August 8, 2019 | Number of The Day
Percentage of New Jerseyans who think women and men are equally smart

While New Jerseyans perceive women as being more emotional and men as more aggressive, other views on gender have evolved, with 80 percent believing women and men are equally smart, says a joint poll from Rutgers-Eagleton and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The majority of New Jersey residents also believe that the genders are equal in terms of capable management (74 percent), ethical behavior (67 percent), manipulative behavior (60 percent) and “people” skills (59 percent), in addition to other characteristics.

On the other hand, the poll showed that residents perceive some stark gender differences in certain areas. Respondents deemed women as more compassionate (62 percent), emotional (63 percent) and better listeners (57 percent). Meanwhile, men were seen as more likely to be risktakers (50 percent) and more aggressive (56 percent).

New Jerseyans’ views both confirm and move beyond commonly held gender stereotypes, showing that some attitudes have changed and some have endured since Rutgers-Eagleton and FDU last asked about these traits in 2003.

“The endurance of gender trait stereotypes has consequences in the personal, professional, and political world,” said Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. “Perceiving differences in men’s and women’s capabilities and personalities can impact everything from interpersonal interactions and household duties to hiring practices and wages to who we elect to public office.”