The study shows that fathers are more responsive to their toddler daughters than sons. This interesting research was conducted by The American Psychological Association, and they focused on fathers more, because their impact in children’s nurturing is not so thoroughly studied yet.
The results are curious, apparently, men behave differently with their daughters and sons. While being more emotionally open and responsive to girls, fathers usually are reserved around sons. The experiment involved brain scanning of fathers who watched the photos of facial expressions of their kids. Watching their girls’ happy or sad expressions had more intense brain reaction.
Every day interaction with children of different gender was observed carefully too.
In routine communication the difference appeared to be visible. For example, the language fathers use speaking to sons is more meant for setting a boy for accomplishments like “win”, “top” and “proud”. With girls they use more body-related words, like “cheek”, “belly”, and words expressing emotions. The experiment also showed that fathers are not so responsive to boy’s emotional conditions, and the games they play together are mostly rough or competitive. At the same time dads are more tender and attentive to daughter’s needs.
The research failed to distinguish the nature of this difference though, maybe a parent’s behavior is genetically molded and it programs fathers to a certain way of their conduct. It is essential to understand how gender effect the way we treat children, and the Psychological Association suggests that changing type of parent’s behavior towards girls and boys will benefit both.