The Gender Divide: Are Boys Smarter Than Girls? Study Reveals Glaring Results
Children think of themselves as equals regardless of gender but only up to the age of five. Study shows that 6-year-old girls already think of their male counterparts as smarter and more brilliant than girls. This shows that gender perception exists even among very young children when they reach a certain age.
The study published in the journal Science was based on experiments involving 400 kids. They were given a test without giving away any clues on gender. University of Illinois psychologist Lin Bian said they left out any clue as to the gender of a person when they asked the kids about a story's protagonist.
Bian said 5-year-old kids in the study chose characters who belonged to their own gender. But this has changed within a year because at the age of six, boys picked their own gender while girls chose boys too, according to CNN.
"When they enter school around 5 or 6 years of age, they get to have much more exposure to the cultural message," Bian said. "That's when they learn a great deal of the information about the social world."
The kids were then asked to do an activity that was meant for very smart children. The 5-year-olds were equally enjoying the task, as per WTKR.
The 6-year-old girls and older, however, lost interest. Researchers said this could also mean that gender stereotyping already exists even at a young age. The study cited that girls tend to stay away from activities identified for very smart kids, according to The Atlantic.
At the age of six, girls are starting to learn stereotypes from media and even from their parents and peers. Child psychologist Madelaine Portwood however attributed this to the differences in developmental age.
Experts said that this could perhaps explain why girls shy away from demanding courses because of this belief that boys are better than them. This stereotyping has been blamed for the under representation of women in more prestigious careers. Experts note that something must be done to liberate girls from this unfounded belief and allow them the freedom to explore their innate abilities and passion.