Gender expectations worrisome

Parents set unequal expectations for boys and girls


According to Seth Stephens-Davidowitz of the “New York Times”, parents still believe that what matters most about their sons is their intelligence and what matters about their daughters is their looks.

For every ten U.S. Google queries about boys being overweight, there are 17 about girls. For every ten U.S. Google queries about girls being gifted, there are 25 about boys.

This statistic from the National Center for Health Statistics and Department of Education Office of Civil Rights illustrates different concerns parents have for their sons versus their daughters. For junior Deepali Bhandari, this gender-based difference in viewpoint is upsetting.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “Parents sometimes have this narrow mindset that blinds them from their daughters’ potential.”

Senior Zachary Albright agrees, feeling this mindset can be a hindrance, preventing children from reaching their full potential.

“Girls are capable of just as much as guys, but often they aren’t treated that way, making them unprepared for the real world,” he said. “Parents don’t put as much emphasis on the academic success of their daughters compared to the success of their sons, and it’s not until later in life that they see the effects of that.”
While some parents may carry expectations based on gender, sophomore Madison Troxler feels that expectations can also root from the individual’s success.

“My parents expect more from me than my two brothers, but that’s because I display more determination to do well in school and obtain the best grade I can,” she said. “People are treated differently because they are different. Each individual has separate strengths and weaknesses.”

Biology teacher Kimberly Moore understands the root of these expectations and feels that the change in time period has made it difficult for some parents to adapt.

“I personally don’t expect anything different from my sons versus my daughters,” she said. “I do understand where the expectations come from though. A woman’s main role in the past was to stay at home and do housework. When women started working and getting an education, the housework didn’t go away. Because of that, parents don’t emphasize the education of their daughters. Children have to understand their parents were raised in a completely different society.”

BOY GIRLRegardless of their root, Troxler finds expectations to be negative, causing students to feel unnecessary pressure.

“If someone expects too much from a person, it can cause a lot of issues such as anxiety and stress,” she said. “People are more than the expectations set for them, and they need to know that, otherwise they’ll constantly fear failure.”