Why do girls believe boys are smarter at age 6? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-22-2017, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why do girls believe boys are smarter at age 6?

As the debate on gender progresses in Silicon Valley, I want to ask the questions of why are there not enough female engineers? A research by Science Journal found out that girls at age 6 believe boys are smarter, what can parents do to promote gender equality?
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#2 of 8 Old 08-22-2017, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Check out this blog post that talks about gendered learning:
medium.com/cottageclass/computers-are-not-just-for-boys-178740513c53
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#3 of 8 Old 08-22-2017, 04:57 PM
 
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Probably because boys get told they are smart more than girls do.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-22-2017, 09:02 PM
 
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My middle dd graduated from a high school where more than 60% of the AP science and math students are female. She arrived at the school in Grade 11, from a STEM-poor school and having never considered applied science as a career or interest. She was immediately swept up in the engineering-track momentum of all the other ambitious teen girls and is now doing thermofluid mechanical engineering at her college of choice. I actually think the boys at this school are beginning to suffer by comparison.

What her school has got going for it:

1. It's in a very tolerant, alternative-style community where gender roles are more flexible than average.
2. They have special events and workshops for Girls in STEM during 9th and 10th grades.
3. The senior science and math courses are mostly taught by strong, bright, charismatic female teachers.
4. There is critical mass: once the percentage of girls in the engineering track got close to 50%, those choices became 'normalized' in the culture of their school. Academically capable girls who chose a less STEM oriented track often find they have to justify to their friends and teachers not taking AP Physics and Calculus.

I do think software engineering is more gender-unbalanced than a lot of other STEM fields. My guess is that this is partly because the teen-boy gaming culture tends to provide boys with more exposure to software design and coding outside of school. Competence with building computer hardware and software doesn't generally come from structured schooling; rather, kids (boys, primarily) self-teach by tinkering at home, driven by their gaming interests.

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#5 of 8 Old 08-23-2017, 08:02 PM
 
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I find this to be just the opposite. My DS had many girls in his STEM activities. There was and is a huge push for deeper and broader classes in the STEM environment. Many STEM classes are filled at the first day of registration and have wait lists longer than the class holds. There is a demand for more education, stronger education and better education on all levels. Girls don't believe boys are 'smarter', children are demanding to learn everything and anything possible and at a much faster pace. Now that DS is at university his classes are filled with both males and females who are equally capable of math and science concepts. Both young men and women were tutors in the math lab.
In my view if adults would back off and let kids find their own way and own interests 'girls' wouldn't feel left out in STEM and 'boys' wouldn't like they can't do art , music, reading etc.

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#6 of 8 Old 08-24-2017, 10:08 AM
 
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That's funny,

When I was in university, many years ago, a lot of the arts students WERE ladies/girls, but upon graduation, guys often dominated the gallery scene, and often got all the better teaching/arts field positions. In our technical school all the lady teachers were part time no benefits, while the guy teachers were full time and benefits. Later while doing web site design, everyone ALWAYS assumed I was a guy, and if they ever met or talked with me they were surprised. I lost a job because they hired a guy to do my job, and I was told "He has a family (wife) to support" (whereas my employment was just pin money I guess). When I tried to get another job in the field I was only offered a gopher position, after over 3 years experience. Hopefully things are changing. I agree, it should be aptitude and interest driving choices not gender.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-02-2017, 05:47 PM
 
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I don't know. I worry about perpetuating this in my own small family. My boy is 2 years older than my girl. Therefore he's better at a lot of things simply by virtue of age. He's also focused, has a "little professor" personality, and often impresses people with his knowledge or skills and gets feedback on being smart as a result (not from me!). I've met a lot more boys with that personality than girls. My girl is quite capable, but not obsessive about any one thing, prefers to play with her friends, and a lot less likely to lecture or brag to adults. So I wouldn't be surprised if she feels that way, despite everything I might do to try to counteract it.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-02-2017, 07:06 PM
 
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It could be

That boys are just encouraged to act boastful or not discouraged whereas girls may be discouraged generally, to toot their own horn, because I do not believe that smarts are concentrated in the male gender, that's foolish. You definitely see this in adults. Guys=assertive, Ladies=bitchy/pushy. Plus think about (typical) little kid role models, boys>superheroes, explorers, scientists, athletes girls>barbie, disney princesses.
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