ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Today, women are taking the working world by storm. Between 30 and 40 percent of all businesses are owned and operated by women. And more women are graduating from high school, college, and post-grad programs than men. With these encouraging statistics, you might think the next generation of girls would have sky-high confidence. But a new study shows that’s not necessarily the case.
A new study shows girls doubt that women can be as brilliant as men. Researchers studied 400 children. The boys and girls were both told a story and then asked to pick out photos of people who were “really, really smart.” At age five, the boys typically chose men and the girls chose women. But as soon as ages six and seven, the girls became significantly less likely to identify women as being brilliant.
Experts say parents need to instill confidence in their girls. A 2014 report found Americans googled, “is my son a genius?” More than twice as often as, “is my daughter a genius?” Teachers can also help, most of the “geniuses” kids learn about in school are men. Experts say teachers should explain that gender discrimination has historically kept women from pursuing these roles. One study found providing girls with successful role models may boost their intellectual confidence. But perhaps most importantly, keep telling young girls you know that they can be anything!
In another part of the study, children were asked if they wanted to play a board game for kids who are “really, really smart.” At age five, both boys and girls were equally likely to want to play the game. But at age six and seven, girls opted for another activity while the boys still wanted to play the game.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Gabriella Battistiol, News Assistant.