Female esteem equal to men's

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The Independent Online
WOMEN HAVE caught up in the confidence stakes and now have the same levels of self- esteem as men, according to new research.

In a study of 150,000 people, researchers found that the once large gaps in self-esteem between men and women had been eroded over the past 10 years and the two sexes were now on a par.

Experts believe the growing equality of women in the work place, positive role models, the advent of "girl power" and good academic results have all played a part in improving women's self-esteem.

The British government is so concerned about low self- esteem levels in teenage girls that it is carrying out research to look at what is causing young women to fail to reach their full potential.

"I think a lot of very well-intentioned people believe girls have serious self-esteem problems, particularly in adolescence," said Professor Janet Shibley Hyde, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which conducted the study.

"But we may create a self-fulfilling prophecy for girls by telling them they'll have low self-esteem. There may be more inherent dangers in claiming that gender and self-esteem are connected. And if parents believe that their daughters have lower self-esteem than their sons, they may behave in ways that telegraph this message to their children."

The study, published in the current issue of Psychological Bulletin, found that although males scored slightly higher than females on standard measures of self-esteem, the difference was not significant.

Experts believe low self-esteem has strong correlation with depression, low achievement and poor social adjustment.