Blog Community
Working Parent Parenting & Child Care by Stage Child Development Education Family Health Family Life In the News

Is STEM for My Daughter?

Is STEM for My Daughter?

When I read the summary of this study about the early emergence of gender stereotypes in my daily news digest, I took a screenshot and sent it to my husband. I entered the caption, “Our daughter will not fall into this bucket.” He wholeheartedly agreed, and a political state of the world dialogue ensued; but rather than going down that rabbit hole, I’ll focus on the article.

In the study, girls and boys were told about a very smart individual and were asked to guess which photo represented this person—one, a photo of a man, and the other of a woman. At age five, the results were consistent with a common trait of this age group to show positive biases toward their own gender. But by age six, both girls and boys tended to believe the man was this very smart individual. Likewise, other studies showed that at age six, girls began to avoid games deemed for very smart kids.

As a woman, and a mom to a daughter, this was incredibly disheartening to read. As parents trying to raise a girl who speaks her mind and embraces her passions, this was just the encouragement we needed to keep emphasizing these exact notions. This is also why we fully support STEM, and try to integrate it into our daughter’s play whenever we can, until she is old enough to choose her own interests. She’s still just shy of two, but clearly we have our work cut out for us as parents to break through these stereotypes and raise children who have the confidence and drive to set a new norm.

So is STEM for my daughter? Yes, absolutely. Or whatever else she wants to explore. And now more than ever, my husband and I are determined not to let our daughter fall into this bucket believing that brilliance is innate or tends to be a trait of men over women. That’s why we’ll try to highlight equally the smart women and men in our society as well as those who surround her every day. We’ll both show her that hard work pays off, with the hope that the combination of seeing this in action, along with our support, she’ll grow to have the confidence to pursue her interests no matter what the stereotypes say.

Read more posts by Laura including Finding Work/Life Balance as a Working Mom.

I’m Laura a first-time mom, employee of Bright Horizons and a foodie who loves to cook, travel and laugh. In my free time, I like to pretend I know how to use my DSLR like a pro and do basically all things creative (major DIY-er here). I’m excited to share some of the ups-and-downs of parenthood as my husband, two dogs and our newest addition explore life as a family of five!




RELATED RESOURCES:

One comment

  1. Sally Jameson February 27, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    My daughter loves Math and Science. I recently purchased a few toys to fuel her interest and her favorite educational toy is BeeStretchy Stretchy Bands. The stretchy bands teach her all about geometric shapes and how to identify them. As well the different measurements that make up each shape. This is a perfect stem toy to quickly and easily get a young child interested.

Please Log In to Comment


TOP