Many of us have been raised listening to ” girls don’t scream “, ” girls who cry look ugly “, ” girls don’t climb trees, especially if they wear skirts “, and things like that that were normalized and we assimilated in the form of a “girls should not speak too loud”… rule that in the end ended up being transferred to the classroom and finally to the professional world.
This form of upbringing has also been accompanied by the low visibility of women in science, in sports, in politics and in general in all environments that have been considered predominantly male (without having any underlying reason, to be honest). He passed). This has given rise to a stigmatization of women in many professional fields , a phenomenon that has transcended generations and that today is still a process with a long way to go.
What is the modesty rule?
Much research has been done in recent years to discover why, if intelligence does not understand gender, there are fewer girls identified as gifted than boys.
In several of them a phenomenon called “the rule of modesty” is mentioned, which is developed in the family environment and under which girls are taught, from babies, not to brag about their abilities and on the contrary, they are encouraged to do it to the children. It would therefore be a culturally based effect.
Apparently it is between the ages of 5 and 7 when it breaks into the minds of girls that “brightness” is associated more with boys than with girls . A study showed that it is at that moment when this change in mentality occurs, so it is intuited that it happens quickly. Everything that is received during childhood has direct effects on the way we perceive ourselves, such as ” children’s experiences at school, such as teachers’ attitudes and prejudices, which may be involved in the development of this stereotype .”
When the rule of modesty transcends adolescence and adulthood
The main problem with these manifestations is that we assume them both men and women . Upon reaching adolescence , they affect the decisions we make, such as a professional career or a postgraduate degree. As stated in the Notebook of Scientific Culture , the preferences in the choice of postgraduate studies based on gender is due to the effect of factors such as the expectations of the degree of “brilliance” considered necessary to successfully study one or the other. The greater the brilliance that is supposed to be necessary (because that is how it is attributed) to successfully complete studies, the lower the percentage of women who choose them.
In the end, these types of attitudes become a barrier that we impose on ourselves and that end up undermining the abilities of many girls who do not find role models or do not have the necessary confidence to pursue their dreams. It is a problem with very deep roots that has very serious effects on a person’s life.
What can we do?
It is clear that many cultural changes still need to take place for girls to have equal opportunities in the academic and professional field, although it is a job that we should all work on: from teachers in the classrooms, parents at home stimulating the curiosity of boys and girls to explore the world leaving aside those gender roles that have been so present in our society, educating in equality and strengthening their self- confidence .
The media also have a responsibility to talk about these issues so that we are aware that they exist and that changes are needed in our environment, as well as giving the same visibility to the achievements of women and men. The stimulation that our children receive comes from thousands of sources, so it is a process that we should all reflect on.