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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Tadross

Stay "Mean," Girls

Throughout my life I have continuously heard comments like, "girls can be so cruel," and "I'm friends with boys because they're just so much nicer than girls." But is the stereotype of "mean girls" really true? Not really. Actually, not at all.

A study conducted by the University of Georgia shows that boys are more likely to take part in BOTH physical and relational aggression at every grade level. This confirms the common belief that yes, there is a double standard on how both genders are viewed for aggressiveness. I have heard boys use aggressive language to disrespect their peers just as much as girls; the only reason boys are dubbed "nicer" is because people are conditioned to expect it. This is because we constantly see men in positions of authority asserting themselves, whereas women are encouraged to be nicer, and therefore are more harshly judged when they choose to stand up for themselves. The double standard is affirmed in the Heidi and Howard study, in which two focus groups read about THE SAME successful person, however in one it was a man, and the other a woman. Heidi was described as "bossy" and "critical", while Howard was praised for his "leadership skills", and "compassion". While of course no one has any right to bully others, at the end of the day, the only way to conquer gender bias is to encourage all women to assert themselves in school and the workplace, regardless of disparities in how they are viewed.

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