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Little girl astronaut
Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Ready for lift off.
FATHER'S DAUGHTER

Dads who do this one thing have more ambitious daughters

By Adam Epstein

Hey dads, put down that briefcase and pick up a Swiffer—that is, if you want your daughter to be an auto mechanic or a police officer. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have concluded that daughters whose fathers contribute to household chores are more likely to pursue careers that are not perceived as stereotypically feminine.

“This means that even if parents publicly endorse gender equality, if they’re not walking the walk at home and they’re following a more traditional division of labor, then their daughters are more likely to have more traditional or stereotypic career aspirations as well,” said Alyssa Croft, one of the UBC researchers.

The study surveyed 326 children aged 7-13 and at least one of their parents, and focused on the division of labor in the house as well as the children’s career goals.

According to a Pew report, the time that both mothers and fathers spend on chores around the house has steadily changed over the last few decades. Mothers spent about 15 hours per week less on housework in 2010 than they did in 1965. Fathers spent about 6 hours more (though that’s more than double the amount of time they used to devote to chores).

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A University of Cambridge study from 2012 concluded that lots of men are actually happier when they make an equal contribution to household tasks. If you’re a dad, get to those dishes. You might end up with an astronaut daughter if you do.

Watch Croft explain the research here: