Keds Brave Life Project Study

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Our inaugural study, Dare to Dream, Dare to Act: What Girls Say About Bravery, explored how teen girls and boys define bravery, what prevents them from being brave, and the assets youth need in order to live brave lives.

Sponsored by the Keds Brave Life Project, the study surveyed 1056 girls and 455 boys ages 13-17. Among our findings:

59% of teen girls define bravery as a heroic act in a dangerous situation – while only 18% of teen girls define brave as standing up for their beliefs and being honest about who they are.


More boys than girls identified as brave, pointing to a bravery gender gap. Girls reported that it was harder for them to be brave than boys, and that boys got more credit for being brave.


Contrary to stereotype, teen girls prefer the support of parents, and especially mothers, over their friends.


Bravery is driven less by where teens come from – like socioeconomic status, racial background or family structure – but by personality, values and outlook on life. In other words, we’ve pinpointed some of the qualities, values and skills that are necessary for bravery, and which can be encouraged and taught directly to girls.

Girls Leadership fields research in partnership with academics and research firms. If you are interested in supporting our efforts as a sponsoring partner or co-investigator, please contact us.

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  2. GABBY

    I love this! <3

  3. Yahaira Perez-Caraballo

    Thank you for this publishing this study and including boys as well. We can build better communities when we strengthen both sides.

  4. Renee Merriam

    I ‘m at once disturbed but not surprised about the findings that only 18 % of girls define bravery as standing up for their beliefs and being honest about who they are.
    We are brought up to put everyone else first.


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