|Culled from Nigerian Tribune.|
THE secret to giving a daughter lots of ambition might be to simply do more housework.
That's according to a study that claims fathers who help with household chores are more likely to raise daughters who aspire to less traditional, and potentially higher paying, careers.
The researchers suggest how parents who share dishes, laundry and other domestic duties plays a key role in shaping the gender attitudes and aspirations of their children, especially daughters.
A new study suggests that fathers doing housework could inspire their children, particularly daughters, to be more ambitious. The researchers claim that simply doing more housework will encourage them to pursue less traditional career paths.
While mothers' gender and work equality beliefs were key factors in predicting a child's attitude toward gender, the strongest predictor of a daughters' own professional ambitions was their fathers' approach to household chores.
'This suggests girls grow up with broader career goals in households where domestic duties are shared more equitably by parents,' said lead author Alyssa Croft, a PhD Candidate in the University of British Columbia's Department of Psychology.
'How fathers treat their domestic duties appears to play a unique gatekeeper role.'
The study, which took place at the University of British Columbia's Living Laboratory in Science World in Vancouver and appears in Psychological Science, suggests parents' domestic actions may speak louder than words.
Even when fathers publicly endorsed gender equality, if they retained a traditional division of labour at home, their daughters were more likely to envision themselves in traditionally female-dominant jobs such as a nurse, teacher, librarian or stay-at-home-mum.
'Despite our best efforts to create workplace equality, women remain severely under-represented in leadership and management positions,' said Croft.
'This study is important because it suggests that achieving gender equality at home may be one way to inspire young women to set their sights on careers from which they have traditionally been excluded.'
The study involved 326 children aged seven to 13, and at least one of their parents.
For each household, researchers calculated the division of chores and paid labour.
They also determined the career stereotypes that participants identified with, their gender and work attitudes and children's career aspirations.
The study found mothers shouldered more of the burden of housework than men, which echoes previous findings.
Parents and children associated women, more than men, with childcare and domestic work, and girls were significantly more likely than boys to say they want to be like adults who take care of kids rather than someone who has a career, the study claims.
'"Talking the talk" about equality is important, but our findings suggest that it is crucial that dads "walk the walk" as well - because their daughters clearly are watching,' continued Croft, noting that girls might be learning from an early age to take on additional roles, rather than different roles, compared to boys.
How can a dad be 'cool'?
Although researchers do not agree on a specific definition, previous studies have found four defining properties of being 'cool'.
The first, according to a recent study by researchers in Chicago, is that coolness is socially constructed and is not an inherent feature of an object or person meaning objects and people are cool only to the extent that others consider them cool.
Secondly, coolness is subjective and dynamic and change over time, and thirdly, coolness is perceived to be a positive quality.
Finally, research found coolness requires more than the mere perception that something is positive or desirable.
In conclusion, researchers said 'coolness is a subjective, positive trait perceived in people, brands, products, and trends that are autonomous in an appropriate way.'