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Role Models and Gender

Role models are individuals who are looked up to or admired, often in a domain in which one hopes to achieve success. They may be individuals whom one has a personal relationship with, such as an advanced peer, teacher, or coach, or famous figures one does not know personally. Role models serve as examples of what one can aspire to as well as sources of inspiration. Role models who share one’s gender identity have traditionally been thought to be more efficacious, especially in contexts in which one’s gender is in the minority, although evidence suggests that this is not always the case. A great deal of empirical work has focused on the benefits of female role models for women and girls, particularly in fields in ...

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