Dragonfly: ITA! I use to be big into believing that it was ALL cultural and the only diffrences between boys and girls were having a penis or a vagina, but Ive come to realize that there ARE diffrences, like you said, hormonal and structural.
Thats not to say culture doesnt play a HUGE role, maybe even a bigger one. But I have been a big time feminist most of my adult life and make a point not to generalize, stereotype or lead them in any way. And yet they are diffrent.
StormBride: You have age diffrences just like me! ds1 is14, dd is 2.5 and ds2 is 11mos.!!
So dd and ds2 are very close in age and we have dolls, stuffed animals, footballs, toy tools, dinosaurs, cars, a toy kitchen etc and its all just thrown togather, no sepearate rooms or even seperate toy boxes. But Ive noticed, I can be in the other room and they'll come out of the family room, dd carrying two stuffed bears and ds2 with a dinosaur. And whereas dd copied me and made things like the dinosaurs kiss each other, ds2 ignores that and makes them roar. Now, I suppose that still could be picked up because ds1 does the roaring when he plays with them. But he did that to dd and she picked the kissing to imitate. Give ds2 a football and he grabs it and runs like he's trying for a touchdown and I have no idea where he learned that other than watching daddy watch football? DD has been watching that longer. DD has been to ds1 football games and she imitated the cheerleaders. Just because they were also girls? Or they were closer to us than the football players? I dont know, I know ds1 has actively tried teaching her to play football with him and shes not that interested.
Now, ds2 climbs more and gets into more and is more active than she was at this age, but dd is definately VERBALLY aggressive, she tells ds1 what to do, and he does it!! LOL!
DD is painfully shy around people outside the immediate family, but ds2 never met a stranger. But those are personality diffrences because ds1 was also painfully shy. DS1 was very quite, artistic, thoughful, polite etc. But he was a very focused on only child.
DD was practically an only when she came along, ds1 being 11 already. DS2 though came into the world with a 19mo. old sister demanding moms attention, so could he be more active and independant for that reason? Dunno.
I guess I havent answered the question at all, because I dont truly know how much of thier diffrences are "gender" diffrences or just the diffrences between individual children. I will say though, that I was astounded at how diffrent dd was from ds1 but then thought, well, they ARE diffrent children, each child will be diffrent and then astounded at how ALIKE ds2 was to what ds1 was like! So maybe there is something to it.