When Dads Do Dishes, Daughters become More Ambitious

by Emily Robinson

Ever dreamed of being the President, an astronaut, or the greatest stock broker Wall Street has ever seen? Did your dad also do the dishes or laundry?

According to Alyssa Croft’s new study in Psychological Science, findings suggest that when domestic chores are split equally between parents, daughters typically have greater career aspirations.

Croft, a Ph.D Candidate at the University of British Columbia, remarks that, “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.”

She also stresses  that dads must be doing the gender-equality-weightlifting around the house, not just talking about it. Though my parents weren’t exactly preachy about how harmful gender expectations could be (aka I’ve definitely been told “that’s not ladylike” more than a handful of times), I do vividly remember seeing my dad wash dishes and make pasta for the rest of the family. 

Did this inspire me to want to stray from gender stereotypes? Maybe! It certainly didn’t hurt. 

There have been detractors, which is expected with any sort of scientific study. Though the findings are not concrete, they do reveal a trend that should not be ignored, but rather encouraged. Currently the study only examines heterosexual couples, but with such significant discoveries already, there’s clearly more information to uncover regarding domesticity and gender roles. So dads, pick up the sponge and the spatula and be a shining example for your daughters, aka the next generation of female leaders!

Images via timeslive.co.za, creativeuc.net

This post was originally published July 1, 2014

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