London: Young teenage girls often feel the need to play down how intelligent they are so that they do not intimidate their male peers, a study says.
“One of the pressures is that young men must be more dominant — cleverer, stronger, taller, funnier — than young women, and that being in a relationship with a woman who is more intelligent will undermine their masculinity,” said Maria do Mar Pereira from the University of Warwick in Britain.
Pereira spent three months with a class of children aged around 14 years, and participated in every aspect of a typical school day. This included attending classes, taking exams, and going shopping. She found that girls often felt the need to “dumb down” their intelligence.
“The belief that men have to be dominant over women makes boys feel constantly anxious and under pressure to prove their power,” she said.