A British study has discovered that fathers of girls are less likely to stick to traditional views about gender roles. The report, by the London School of Economics and Political Science, found that fathers were less likely to hold on to traditional beliefs by 8% when their daughters reached primary school age. By the time they reached high school, this increased to 11%. The study concludes by stating that views previously held can be changed once parents experience different situations through adulthood, such as raising a daughter of one's own.
The information was gathered by taking the results of two surveys of UK adults spanning two decades between 1991 and 2012. The researchers didn't just focus on biological children either, instead opting to focus on any girl considered to be a daughter, from adopted kids to fostered or step-children. Collectively, the views of 5,073 men and 6,332 women between the age of 37 and 35 respectively were studied, with each parent asking to respond to the statement: "A husband's job is to earn money; a wife's job is to look after the home and family." They were given a five-point scale to record their answers, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
It became apparent that fathers with school-age daughters were far more likely to change their views on traditional gender stereotypes, while mothers of daughters were "generally not statistically different." According to the published work, mothers were less likely to change their views because they had already been exposed to situations where they have felt disadvantaged because of their sex.
Ultimately, the research was able to discover that changes in attitudes are possible, even for those that seem set in their ways prior to big life events that make them look at the world in a different way. In this case, the more exposure a person has to situations of disadvantage has the potential to change an individual's previous way of thinking, something the team behind the report deems "very encouraging."
Are you a father to a daughter? Let us know what you think in the comments.