A recent study has found that young girls as young as six associate ineffable character traits like brilliance, talent and giftedness with males. The U.S. based study found that girls, unlike boys, don’t think that good grades are the result of innate ability.

Harmful stereotypes

The author of the paper published by the journal for science, Andrei Cimpain, stated that the study irrevocably illustrates that young children are receptive to harmful #Gender stereotypes subconsciously that are taught at #School and in the media.

Cimpain said: ‘As these ideas are present during the early stages of socialisation in the media, books, television shows and even at home, they can influence the trajectory of boys and girls education.

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For example, a young boy that perceives he is not innately talented is likely to become disillusioned with education rather than working hard to improve grades’.

Three universities tested 400 children-half girls and half boys- to investigate the influence of coarsening gender #Stereotypes on education. In the first test, 96 children were read a story about a highly intelligent person. The children were then asked to match objects and traits such as being intelligent with pictures of men and women.

Young girls don't connect academic success with brilliance

The results revealed that girls younger than five are likely to associate brilliance and intelligence with men. The study also explored which gender the children perceived would achieve more academically. Girls aged five to seven were the most likely to associate their gender with academic excellence, but they didn’t connect academic achievement with brilliance.

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Andrei Cimpain said that he hopes that his study will help schools change the way that they teach young children. Christia Brown, psychology professor at Kent University, said that the study confirms earlier beliefs in the field which found that teachers attribute good grades to hard work for girls but natural ability for boys. Brown said: 'It is incumbent on parents, teachers and the media to work harder to eradicate harmful gender stereotypes'.

Jeremy Corbyn has challenged Theresa May to confront President Donald Trump on his record of stereotyping women.