Researchers Lisa Hagan and Janet Kuebli recently researched the role of parental socialisation on their pre-school children’s behaviour, and found that it was fathers rather than mothers who treated their daughters differently from their sons. In their study, 80 three and four-year old children climbed across a 5 ft high catwalk and walked across a 3 ft high beam, under their mother or father’s supervision, while the observers took notes of what was said and how the parents and children acted.
The results suggested that fathers of daughters monitored their children more closely than did fathers of sons. In contrast, mothers of daughters and mothers of sons monitored their children similarly.
The researchers concluded that how fathers treat daughters could contribute to the sex differences found in risk-taking behaviour in young children.
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