Female empowerment movement may have put more pressure on young girls - research

An Auckland academic says the female empowerment movement could have actually put more pressure on young women.

Eunice Price, an education lecturer, surveyed a group of Year 13 girls from schools across Auckland and found they feel as though they need to have it all in order to be successful.

"[It used to be] the dichotomy - beauty versus brains - and now it's 'brains are okay, but I need to be beautiful as well."

The AM Show Host Ryan Bridge asked if the presentation of women in popular media could be contributing towards these feelings of pressure, but Price says it's much deeper than that.

"It's never as simple as what's in front of us is making us the way we are," she told Bridge.

"I think it's just a narrative around the objectification of women that permeates through so rather than address that, let's just lump a dose of female empowerment which isn't actually addressing the cause."

Her research found although being smart is now more desirable, being super-intelligent is still looked down on, showing New Zealand's chronic tall-poppy syndrome is still going strong.

"Participants erred away from being labeled as gifted or intelligent, they preferred to be called hard workers, as that is more acceptable in Kiwi culture and part of being humble. Far better than being a tall poppy," said Price. 

Watch the full The AM Show interview above