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March 25 2014

The Junk Science and Ancient Surveys Behind the "Ban Bossy" Campaign

Charlotte Hays

IWF traditionally has debunked misleading surveys, obsolete “facts,” and junk science claims used to bolster the feminist agenda.

So I was delighted to see Commentary writer Ashe Schow’s debunking this morning in the Washington Examiner of the “ancient surveys and misleading facts” employed by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to promote her feminist campaign to ban the word “bossy.”

The “Ban Bossy” campaign seems particularly unnecessary coming, as it does, in an era of unprecedented opportunities for women. But Ms. Schow’s careful, point-by-point debunking of the specific surveys and outmoded "facts" on which the “Ban Bossy” campaign is flimsily based shows just how detached from reality the campaign is.

 Scow explores the studies, most at least two decades old and, which, when actually read, don't quite point the way the Bossy cadre claims. She addresses such bedrock convictions of the "Ban Bossy" campaign that parents value the chores boys perform more than those girls perform, and that girls are twice as likely as boys to be concerned that they will be called “bossy.” Scow even debunks the “science” behind the notion that the wage “starts at home.”

I urge you to read the entire article, but to whet your appetite, here is Ms. Schow’s take on the claim thatby middle school, girls are 25 percent less likely than boys to say they like taking the lead:”

This study was conducted between 1992 and 1997, so it's already out of date.

The study found when students were asked if they “like to take the lead when a group does things together” 72 percent of sixth-grade boys reported yes, versus 54 percent of sixth-grade girls.

The study’s author, Barbara Schneider, told the Washington Examiner that the question was only asked during the first year of the study, so there’s no way to tell if girls were more or less likely to want to lead as they aged. And the study didn’t question younger children, so it’s unclear whether girls were more likely to say they liked taking the lead prior to middle school.

In a much more recent study, called “Change It Up,” girls were more likely than boys to say they wanted to be a leader.

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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