Washington, Aug 26 : When it comes to honesty, intelligence and a handful of other key traits valued in leaders, the public rates women as superior to men, according to a new survey.
Still, a mere 6 percent say that, overall, women make better political leaders than men, according to the nationwide Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends survey of 2,250 American adults conducted from June 16 to July 16, 2008. .
The vast majority of respondents, 69 percent, ranked men and women as equally good leaders, the survey found.
Survey respondents cited gender discrimination, resistance to change, and a self-serving "old boys club" as reasons for the relative scarcity of women at the top.
"What the public does not say is that women inherently lack what it takes to be leaders," Live Science quoted Pew analysts, as stating.
"To the contrary, on seven of eight leadership traits measured in this survey, the public rates women either better than or equal to men," they added.
For example, the most important leadership trait according to the respondents is honesty.
And half of all adults surveyed said women are more honest than men, while just one-in-five indicated men are more honest.
Women also ranked higher than men on leadership qualities such as decisiveness, compassion, outgoing nature and creativeness.
On the policy front, more than 50 percent of respondents said women are better than men at dealing with social issues such as health care and education, while 42 percent said men have an edge over women in the way they deal with crime and public safety.
More than 50 percent said men are better than women at dealing with defense and national security issues.