Interesting piece from The New York Times on how our gendered perception of brilliance begins to form at the young age of 6.
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In our research, published today in the journal Science, we’ve found that girls as young as 6 start to believe that specific activities are “not for them” simply because they think they’re not smart enough. Our research suggests that American children are picking up on cultural stereotypes about brilliance at an early age. Unfortunately, these stereotypes suggest that girls aren’t as smart as boys.
If you try to think of a character in a book or show who is brilliant, you may come up with someone like Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Spock, Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” – or some other man. Of course, there are exceptions, such as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series and Lisa Simpson in “The Simpsons.” Most often, though, our cultural stereotypes promote the idea that being intellectually gifted is a male quality.
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