Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children's interests
Jan 27, 2017

Researchers from the Departments of Psychology at Princeton University, New York University, and University of Illinois - Champaign reveal their study's findings and methods.

Originally Posted By: research report
The results suggest that children’s ideas about brilliance exhibit rapid changes over the period from ages 5 to 7. At 5, boys and girls associated brilliance with their own gender to a similar extent...
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Despite this strong tendency to view one’s gender in a positive light, girls aged 6 and 7 were significantly less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender ...
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Thus, the “brilliance = males” stereotype may be familiar to, and endorsed by, children as young as 6. The stereotype associating females with being nice seems to follow a similar developmental trajectory...
I found it interesting that the age at which children begin to hold different expectations based on gender approximates the age at which most children have been in school for about a year.

While correlation does not mean causation, I would be interested to know what proportion of children in the study attended schools with female teachers, aides, lunch room workers, etc... and a male authority figure such as headmaster or principal.

Related post in General Discussion forum: NYT article