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Why You Should Think Twice Before Calling Your Daughter 'Pretty'

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM
  • 6 Replies

Why You Should Think Twice Before Calling Your Daughter 'Pretty' (VIDEO)

by Jenny Erikson

Inspire Her Mind AdSTEM girls rock. Ladies who pursue education and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are just downright cool for going after their dreams despite the fact that it's still a male-dominated field.

But would even more girls choose to follow their math and science aspirations if their parents told them they were pretty smart in addition to just being pretty? That's the message behind a powerful new ad from Verizon called "Inspire Her Mind," which is part of a campaign to get more girls interested in the STEM fields.

Little Sammy is told she's a "pretty girl," but as she grows up, her parents warn her not to get her dress dirty, not to touch nature, not to make a mess ... basically put the science down and be a good girl. Watch to see what happens by the time she gets to high school.

Did you know that 66 percent of fourth grade girls say they like math and science, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female? Why is that? Is it possible we're subtly subverting our daughters' interest from the STEM fields? Maybe we don't even realize we're doing it.

The takeaway here is to be careful what we say to our science-loving girls. Today's messy project maybe tomorrow's cure for cancer.

Why do you think girls tend to lose interest in the STEM fields as they grow up?

Are your kids interested in STEM fields?

by on Jun. 26, 2014 at 12:44 PM
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by Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Saying "you are pretty" and "don't get dirty" are very different things. I think girls desire to hear they are pretty. If they don't hear it at home they will look for it from boys. I would rather they hear it at home. But, I also let my kids get dirty. And they are pretty even when they are dirty, lol.

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM
I agree w pp. Totally fine to say you're pretty. It's different than don't get dirty. They're no where near the same thing.
I liked science until high school. Then it got boring. Math I did OK with until they introduced letters to the mix. After that I was done. I passed with C's to finish the requirements for school and was done. Ot was a nightmare.
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by Group Admin on Jun. 27, 2014 at 12:29 PM
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I am out tongue

Girls like to hear they are pretty.  Girls like to hear they are smart.  My wonderful hubby tells me both and I am certain that if we had girls he would also tell them both.

I went to college for Physics and didn't quit until a professor straight out of the 1800s told me that he would fail me till I quit.  I have a minor in physics, a minor in mathematics.  I am nearly a frickin genious.  Don't confuse teaching a girl she is pretty with teaching a girl that girls aren't smart.

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 1:51 PM
My mom did what was in this video, which was to limit my abilities because I was a girl. She also didn't call me pretty... ever. So... I can't even give an opinion on that either! Lol

The title of this post is very misleading about the contents of the video. The message I pretty much got was allow daughters to explore as much as a sin would be allowed.

by Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 7:30 PM
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Until I went to college I thought I was bad at math. I don't remember anyone directly saying that, but I do remember that the boys got much more attention when they asked questions about math than girls did. I guess I just thought that girls couldn't understand math like boys do, so they didn't work as hard with us so that we could understand. They did the same thing with boys and language arts. So I got the idea that boys aren't good at reading and writing and that girls aren't good at math and science. In college I learned that math was easy for me, I love math! Science is interesting as well and I wish I'd known that years ago. I'm older than a lot of you here, things have changed somewhat in those years, so it might be parents who are my age that taught you that you aren't good at math or science because they learned it when they were young and never thought anything of it.

by Silver Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 9:41 AM
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I never experienced or witnessed any of this supposed favoritism toward boys regarding math and science. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and from what I could tell, all boys hated school, and nearly all girls loved it. I knew many girls who loved science. I personally hated science and math with a passion. I found it boring.
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