Confidence gap in sexes



Gaining confidence is something we all try to do, especially when we enter the college world. By the time we have graduated, we hope this trait is more obvious in our personalities considering all we have gone through as college students.


I know for myself, I have gained more confidence than I ever had back in high school.  I must say, though, that I could work on it even more, and I am probably not the only person to say this.


In a recent USA Today College article, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute conducts an annual survey where they ask incoming freshman to rate their abilities compared to the average person their age.


According to Linda Sax, UCLA higher education professor, “In the over 40 years that we’ve been measuring student’s self-ratings, women tend to consistently rate themselves lower than men do on a wide range of self-ratings.”


Women feel less confident than men in areas such as leadership, academic ability, competitiveness, computer skills, emotional health, physical health, math, popularity, public speaking, risk-taking, intellectual self-confidence, social self-confidence and self-understanding. Women only feel more confident in cooperativeness, understanding others and writing (results shown in USA Today College article).


“When I studied these issues in the early 90s, I thought it was just a matter of time. I feel the bigger and more important issue is simply that so many talented women do not believe they are as capable as they are. If I could change anything, it would be that,” Sax said.


Women do need to gain more confidence.  It is essential to be successful in the work place. But according to a recent article in The Guardian, it makes sense why women do have this issue of insecurity.


“Adolescent girls — especially girls of color — are given less teacher attention in the classroom than their male peers. A full 56 percent of female students report being sexually harassed. Sexual assault on college campuses is rampant and goes largely unpunished.”


The article also mentioned how in just the past year, Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a woman can be fired if her boss finds her attractive, a New York court decided that unpaid interns are not allowed to sue for sexual harassment and the Paycheck Fairness Act was defeated by Republicans who claimed women actually prefer lower-paying jobs.


This issue of the confidence gap became more apparent after the book “The Confidence Code:  The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman came out. Kay and Shipman try to find the reason to this confidence gap and figure out whether it is through DNA or if it is something we can all obtain.


Confidence is important for anyone. With confidence, we are automatically able to feel better about ourselves which helps us do well in school and work.


However, reaching this confidence can be challenging. In order to achieve it, we must drop our doubts and realize we are just as good as anyone else. If someone criticizes you for something, instead of being upset about it, believe that your good choices will benefit you and nobody else.


Hopefully the confidence gap between men and women will not be an issue in years to come. Over time it might be fixed, but for now we need to not let it get in the way of being strong and fierce.




Christina Danno is a senior publishing major and columnist for The Vidette. Any questions or comments regarding her column can be sent to



One Response

  1. Reader

    I don’t doubt that women make less than men on average, but saying that women ‘prefer’ jobs that pay less is total bullocks. No one ‘prefers’ a job that pays less unless there are other reasons. Women take jobs that happen to pay less. Jobs like teachers, social workers, psychologists. These jobs, though noble and require a lot of work, they don’t pay as much as jobs like scientists, engineers, oil-rig workers. If women went into professions that were higher paying, then the gender wage gap would be much less (though still probably exist). But I don’t think you should say that women ‘prefer’ making less money. If a woman was given the choice between two identical jobs, she wouldn’t take the one that pays less except if there was a good reason (more fulfilling, rewarding, flexible, or some other perk).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *