• How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence by C. Shipman

How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence by C. Shipman

I related to much of this article.

My mother, who raised me to be a gender complementarian, with complementarianism being, among other things, nothing but codependency for girls and women, encouraged me to be a “good girl,” to be a rule follower, and to avoid taking risks. And it did negatively affect my life. It held me back.

How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence by C. Shipman


In their tween and teenage years, girls become dramatically less self-assured—a feeling that often lasts through adulthood.

…Until the age of 12, there was virtually no difference in confidence between boys and girls.

But, because of the drop-off girls experienced during puberty, by the age of 14 the average girl was far less confident than the average boy.

The female tween and early-teen confidence plunge is especially striking because multiple measures suggest that girls in middle and high school are, generally speaking, outperforming boys academically, and many people mistake their success for confidence.

But the girls we talked with and polled detailed, instead, a worrisome shift. From girls 12 and under, we heard things such as “I make friends really easily—I can go up to anyone and start a conversation” and “I love writing poetry and I don’t care if anyone else thinks it’s good or bad.”

A year or more into their teens, it was “I feel like everybody is so smart and pretty and I’m just this ugly girl without friends,” and “I feel that if I acted like my true self that no one would like me.”

Confidence is an essential ingredient for turning thoughts into action, wishes into reality.

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• A Lack of Confidence Isn’t What’s Holding Back Working Women

A Lack of Confidence Isn’t What’s Holding Back Working Women

A Lack of Confidence Isn’t What’s Holding Back Working Women


Women are hesitant to talk up their accomplishments because they are often penalized when they do.

…Together, two new pieces of research are helping identify why it’s so hard for women to boast about their accomplishments.

The first study, conducted by researchers at three European business schools, confirms what many working women instinctively know:

While they might be told confidence is the key to professional success, that’s rarely the case in practice.

Unless women can temper their assertiveness with more stereotypically feminine traits like empathy and altruism, confidence will do little to advance their careers.

…While all that most men seem to need in order to succeed in the workplace is a little bit of spunk, women must learn how to master the art of appearing both sure of themselves and modest.

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• What Happens When Children Are Asked to Draw a Surgeon, Firefighter, and a Fighter-Pilot – Re: Gender Stereotyping in Occupations

 What Happens When Children Are Asked to Draw a Surgeon, Firefighter, and a Fighter-Pilot – Re: Gender Stereotyping in Occupations

Watch what happens when you ask kids to draw a surgeon, a firefighter and a fighter-pilot

How early are gender stereotypes ingrained? This video has the answer.

You may think we’ve come a long way from the days when a nurse was assumed to be female and a doctor male, but a recent experiment involving young primary school students suggests otherwise.

When asked to draw images of a fire fighter, jet pilot and surgeon, over 90 per cent of students in a British classroom identified their drawings as male.

Their surprise when they were confronted with women in those uniforms goes to show just how deeply rooted their assumptions were.

A video produced by Inspiring the Future shows the children’s surprise as the three professionals that have come to meet them are revealed to be women. One student yells, “fake” while another insists “they’re dressed up”.

Children as young as pre-school start pondering what they want to be when they grow up, but behaviour around the home, toys, and images from the media, shape children’s perception of what certain professions look like.

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• Stereotype Threat, Girls, Women, Text Anxiety, and Choosing Careers

“Stereotype Threat” is someone mentioned only briefly in my past related post, “Are Schools or Pedagogical Systems Designed to Favor Girls Over Boys? No, Not By and Large“.

I wanted to use this post to include links to studies and articles about this topic.

Sexism, gender bias, and gender stereotypes – including Stereotype Threat – can and do play a role in why girls and women may under-perform in certain subjects, shy away from others, and influence which careers they enter.

If Women Assume Fake Names, They Do Better on Math Tests

Assuming a false name helped women perform better on math tests

There’s a long standing myth that men are better at math than women. Women know this myth, and if you remind them of it before a test, they tend to do worse than they would have otherwsie.

This is called “stereotype threat,” and it happens in the real world all the time.

One team of researchers was interested in whether or not they could reverse this drop in performance by having women assume fake identities.

What they found was that assuming a false name did help women perform better.

Here’s what happened when the researchers gave women fake names. Women who took the test under a false name—male or female—performed significantly better than women who took the test with their own name at the top. Men were completely unaffected by the name on the top of their paper.

Teacher bias may help discourage girls from math, study finds

by Linda Carroll / Mar.10.2015

Despite all the talk about encouraging girls in math and science, many teachers still harbor unconscious biases that dissuade girls from going into these fields, a new study suggests.

Israeli researchers found a gender bias in math grades given to girls and boys at the elementary school level, according to the report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Our results suggest that teachers themselves are part of the problem,” said the study’s lead author, Edith Sand, an economist at the Bank of Israel and an instructor at the Tel-Aviv University’s Berglas School of Economics. “They are discouraging girls and encouraging boys to get to a higher level of math and science. So there’s a gender gap in the teachers’ perceptions of their students.”

  Sand discovered the gender bias by comparing the results of tests scored by teachers who knew the children and their names, to those graded by outside scorers who weren’t told anything about the identity of the test takers.

What she saw was striking. When teachers knew the children’s names and identities, they graded the girls lower in math than the outside grader, while scoring the boys higher. As a test, the researchers checked to see if the same kind of bias was occurring in other school subjects—it wasn’t.

To see if there was any long term fallout from the biased grading, the researchers followed the children all the way through high school. They found that girls who had been downgraded in elementary school were less likely to sign up for advanced math and science courses in high school.

