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UBC Tells Dads Who Do Chores Bolster Girls' Career

Tarana Rana Darpan, 28 May, 2014 03:57 PM
    Fathers who pitch in with childcare and household chores are more likely to raise daughters who aspire to high-paying careers, suggest a new study from the University of British Columbia (UBC). 
     
    The study found that in households where fathers do a greater share of housework – traditionally perceived as a female task – their young daughters expressed a greater interest in gender-neutral careers, such as doctors or lawyers. In homes that show no sign of divided housework, their school-age daughters had more stereotypical female career ambitions, such as housewives and teaching. 
     
    “What this is suggesting is that when girls, specifically, are seeing their parents enacting a traditional division of labour at home, it may be limiting their own ambition," lead author Alyssa Croft, a PhD candidate at UBC told CBC News. 
     
    "It may just be restricting what they see themselves as capable of doing.… You may not realize how much kids are watching and observing and taking in beyond just what we're telling them."
     
     
    The study surveyed 326 children between the ages of 7-13 and their parents at Science World. 
     
    Croft found that while mothers’ beliefs about work equality and gender roles did influence the daughter beliefs, the most powerful influence was when fathers shouldered some of the domestic workload. 
     
    “When dads do more around the house, their daughters have more non-traditional career aspirations,” Croft said. “How fathers treat their domestic duties appears to play a unique gatekeeper role”. 
     
    Croft acknowledges that the researchers do not know how the career aspirations of these young children will match up to what they end up doing. However, it does provides a good indication of how children see themselves, in context of gender roles. 

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