Girls Think They're Smarter Than Boys Girls Think They're Smarter Than Boys

Girls Think They're Smarter Than Boys

by Amanda M. Fairbanks

September 3, 2010

Starting at the age of four, girls think they're cleverer and better behaved than most boys, according to the BBC

Researchers presented 238 children between the ages of four and 10 with affirmations like "this child is really clever" and "this child always finishes their work" and then asked each child to point to the picture of a boy or a girl, depending on who they thought best matched each statement.

Girls of all ages said "girls were cleverer, performed better, were more focused and were better behaved or more respectful." And while younger boys started out by giving evenly divided answers, as they got older, they came to agree with the girls' assessment.

A perception that begins in young children may extend to the working world—but only part way. Today's Wall Street Journal reports that here in the U.S., "the earning power of young single women has surpassed that of their male peers in metropolitan areas around the U.S., a shift that is being driven by the growing ranks of women who attend college and move on to high-earning jobs."

While some women out-earn their male peers, women as a whole have yet to reach equal status. According to the Census: "Women with a bachelor's degree had median earnings of $39,571 between 2006 and 2008, compared with $59,079 for men at the same education level."

No matter the education level, whether a woman is a high school drop out or a Ph.D. holder, women still earn less than their male peers. And once women have children, their wages tend to drop significantly.

As children, girls perceive themselves to be cleverer, more focused, and better behaved. But then what happens?

Photo via AMC's Mad Men.

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Girls Think They're Smarter Than Boys