Why boys have more mental illness than girls


It has long been known that in children, boys outnumber girls about three-to-one in incidents of childhood mental disorders.

Boys are more likely to be autistic, have behavioral problems, be diagnosed with learning disabilities, etc. This has been acknowledged several times and statistically plays out every time a survey is done.

So why is this?

The Theory

One explanation could be that male babies are usually larger than are females. This means that they're more likely to have brain injuries from the birthing process. A study done several years ago confirmed this, measuring the heads and doing spinal taps of 100 newborn babies and finding that the boys had more incidents of signs of internal brain bleeding (trauma) than did the girls after birth. They did not, sadly, follow up to see if this correlated directly with childhood mental disorders, which would have confirmed their premise.

Obviously, there is not much that can be done to change the size of heads in newborns or the trauma of birth.

What can be controlled are prenatal conditions for children as well as care for babies after birth. Numerous studies have found that prenatal care, along with care and nutrition in the first five years of life, have lifelong implications for the child's physical and mental health.

Proper care, including health care, nutrition and mental stimulation, means everything in the early years of development – from conception to kindergarten. Even children at risk of mental illness through genetics, prenatal complications, etc. are less likely to have those disorders come to fruition if they receive proper, loving care.


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