Girls Make the Grade

Girls Make the Grade – Brief Article

E.C.

Studies undertaken from the 1950s to the 1980s revealed that girls avoided success in school and at work for fear of social rejection. But, says Teri Quatman, Ph.D., the tables have now turned.

Quatman, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, whose findings will be published in Sex Roles (Fall, 2000), launched a study to determine the self-esteem of girls and women today. She had 532 children ages 11 to 18 respond to questions from the Teen Apperception Table such as: Mark is a student in your class about as smart as you. A) How much would you want to be his friend? B) How well is he liked? “Contrary to our expectations, we found that adolescents perceived talented females quite favorably–more so, in fact, than equivalently high-achieving males,” Quatman says, attributing the change to the political and cultural shifts of the past decade.

“It may seem that women have advanced at the expense of men,” says Quatman, “but these things tend to normalize over time.”

COPYRIGHT 2000 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

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