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After reading Marisa Porges’ insightful article published by the La Crosse Tribune (March 11), some suggestions and questions arise: Are girls who speak up treated with the same respect as boys? What about the adult world?

Victoria Brescoll of Yale University asked a group of professional men and women to evaluate the competence of chief executives.

The executives, male and female, differed in how much they spoke. Male executives who spoke up were rewarded with higher ratings of competence compared to their quieter peers.

In contrast, both male and female evaluators punished women for speaking up and gave the female executives who spoke more than their peers substantially lower ratings.

Double standards and stereotypes are at play in different situations.

Witty humor in the workplace is celebrated when it comes from a male employee. It makes him more likable and increases his chances of being promoted.

But when the source of the witty humor comes from a female employee, it has the opposite effect.

Recent research by Jonathan Evans of the University of Arizona showed that the same kind of humor raises the status of the male employee whereas it has the potential to hurt advancement in a female. (A humorous woman is considered less committed to her work).

It would be appropriate to have school curricula that pay attention to the contributions of women that have been ignored and neglected by textbooks.

Raising awareness on gender double standards is necessary to build healthy societies. Social justice and common sense demand it.

Galia Paganelli, La Crosse

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