Gee, Parents Think Differently About Boys and Girls…(and it’s not so good)


Wanted to share some very interesting research by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (@seththoughts) in last weekend’s New York Times and Dallas Morning News. NYT titled it, “Google Tell me. Is My Son a Genius?” DMN titled it, “Is My Son Brainy? Is My Daughter Fat.” The News’ spelling out is more jarring, but spot on. It’s a terrible indictment against parents and what they subconsciously do and feel about their kids, especially girls.

Parents are 21/2 times more likely to ask “Is my son gifted?” than “Is my daughter gifted?” … parents seem more likely to use positive words in questions about sons. There is a larger bias toward asking whether sons are “tall” than “short.” Parents are more likely to ask whether a son is “happy” and slightly more likely to ask whether a daughter is “depressed.”

His final question is the most intriguing: How would American girls’ lives be different if parents were half as concerned with their bodies and twice as intrigued by their minds?  So as we see everyday, we’re continuing to screw things up. I’ve been teaching some theater classes in the Dallas Metroplex recently. All shapes, sizes, and ages from 8-18. I see it all the time. Now, what to do about it…I”ll let you know. Soon.

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