By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Fathers who help with the dishes and laundry may be shaping their daughters’ futures, suggests a study reported in The Wall Street Journal.

Those who performed an equal share of household chores were more likely to have daughters who aspired to less traditional feminine occupations – such as police officer, professional hockey or soccer player, astronaut or marine biologist – working outside the home.

From 2011-2012, researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, recruited 172 boys and 154 girls, ages 7-13, from a local science center. With at least one mother or father present, attitudes toward domestic chores were assessed by all participants as well as were the children’s career aspirations.

Mothers performed 68.2% of child care and household work compared with 42.2% reported by fathers. But it was the day-to-day participation in daily chores that predicted girls’ unconventional career aspirations.

See complete findings in the August issue of Psychological Science.

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