Children hold stereotypical views that “brilliance” is a male trait, and this belief strengthens as they grow, up to the age of 12, researchers from Singapore and the United States have reported. The study, led by NTU Singapore in collaboration with New York University, was published in the scientific journal Child Development in May 2022. It involved 389 Chinese Singaporean parents and 342 of their children aged 8 to 12.
Lead author of the study, Assoc Prof Setoh Peipei from NTU’s School of Social Sciences, said the Singapore-based study is the first to identify that the tendency to associate brilliance with men (also known as the “brilliance equals to men” stereotype) increases in strength through the primary school years, and reaches the level of belief seen in adults by the age of 13. “Stereotypical views about how boys are smarter than girls can take root in childhood and become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Prof Setoh. “For girls, this may lead them to doubt their abilities, thus limiting their ideas about their interests and what they can achieve in life.” “Our research work shows parents must also be included in policies and school programs to effectively combat children’s gender stereotypes from a young age,” she added.
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- Pre-teen Children Believe 'Brilliance' is a Male Trait, and This Stereotype Increases in Strength yo to the Age of Twelve
- Preteen children tend to associate 'brilliance' with males, study finds