Fathers Influence Daughter’s Ambitions More Than Moms Do (Sorry, Moms)

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We often hear (or in this case, read) the phrase “Mother Knows Best.”

father knows best

But have you ever heard of a father who knows best?

We’re all aware of what role dads’ have on their children’s lives. And though their nurturing side may be underrated, it can’t be denied that:

Fathers know best about some things.

Here to further that is a recent study which found that a daughter’s ambition is influenced by her father’s sexism or simply, his view on gender roles.

“Dads who are more balanced have girls who are just as likely to play with Transformers as Barbie dolls”

The study

363 elementary girls and boys along with at least one of their parents were asked to answer a questionnaire on the following: gendered behavior and gender stereotypes. As for the latter, they were asked about the division of household labor too.

The findings

A father’s view and behavior sway his daughter’s ambition. Interestingly, a father with an egalitarian view on sexism (those who see women as equals) have daughters who are go-getters in the workplace.

Such fathers are characterized as those who carry out household chores. It does make sense for dads who are more balanced, i.e. have less gender-based interests, to have daughters who aren’t restricted by gender stereotypes such as girls should wear pink and play with dolls.

For me, it seems that removing conventional views (of women’s domesticity) in households encourages the notion of gender equality in a little’s girls mind. This banishes the traditional “boys work and girls stay home” view (not that there’s anything wrong with this ideology, by the way).

“in the realm of actual behavior, dads are key. The fewer gender stereotypes dad holds, the more likely his daughter is to say she wants to work outside the home as an adult.”

In addition, researchers found that the boys didn’t have the same reaction girls did. Nor does the research have an answer to why such influence occurs between the father and daughter tandem.

The takeaway

For quite some time, the spotlight has been on how moms affect their children’s development. It turns out that moms may have to share the stage with dads–though, in this particular study, it’s more fitting to say that us moms were outshone by dads.

Whatever it is, it’s good to know that fathers need not use words to plant the seeds of gender egalitarianism; the former’s actions speak louder than words.

What do you think about the study? Do the findings make sense to you?

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3 thoughts on “Fathers Influence Daughter’s Ambitions More Than Moms Do (Sorry, Moms)”

  1. Though my dad was a man with faults as like any other dads he had such much influence on how I became the strong willed woman that I am now. His stories, values, love for his family and ultimately his respect for women who excelled in the workplace made me look up to him until now. Though my mom’s passion for her work, strength, creativity and humility can never be under estimated, with this post I realized that both my parents shared the same values in many ways. And with that I am very grateful.

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  2. I would say that this is true for me. I took on a profession similar to my dad. And now my position at work is just one notch lower than his. It’s like I literally followed his footsteps. But I must say my mom played a big role in building my character.

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  3. this makes total sense to me!!! I became a lawyer because my dad showed me that girls can rule the world and at the same time, be good in the house too.

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