Gender stereotypes influence children’s interests
Common stereotypes associate high-level intellectual ability (brilliance, genius, etc.) with men more than women. These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance (such as physics and philosophy).
These stereotypes are endorsed by, and influence the interests of, children as young as 6, show Bian, Leslie and Cimpian in their report published in Science, 27 January 2017 (Vol. 355, Issue 6323, pp. 389-391). The authors resume that „specifically, 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are ‚really, really smart.‘ Also at age 6, girls begin to avoid activities said to be for children who are ‚really, really smart.'“ (Bian, Leslie and Cimipian, 2017: 389).