TEACHING GIRLS VS. GUYS
When I lived in Thailand and asked the locals to compare two meals in a restaurant or two computers in an internet café, I received “same, same, but different” as an answer more often than not.
As much as it is similar to teach girls and guys, it can be quite different in several aspects. I don’t want to generalize, but…
I find the greatest distinction in the opposite genders willingness to listen to instructions. While girls seem to think everything through and attentively listen every world that their instructor is saying, guys just tend to try and figure things out on their own. Guys think that they know more than their instructor does. It is even more apparent when the instructor is a younger female, regardless how many thousands of dives she has logged.
Guys and girls become divers for different reasons. Sadly, I meet too many women who sign up for my class because their boyfriend is a diver, not because they want to become a diver. Girls, who start diving to try something out of the ordinary, get more excited about taking the big step than those who simply take the class to be with their boyfriends. Dudes enroll in scuba classes because of the adventures and dangers of this manly sport.
Upon completion of training, newly certified female divers seem to get more excited and proud of their accomplishments than man do. It is something huge for many women, while for most guys a scuba certificate is just another hobby can be enjoyed next to sky diving, snowboarding and surfing.
Female students (and certified divers) in general know their limits and make wiser choices than their counterpart. Girls are more conservative and careful in many ways when planning a dive, while most guys just follow the “we will figure it out as it goes” plan.
In my classes and on an average California dive boat (where I currently teach diving) I see more out-of-shape men than women. It can be because the man to women ratio is about three to one (Just ten years ago it used to be eight to one). It also could be due to the fact that women are more obsessed with their body. Regardless, their better physique and smaller body results in a more efficient air consumption and smoother underwater moves.
Guys are gadget oriented and if they like diving, they purchase all sorts of scuba gear. The first piece of gear my guy students tend to acquire is a knife, and not just any knife; a big knife. It is followed by the latest and greatest scuba gadgets. In contrast, only avid dive girls own more than a 3mm wet suit.
Girls seem to be less interested in having their own equipment, but are in seeing pretty, colorful fish in tropical waters. Of course there are some hard core girls who scuba dive under ice, through shipwrecks or in raging rivers.
Women in general are better “buddies” than man. When girls agree on diving together, they actually do dive together, frequently check on each other, and are willing to cut the dive short and return early if their dive buddy encounters a problem. When guys agree to dive as buddies, it often simply means to dive in the same ocean.
I noticed an increase of female divers at every level in recent years, to my great satisfaction. I find women instructors are typically more patient and attentive with students than male instructors. Women who feared the water during their Open Water course (and many do), result in more attentive instructors than guys who can not relate to new divers’ apprehension as for them water was always a natural surrounding.
Girls or guys are better divers? Girls or guys are better students? Girls or guys are better instructors? I can not tell. It always depends on the individual, not the gender.