Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/107

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A STUDY OF CHILDREN'S IDEALS.

honest and truthful, and moreover he freed his country without taking pay for his valuable services. He was also the one that formed the constitution of the honored country he had saved. These are the reasons why I should like to resemble him most."

But the older children are not satisfied with an ideal who is great and good and wise and brave; he must be the greatest or best or wisest or bravest of his kind. He must excel all others in his chosen line. George Washington, "because he was the greatest man that ever lived in America"; "John S. Johnson, the champion bicycle rider in the world"; Paderewski, "because he is the greatest musician in the world"; James Corbett, "because he is the champion fighter of the world "—these are examples for this desire of leadership, almost as strong in girls as in boys. Indeed, one of the most significant features of this study is the increase in male ideals among the girls. A corresponding influence of female ideals is not shown

PSM V53 D107 Chart of male ideals.png
Chart No. III.— Male Ideals.
Boys ———— Girls - - - - -

among the boys. Some of the younger boys wish to resemble their mother, the little girls with whom they play, or the heroines of romance; but with one exception all the boys above ten years of age who select female ideals mention authors, as in the case of a boy of fifteen, who writes, "I would like to be Annie Laurie,[1] to be travelling all around the world and you could learn a great deal in that way and make out reports for the Examiner and always be working."

As shown by Chart III, as many as sixty-seven per cent of the girls of fourteen and fifteen select male ideals. To be sure, there are

  1. The nom de plume of a well-known Western journalist.