, etc). The biggest (or at least most popular) role models for young male teens are mostly athletes and "musicians" who abuse steroids, cheat on their spouses and generally display little more than garish wealth. And by the time they realize that their role models don't really live in the "real world" they'll have reached their early to mid 20's and are struggling to catch up to the girls.

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  • I think in the "US" guys are generally preoccupied with so many other things besides "growing up". I mean let's face it, guys from the age of 13 to 18 (or at most 22, 23 if they go to college) are pretty preoccupied with just having fun and getting laid. It's not until they're thrust out into the real world (for some that may be earlier than for others), that they inherit the responsibility of providing for themselves, which in turn forces them to mature and grow up.

    Of course there are variances to that effect, and maybe even some complete exceptions (apparently "Aristotle's" is one of them :) but I think for the most part, if a young male is subjected to accelerated academic, as well as physical training (for example the kind instituted in a few famous military academies) he would probably mature comparably to his female counterpart. But unfortunately in our society the group of (privileged) males that are subjected to this type of upbringing, is more of a minority rather than a majority.

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  • Guys can get away with being immature idiots most of the time. In fact, a lot of times we're rewarded for it. I think each guy matures when THEIR particular environment FORCES them to, and not a day sooner. It probably also helps girls mature faster -- at least socially, when they get to wear all this "age-defying" makeup. Young girls are looking more and more mature everyday. Super models for example usually start at the age of 14 -- but they LOOK like their at least 21! And they say that if you look the part, then you usually get treated that way. So if they look older, they'll be treated and be expected to act more mature, and eventually this encourages them to BECOME more mature.

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  • "Why does it take most girls so much longer to mature?

    We all know it is a fact that men are overall the genetically superior sex in mind and body and have been proven by history and extensive medical research for centuries"

    This above statement was the accepted belief of past times. What has changed?

    Only our beliefs and perceptions based on so-called "facts" of our times.

    The truth is we are all relatively mature no matter our "identities" such as gender, race and all that bogus. It is what we believe of ourselves and what beliefs are placed on us that creates these "identities".

    Can you see why your question is offensive?

    That is why I gave the answer I gave at first.

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  • What are you talking about when you say mature?

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    • Many guys don't seem to reach their mental or emotional peaks as quickly as girls. They usually seem to lag behind girls by about 5 or 6 years, but some remain immature, senseless, purposeless and irresponsible juveniles up until they're in their 30's.

    • Well that is still a little vague to me, but I can say for certain that men need a goal and confidence or guidance and mentorship, without it they regress easily to the selfish child maturity level. Today's society is everyone for themselves.

    • So it's easy for people to give up and not care.

  • Its relative. I grew up in a town full of rich white folks who all go to college, but does that mean they are more mature?

    I have spent lots of time around both extremes of the socioeconomic classes and I would say those on the lower level mature faster because they are forced to grow up faster because don't have everything spoon fed to them.

    Most of the guys I grew up with were, well to be frank, rich white assholes who couldn't change their own tire to save their lives. I think they acted a lot more like chicks than men, always with pretty hair and afraid to get dirty.

    I think just because they learn more in school and have nicer cars doesn't in any way shape or form make them more mature.

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    • I think maturity comes from life experiences and if you are sheltered all your life how can you experience life?

      Also having less resources forces creativity, you have to come up with your own way to get something done instead of just going out and buying it at a store.

  • I stand by my previous answer.

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    • The theory that female development is more accelerated than males is a concept found in many medical journals like Psychological Science, NeuroImage and Neurosci -- but thanks for demonstrating the concept of male immaturity :)

    • When was these "medical journals" written ? And by who ? Don't accuse me of immaturity when your question is immature .

  • Maturity is relative, don't generalize

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    • The words "most guys" IS relative -- the words "ALL guys" would be absolute.

    • "Most guys" sound quite absolute to me. THAT is generalizing, if not pretty ignorant and sexist:

      To say that "most guys" = more than 50% of all guys = 25% of the worlds population = about 3-6 billion people are less mature or genetically inferior.

    • I think you're missing the point. If I changed the word "MOST" and changed it to "MANY" -- would it get you to realize the point of the question?

What Girls Said 1

  • I would say the environment that they were raised in. If the guy in question has never seen a good functional relationship then chances are that he won't know how to look for one or act in one.

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