Healthy Living

Father's Attitude towards Females Shapes a Woman's Ambitions

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Image Flickr/Victor1558

Girls, whose fathers are less sexist and share household chores, are more likely to grow up to be ambitious at workplace than girls whose fathers don't help at home, says a study reported by Livescience.

Previous research has shown that fathers, more than mothers, shape their child's personality and that resilience and determination are traits determined by a fathers' parenting style. A recent study had also showed that a father's mental condition affects a child's behavior.

The present study focused on father's outlook on gender and its influence on girl's behavior. Researchers even found that father's attitude can even affect the games played by the children.

"Dads who are more balanced have girls who are just as likely to play with Transformers as Barbie dolls," study researcher Toni Schmader, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia Livescience reported.

The study included 363 boys and girls and at least one of their parents. All study participants were given questionnaires about gender stereotypes and behavior. Parents were also asked about division of labor at home.

Researchers found that women were more likely to have more chores at home than men, even if they were working outside. And, though a mother's perception of gender roles shaped children's attitude about various stereotypes, it was the father who had a major influence over a daughter's behavior in later life.

Schmader told Livescience that daughters are more affected by father's attitude towards gender equality because girls see fathers as the person with highest authority in the house and also probably because girls see their fathers as a role model. Girls largely learn from their fathers about how a girl should behave.

"Not role models for who they can be, but role models for who they could be with," she added, Livescience reported.

The study findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

The study shows co-relation, and not causation. Schmader added that it is possible that a daughter who defies stereotypes can also influence a father's perception of gender roles. 

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