Bias from parents can be a barrier to raising girls who are leaders, study finds


Teens and parents — yes, mothers too — have biases against girls and women as leaders, says new research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and its Making Caring Common (MCC) project. Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd was researching how to help children learn kindness when he found the “striking” evidence of gender bias. He discovered that both boys and girls preferred male political leaders to female and were more likely to vote for their white, male peers for student council. Even moms were in favor of boys leading student council instead of girls. The preference for male bosses among male respondents was strong; for female respondents, even stronger. Bias “can be a powerful — and invisible — barrier to teen girls’ leadership,” said Weissbourd. He and Luba Falk Feigenberg, partnerships manager at MCC, offered tips to help parents prevent gender bias, the first being to check their own biases.

Read the five ways parents can prevent gender bias at The Washington Post.

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