Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Home News

Dad, do the dishes for the sake of your daughter


The daughters of men who do their share of washing the dishes and other household chores are more likely to want to become doctors and accountants rather than nurses, teachers or a stay-at-home mothers, according to a new study.

Academics found that girls raised in homes where gender did not determine responsibilities around the home appeared to become more ambitious.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found this was not true if fathers simply talked of equality but failed to live up to the idea by actually carrying out domestic duties.

The paper’s author Alyssa Croft, who is studying for a PhD at University of British Columbia, said the research “suggests girls grow up with broader career goals in households where domestic duties are shared more equitably by parents”.

“'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,” she said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“Despite our best efforts to create workplace equality, women remain severely under-represented in leadership and management positions.

“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 researchers studied 326 children aged seven to 13 and at least one parent. The division or household work and paid labour was calculated and the participants were asked about attitudes towards gender and work.

Both children and parents associated women with childcare and chores more than men. Girls were significantly more likely to want to grow up to take care of children instead of having a career than boys.