Accelerating Momentum For Women And Girls In Science

Perhaps most poignant among recent studies is one published in Science last week, showing that shortfalls in girls’ self-image regarding their intellectual aptitude begins as early as 6 years old. At age 5, children don’t differentiate by gender who they predict will be „really, really smart,“ but by age 6 a significant difference emerges among both boy and girl respondents, with both attributing the characteristic of „being smart“ to boys/men more than girls/women. These aren’t endogenous developments, of course, but rather are shaped by cultural attitudes from caregivers, family, and the media. A New York Times article by the study’s authors adds an illuminating example: in 2014, Google searches for „is my son a genius“ outnumbered searches for „is my daughter a genius“ by two to one.

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