Posts Tagged ‘ careers ’

Could Barbie Have Negative Effect on Girls’ Career Aspirations?

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Girls who play with Barbie dolls–as opposed to Mrs. Potato Head doll–may see fewer career options for themselves in the future, according to an experiment that has been published in the journal Sex Roles.

Thirty-seven girls from the US Pacific Northwest, aged between four to seven years old, were randomly assigned to play for five minutes with either a sexualized Doctor Barbie or Fashion Barbie doll, or with more a more neutral Mrs. Potato Head doll, according to a statement describing the study. The girls were then shown photographs of ten occupations and asked how many they themselves or boys could do in the future.

The girls who played with a Barbie doll – irrespective of whether it was dressed as a fashion model or a doctor – saw themselves in fewer occupations than are possible for boys. Those girls who played with Mrs. Potato Head reported nearly as many career options available for themselves as for boys.

“Perhaps Barbie can ‘Be Anything’ as the advertising for this doll suggests, but girls who play with her may not apply these possibilities to themselves,” said researcher Aurora Sherman of Oregon State University, who suggests that Barbie and similar dolls are part of the burden of early and inappropriate sexuality placed on girls. “Something about the type of doll, not characteristics of the participants, causes the difference in career aspirations.”

Image: Girl, via Shutterstock

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Gender Egalitarian Dads May Have More Ambitious Daughters

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Fathers who are egalitarian in their attitudes toward gender roles may raise daughters who have higher career ambitions than those with more gender-traditional dads.  More from LiveScience.com:

The research is correlational, so it doesn’t prove that fathers’ attitudes are the cause their young daughters’ work aspirations. But the research may suggest that girls look to their fathers for examples of what is expected of women. Dads’ attitudes also predict what kind of play their daughters enjoy.

“Dads who are more balanced have girls who are just as likely to play with Transformers as Barbie dolls,” study researcher Toni Schmader, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia said here Friday (Jan. 18) at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Image: Father and daughter baking, via Shutterstock

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