As I read the summary of this study about the early emergence of gender stereotypes in my daily news break, I took a screenshot and sent it to my husband. I wrote the caption, “Our daughter won’t fall into this bucket.” He wholeheartedly agreed, and a political state of world dialogue followed; but rather than go to the rabbit hole, I will focus on the article.
In the study, girls and boys were told about a most brainy individual and were asked to guess which photo represented this person-one, a photo of a man, and a woman. At age five, the outcomes were consistent with a typical behavior in this age group to show a positive bias in their own gender. But at the age of six, both women and men believe that man is this brain individual. Also, other studies have shown that at the age of six, girls begin to avoid games that are considered for the most brainwashed children.
STEM Encouragement for Girls
As a woman, and a mother of a daughter, the results of this study make it difficult to read. As parents looking to raise a girl who speaks her mind and embraces her desires, it is only to encourage my husband and I that we need to continue to give weight to these exact idea. This is also why we fully support it NEW for girls, and try to include it in our daughter’s game as much as possible, until she is old enough to choose her own interest. He was still shy of both, but clearly cut our work for us parents to test these stereotypes and raising children with confidence and driving to set new rules.
So, is STEM for girls – and more specifically, for my daughter? Yes, absolutely, with whatever he wanted to explore. And now even more so, my husband and I are determined not to let our daughter fall into this bucket, believing that beauty is natural or has a tendency to men rather than women. That is why we strive to provide both the wise women and men of our society as well as those around her on a daily basis. We both show him that hard work pays off, with the hope that the combination of seeing it in action, along with support, will give him the confidence to pursue his interests no matter what stereotypes say.
Editor’s Note: This post was published in 2017 but has now been updated.
Webinar: A Parent’s Guide to STEM Education
Along with the special guest, Dr. Anita Greenberg, CEO and founder of Pleasures of Science, we explore the benefits of introducing your child to STEM early, activities, books, and games that can help, and how STEM can help prepare your child for positive outcomes in the future.
I am Laura a first mom, employee of Bright Horizons and a foodie who loves to cook, travel and laugh. In my free time, I like to pretend I know how to use my DSLR like a pro and do all things creative (main DIY-er here). I’m excited to share some ups-and-downs of being a parent as my husband, two dogs and our latest addition exploring life as a family with five families!