Girls' confidence tends to fall below boys' from about the age of nine, and the gap doesn't close until they are elderly. But ground-breaking Australian research has found one group bucking that trend - girls at single-sex schools.
A study involving 10,000 students found no significant differences in self-confidence between girls and boys in gender-segregated high schools.
"The study is important because it shows [the confidence gap] is not innate; it does not have to be this way," said lead author Terry Fitzsimmons from the AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace at the University of Queensland.
Prior studies in mixed-sex environments have shown the confidence gap begins early. One literature review quoted in the study found girls' confidence began to fall below boys' at age nine, and remained lower until they turned 80.