A new study shows that fathers tend to act differently with their daughters than with their sons. The research revealed that dads are more responsive and attentive with their daughters than with their male descendants.
Dads are influenced by the gender of their kids
Dads of girls tend to have a different behavior than those of boys. Is the unconscious thought that happy, healthy girls bring a bigger dowry? While not excluding the possibility entirely, researchers argue that this differential behavior is dictated by the brain. When their kid is a girl, fathers are more attentive with her than with their sons. Also, they play different games with their children based on their gender.
After analyzing a sample of male parents interacting with their children, the team observed that, not only did the brain of the participants react differently when the object of affection was a girl, but the dads were also more likely to play differently with their daughters than with their sons. That is, even if the children in question were newborns or infants with no individual tastes.
Girls Usually Trigger More Emotional Responses
Fathers of daughters are also more open to emotions. They express their emotions more when interacting with girls and they tend to engage in gentler playtime like storytelling and singing. Due to the fact that men believe their sons shouldn’t be so sensitive, they engage in rougher games with their sons.
The leader of the study, Jennifer Mascaro, observed that fathers of daughters were more likely to react when their kid was crying compared to fathers of sons. Another thing that differed from their response to sons and daughters was language.
When it came to their sons, dads used a more achievement-driven language. This way, boys tend to grow up to be more competitive. For girls, dads used more analytic language. This might help girls earn academic success at school. This shows that fathers tend to accept the feelings of their daughters more than the feeling of their sons.
Different cognitive response to their kids
Dads also had an unconscious cognitive response that differed for girls and boys. For instance, when their daughters smiled, their areas of the brain related to emotion regulation, reward, and visual processing were activated. The researchers mentioned that all of these reactions were unconscious. Fathers want their kids to fit social standards and that it why they treat them differently.
The social stereotypes also have a certain effect on these responses. Dads are influenced by the social standards when they raise their kids. This is why they are more attentive with their girls (social standards stated that girls need to be more emotional and delicate) and rougher with their sons( social standards show that men need to be more competitive and tough). The research was published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.
Image source: Wikipedia