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Family dynamics

09th Feb 2024

Science says dads are more attentive to baby girls- here’s why

The gender of our children can impact how we converse, play with, and even spend money on them

In 2014, Ohio State University shared their findings with Science Daily. Researchers discovered that women who waited to find out the baby’s sex until birth had more egalitarian views of gender roles; they tended to believe that women and men should care for their children equally and in the same ways. These women were also more conscientious and open to new experiences than their counterparts.

This matters because according to another study, mothers transfer their sexist attitudes to their children more strongly than fathers. Researchers interviewed mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters about their views on gender roles. What did they find? Sons and daughters were more likely to display sexist, discriminatory behaviour when their mothers had more sexist attitudes.

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When it comes to how our lives change once we become parents, science says people start being more careful and taking fewer risks once the baby arrives. However, how much more careful they become depends on the sex of their baby.

The Society for Risk Analysis found that parents of boys are about twice as likely to take a risk as parents of girls. That’s significant.

Dads are most attentive to daughters

More studies found that how dads interact with their children also depends on the gender of the child.

Research by Emory University looked at how fathers interact with their children and found that fathers were more attentive to their daughters than to their sons.

The researchers discovered that fathers sang more to their daughters and used more emotive and feeling words with them, while with their sons, they opted for more achievement-related language like ‘win’ and ‘proud.’

Even more significant, when the toddlers cried or asked for daddy, fathers were more likely to respond to daughters than sons.

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Mothers also parent boys and girls differently, and a study by the University of Surry found that mums talk more about feelings with their daughters and less with their sons.

A common denominator researchers found between the many studies was that boys are often overlooked when it comes to talking about feelings. And this has huge consequences. Some scientists even claimed this can lead to depression in adult men.