Vive la Différence

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my responsibility at the ministry is to review the letters, telephone calls, and e-mails that flood into our offices. I don't see them all but I do, however, receive regular summaries consisting of actual paragraphs and comments that our staff selects for me to read. Included among them are wonderful messages from parents and children that brighten (and sometimes sadden) my days. One of the most treasured came from a nine-year-old girl named Elizabeth Christine Hays, who sent me her picture and a list she had composed about girls and boys. She and her mother subsequently gave me permission to share her delightful letter, as follows.

Dear James Dopson,

I hope you like my list of girls are better than boys. You are a good guy. I am a Christian. I love Jesus.


Elizabeth Christine Hays

P.S. Please don't throw my list away.


1. girls chew with their mouths closed.

2. girls have better hand writing.

3. girls sing better.

4. girls are more talented.

5. girls can do their hair better.

6. girls cover their mouths when they sneeze.

7. girls don't pick their nose.

8. girls go to the bathroom politely.

9. girls learn faster.

10. girls are more kinder to animals.

11. girls don't smell as bad.

12. girls are more smarter.

13. girls get more things what they want.

14. girls don't let stinkers as much.

15. girls are more quieter.

16. girls don't get as durty.

17. girls are cleaner.

18. girls are more attractive.

19. girls don't each as much.

20. girls walk more politely.

21. girls aren't as strict.

22. girls sit more politely.

23. girls are more creative.

24. girls look better than boys.

25. girls comb their hair better.

26. girls shave more.

27. girls put on deoderant on more often.

28. girls don't have as much bodyodor.

29. girls don't want their hair messed up.

30. girls like to get more tan.

31. girls have more manners.

I was so amused by Elizabeth Christine's creativity that I included her list in my next monthly letter and mailed it to approximately 2.3 million people. The response from both boys and girls was fascinating—and funny. Not everyone was pleased, however, including a rather irritated mother who thought we had insulted her son. She wrote, "Would you consider publishing a similar letter entitled 'Boys Are More Better Than Girls'?" Then she commented, "I doubt it; it would not be politically correct." Well, that was the first time I've ever been accused of being PC! With a challenge like that I simply had to balance the scales. In my next monthly letter, I invited boys to send me their written opinions of girls. Here are selected items from the many lists that I received in the next couple of weeks.


1. Boys can sit in front of a scary movie and not close their eyes once.

2. Boys don't have to sit down every time they go.

3. Boys don't get embarrassed easily.

4. Boys can go to the bathroom in the woods.

5. Boys can climb trees better.

6. Boys can hang on to their stomachs on fast rides.

7. Boys don't worry about "diet-this" and "diet-that."

8. Boys are better tractor drivers than girls.

9. Boys rite better than girls.

10. Boys can build better forts than girls.

11. Boys can take pain better than girls.

12. Boys are way more cooler.

13. Boys have less fits.

14. Boys don't waste their life at the mall.

15. Boys aren't afraid of reptiels.

16. Boys shave more than girls.

17. Boys don't do all those wiggaly movmets when they walk.

18. Boys don't scratch.

19. Boys don't brade another's hair.

20. Boys aren't smart alickes.

21. Boys don't cry and feel sorry when they kill a fly.

22. Boys don't use as mutch deoderent.

23. Boys were created first.

24. Boys learn to make funny noises with their armpits faster.

25. Boys can tie better knots—specially girls pony tails.

26. Boys get to blow up more stuff.

27. Without boys there would be no babies. [Now there's a new thought!]

28. Boys eat with a lot of heart.

29. Boys don't WINE.

30. Boys hum best.

31. Boys are proud of their odor.

32. Boys don't cry over a broken nail.

33. Boys don't need to ask for directions.

34. Boys can spell Dr. Dobson's name correctly.

35. Boys aren't clichish.

36. Boys don't hog the phone.

37. Boys aren't shopacholics.

38. Boys bait their own hook when they fish.

39. Boys don't hang panty hose all over the bathroom.

40. Boys don't wake up with bad hair.

41. Boys aren't stinker. [what?]

42. Boys don't take two million years to get ready.

43. Boys couldn't care less about Barby.

44. Boys don't have to have 21 pairs of shoes (three for every day of the week!!!).

45. Boys don't put a tub of makeup on all the time.

46. Boys don't care if their noses aren't perfect.

47. Boys respect everything and everyone including GIRLS!

In addition to receiving many of these "more better" lists, I was sent some delightful notes from children written in their own handwriting. Obviously, the debate about boys and girls had sparked some animated discussions in families all across North America.

Here are a few examples from our mail:

I really like the page about "girls are more better than boys." Ifond it because I was walking by the table and the word "girl" caught my eye. I believe every word on that piece of paper. I have been trying to convince my friend, Lenny, that girls are better thanboys, now I have proof. NO OFENSE! Thank you for not throwing it away and for publishing it. I am eight, almost nine years old.

Faith, age 8

Most boys really don't care about the list Elizabeth made. Boys care more about sports, having fun, and not caring about the way they look (unless they are going somewhere nice). Iwasmade to write this letter. Most boys do not like to write.

Michael, age 12

I really enjoyed reading Elizabeth Christine Hays' letter to you. Iespecially enjoyed her 31 reasons why girls are better than boys. My parents had me read these reasons to my brothers. Thetwo oldest boys laughed through the whole thing. It was plain they didn't agree. But when I was done, my four-year-old brother said, "So girls are better than boys."

Sarah, age 15

Don't you love the spontaneity and creativity of children? Boys and girls have such a fresh take on almost everything, and as we have seen, they view life from opposite ends of the universe. Even a child can see that

Book: Bringing Up Boys

By Dr. James Dobson

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