Six-College Study Shows Women Have Low Self-Esteem

A study of six Eastern colleges--not including Harvard--released last week shows that college women have lower self-esteem and lower aspirations than college men.

Dr. Lois Monteiro, the study's coordinator at Brown University, said yesterday that Harvard "did not express interest because it had recently done a study itself."

David C. McClelland, professor of Psychology, said "We have similar types of data that show that women have fear of success, so that in competitive situations they pull back. They're more interested in interpersonal relationships than men."

"It's always been true that women feel disadvantaged, and they are disadvantaged, at Harvard included," McClelland said.

Coordinators of the study distributed questionnaires to 2076 women and 1271 men undergraduates at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Wellesley College, Barnard College, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, and Brown University.


Forty-six per cent of the women and 54 per cent of the men surveyed said they thought they would hold a doctorate; 49 percent of the women and 61 per cent of the men said they were confident they were well prepared for graduate or professional school.

The study found that women enjoy their courses more than men, and that they enjoyed doing both the required and the optional reading more than their male counterparts.

Dr. Barbara Lazarus, the study's coordinator at Wellesley, said that the study findings "reverse the old stereotype of women as grade-grubbers." Lazarus said women proved to be "more loose and enthusiastic" about their work than men.

Leslie A. Kirwan '79, a member of the legislature of the Radcliffe Union of Students, said yesterday that women "do not have less confidence in their intellectual ability, but in their ability to translate their talents into opportunities in the working world.