If You Have Daughters, This Study's Findings Will Break Your Heart

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As parents, we know that our girls are just as intelligent as our boys. According to this new study, however, girls stop thinking of themselves as “really, really smart” by the age of six.

The study was conducted by scientists at Illinois University, New York University, and Princeton University. Admittedly, further research needs to be done beyond the 400 middle-class white children who were pooled in this experiment, but what they found was telling. While five-year-old girls do not hesitate to place themselves in the category of genius, that changes drastically by the age of six.

By the age of six, girls have stopped associating brilliance with their own gender. Instead, they start to identify genius as an inherently male trait.

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When asked to play an unfamiliar game for “smart kids,” six-year-old girls showed less interest than boys. Later, when the same game was presented to a new group of children and told it was for “kids who try hard,” boys and girls were equally interested and engaged.

When asked to play an unfamiliar game for "smart kids," six-year-old girls showed less interest than boys. Later, when the same game was presented to a new group of children and told it was for "kids who try hard," boys and girls were equally interested and engaged.

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However, stereotypes about genius go way beyond games. As girls get older, the idea that boys are naturally smarter creates a buffer that makes them shy away from fields like math, science, and engineering. In the big picture, this keeps them out of prestigious, high-paying careers, ultimately contributing to the gender wage gap.

However, stereotypes about genius go way beyond games. As girls get older, the idea that boys are naturally smarter creates a buffer that makes them shy away from fields like math, science, and engineering. In the big picture, this keeps them out of prestigious, high-paying careers, ultimately contributing to the gender wage gap.

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