The researchers suspect that the bias is unconscious. “I am sure they are completely unaware of it,” Sand said.

This isn’t the first study to show that girls’ interest in math tends to drop off as they get older, but it may well be the first showing that teacher bias could be part of the problem, said Patrick Tolan, a professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and director of Youth-Nex, the UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development.

Are Women Worse at Math? It’s Time to Stop Asking

…. In my case, I had been subconsciously primed with words related to femininity (like pink, lipstick, and doll) [during the psychological test]. Some subjects in the study were primed with neutral words instead.

In studies like these, as in the calculus one, women who see feminine words subsequently do worse on the math test than those who don’t.

Researchers have even found that women taking math tests under stereotype threat show activity in regions of the brain associated with the processing of negative social information — we get anxious.

…Is it true? Are women innately worse at math?

A lot of researchers have tried to definitively answer this question, generating huge amounts of controversy in the meantime. The problem is that when it comes to women and men’s performance in math, there are no control groups.

Cultural stereotypes about gender and mathematical ability are pervasive and it’s extremely difficult to separate performance gaps based on these stereotypes from performance gaps based on ‘innate’ talent.

…Notably, one widely documented study on stereotype threat found that when Asian-American women were reminded of their Asian identities their math performance improved, while reminders of their femininity had the opposite effect.

The upshot of all this is that even if there are innate mathematical abilities, their significance pales in comparison to the effects that culture has on mathematical performance.

And certainly, given the weight of evidence for stereotyping effects, innate mathematical differences cannot be used, as some do, to justify gender gaps in technical fields. It’s time to stop obsessively trying to find differences between men and women and to focus that energy on breaking down the cultural norms that keep girls out of math.

Ladies of Science – Responding to “The Stereotype Threat”


While a lot has been done to combat the explicit stereotyping of women in STEM, implicit biases persist, even in individuals who actively reject stereotypes.

Mahzarin Banaji, a professor of social ethics at Harvard University, has developed a virtual laboratory for exploring unconscious beliefs about gender and science stereotypes.

Nearly half a million people from around the world have taken the test over the course of the past 16 years and nearly 70 percent readily associate “male” with science and “female” with arts. [Editor’s note: Banaji’s test is available online. Find out about your own implicit biases here.]

Stereotype Threat and Women’s Math Performance

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• Assessing Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life by Greg Boyd

Assessing Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life by Greg Boyd

Christian theologian Greg Boyd has written a series of posts about Jordan Peterson’s views.

Peterson has become a very revered figure among certain conservative people.

I myself am conservative, and while I agree with Peterson on a topic here or there, I don’t agree with him on much of what he says about women or gender roles.

I posted previously about Peterson on my blog here.

My conclusion about Peterson is that he’s essentially the secular version of a Christian gender complementarian. He holds what appears to be many of the same views about women that gender complementarians do – which is enough for me to reject his views.

Part 10 (of 15): Who Gets To Interpret The World? by Greg Boyd


In my previous two posts (post 8 & post 9) I critically evaluated Peterson’s thinking on hierarchies, race and white privilege. In this post I’ll address three other aspects of Peterson’s thought that was outlined in post 5, post 6, and post 7.

On the Power of Women’s “No”

First, we’ve seen that Peterson claims that “[w]omen’s proclivity to say no [to men] more than any other force, has shaped our evolution into the creative, industrious, upright, large-brained (competitive, aggressive, domineering) creatures that we are” (41).

Because females naturally want to mate with males who are as high up on the social scale as possible, finding the bottom half to be undesirable (41), they have been the central means by which advantageous genes got passed along while disadvantageous genes were selected out.

Hence, the playing field on which men must compete for mating rites has been getting higher and higher throughout our biological and social evolution.

While I don’t dispute the research demonstrating that women are choosy maters, I’m not convinced women have always, or even usually, had the power to say “no” that Peterson ascribes to them.

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• Jack the Ripper Theory Claims Serial Killer May Have Been a WOMAN by A. Martin

Jack the Ripper Theory Claims Serial Killer May Have Been a WOMAN

Now the story of a female doctor’s assistant with a hatred of prostitutes because she could not have children will be told at the London Dungeon

Aug 2018

The riddle of the identity of Jack the Ripper has taken a twist – with claims the grisly serial killer may have been a woman.

… But Metropolitan Police detective Frederick Abberline recorded witness statements claiming to have seen someone wearing the final victim’s clothing as they left the murder scene.

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• The Island Where Women Make the Rules By Egle Gerulaityte

The Island Where Women Make the RulesBy Egle Gerulaityte

In the small indigenous territory of Guna Yala off Panama’s eastern coast, a flourishing ‘third gender’ community is defying stereotypes – and venerating women.

from BBC Travel

…This is Guna Yala, also known as San Blas: an archipelago off Panama’s eastern coast that contains more than 300 islands, 49 of which are inhabited by the indigenous Guna people.

More than 50,000 strong, the Gunas still live as their ancestors did, dwelling in small wooden shacks covered with palm leaves, with logs smouldering in the fireplaces and hammocks representing the only furniture.

… According to David, my guide on Crab Island, women in Guna Yala enjoy an elevated status.

A traditional Guna wedding includes a ceremonial abduction of the groom, not the bride, and when a young man is married off, he moves into the bride’s home.

From that point on, his work belongs to the woman’s family, and it’s the woman who decides whether her husband can share his fish, coconuts or plantains with his own parents or siblings.

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