Wives tend to joke about their husbands’ selective hearing. But it’s no joke, according to Dr. Sax. Girls hear much better than boys–a difference that persists in adulthood and becomes more marked after age 40.
And it’s probably the spouse with XX chromosomes who’s going to wake up in the middle of the night hearing a mysterious noise. Girls are distracted by noises 10 times softer than noise levels that would affect boys. In fact, girls and women tend to be much more bothered by extraneous sounds than their male counterparts.