Girls roles and goals: from Jordan to the Bar

To help us keep up-to-date with what's happening with kids, we've asked Kid Think Inc., a youth marketing consulting group, to investigate and report back to us on a wide range of issues in kids' lives. Since today's kids spend so...
August 1, 1998

To help us keep up-to-date with what’s happening with kids, we’ve asked Kid Think Inc., a youth marketing consulting group, to investigate and report back to us on a wide range of issues in kids’ lives. Since today’s kids spend so much time on-line, Kid Think talked with kids via LiveWire: Today’s Families Online, a proprietary panel of 600 on-line families across the United States.

Both Kid Think and LiveWire are divisions of Griffin Bacal, a New York-based communications agency specializing in the youth and family markets. If you have any questions or subjects you would like Kid Think to cover, call Paul Kurnit at 212-337-6442 or e-mail

What we found:

Our panelists expressed a variety of interests, from stereotypical girl faves like Barbies, to the less traditional activities of ice hockey and trading baseball cards.

‘I like to play Barbies,’ says Sarah, age 10, ‘and I also like to roller blade, ride my bike and play with the computer.’

Laura, age 9, has a diverse list, as well: ‘I like to read, bike ride, build with K’Nex, write stories and play Nintendo and computer games.’

Our panelists determine their daily schedules; they say there are no rules and ‘it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy.’

Tara, age 11: ‘I don’t really think there are any sports or hobbies that are typically for boys… I think that girls and boys can do and like the same things.’

Role models tweak interest in hobbies. When asked to talk about who they admire and why, girls mentioned athletes, political leaders, rock musicians and their own moms with enthusiasm.

Caitlin, age 9, picks Michelle Kwan ‘because she’s a really good ice-skater and I’d like to learn how to ice-skate.’ Tara says, ‘One of my role models is my mom. I admire her because she is VP at a bank and she is a good person.’

Sarah has two role models, ‘Sheryl Swoops and Michael Jordan.’ Jennifer, age 12, admires Madonna because ‘she is not afraid to have the press after her. She is a strong woman because she is a single mom on the road.’

What kids said:

We asked the girls on our panel what they want to be when they grow up and to tell us a little about how they plan to achieve their goals…

‘I want to be a zookeeper. I love animals. I’m a good student and I try hard in school and other things. All those things will help me go to college so I can learn about taking care of animals and get a job at the zoo.’ Caitlin, California, age 9

‘When I grow up, I want to be on the women’s ice hockey Olympic team and win the gold medal!’ Corie, Massachusetts, age 10

‘When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer. I am a peer mediator and peer mediators help kids in their school solve problems.’ Brandi, Maryland, age 11

‘I want to be an ocean photographer or a traveling artist.’ Megan, Massachusetts, age 10

Next month: Kid Think will ask kids why and when they use the Internet, and how they find time to surf.

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