Mothers make girls more emotionally intelligent than boys

London, Nov 13 (IANS) Compared with their conversations with sons, mothers include more emotional words and content in their conversations with daughters, making women more emotionally intelligent than men in the process, finds new research.

However, as mothers use more emotional words than fathers, they are also unconsciously reinforcing gender stereotypes in their children, the study said.

"Our study suggests that parent-child conversations are gendered, with mothers talking more expressively to their daughters than their sons," said Harriet Tenenbaum from the University of Surrey in Britain.

For the study, researchers engaged 65 Spanish mothers and fathers and their four and six-year-old children in a storytelling task and a conversation about past experiences.

They examined their use of language and the number of words associated with emotion.

Daughters displayed a higher level of emotional literacy than boys with words such as 'happy', 'sad' and 'worried' used frequently, found the study.

This inevitably leads to girls growing up more attuned to their emotions than boys, pointed out Harriet.

Having this edge to be more expressive and cope well with emotions may matter more than ever at the workplace, as more companies are starting to recognise the advantages of high emotional intelligence when it comes to positions such as sales, teams and leadership, said Harriet.

The study appeared in The British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

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Updated Date: Nov 14, 2014 00:15:21 IST