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New Research: Some Masculine Traits Make for Great Dads, Others Not so Much

What kind of study was this?

This was an observational study that followed participants over time, which means that researchers did not change, intervene, or experiment with the participants. They just measured different things at different times in the same group of people.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know how men’s attitudes toward gender and parenting roles were connected to their parenting style.

What did the researchers actually do?

They gave the dads a long survey that included questions that measured dads’ attitudes toward stereotypically masculine characteristics like competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure.

They also measured fatherly nurturing beliefs by asking them to rate statements like, “Men should share with child care such as bathing, feeding and dressing the child.” And they measured negative masculine stereotypes like hostile sexism by asking them to rate statements like, “Feminists are making unreasonable demands of men.”

Nine months after the baby was born, the researchers videotaped the fathers playing with their babies alone and alongside the mother. They had research assistants watch the videos and give “positive parenting” scores based on how affectionate and attentive the father was.

What did the researchers find?

They found that higher levels of stereotypical masculine characteristics were connected to higher levels of positive parenting for dads. However, attitudes of hostile sexism were not connected in one way or another to positive parenting.

The researchers concluded that many stereotypical masculine characteristics were supportive of a nurturing, caring fatherhood, so long as hostile sexism was not one of the characteristics.

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Dads should feel encouraged to tap into many of the stereotypical masculine characteristics, such as competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure. Tapping into these while rejecting hostile sexism may be a recipe for being a nurturing, attentive father.

Original article: Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Shafer, K., Olofson, E. L., & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2021). Fathers’ parenting and coparenting behavior in dual-earner families: Contributions of traditional masculinity, father nurturing role beliefs, and maternal gate closing. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 22(3), 538–550. https://doi.org/10.1037/men0000336

New Research: Some Masculine Traits Make for Great Dads, Others Not so Much

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New Research: Some Masculine Traits Make for Great Dads, Others Not so Much

Research suggests that most masculine stereotypes are compatible with, and may even boost, nurturing and attentive fathering.

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What kind of study was this?

This was an observational study that followed participants over time, which means that researchers did not change, intervene, or experiment with the participants. They just measured different things at different times in the same group of people.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know how men’s attitudes toward gender and parenting roles were connected to their parenting style.

What did the researchers actually do?

They gave the dads a long survey that included questions that measured dads’ attitudes toward stereotypically masculine characteristics like competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure.

They also measured fatherly nurturing beliefs by asking them to rate statements like, “Men should share with child care such as bathing, feeding and dressing the child.” And they measured negative masculine stereotypes like hostile sexism by asking them to rate statements like, “Feminists are making unreasonable demands of men.”

Nine months after the baby was born, the researchers videotaped the fathers playing with their babies alone and alongside the mother. They had research assistants watch the videos and give “positive parenting” scores based on how affectionate and attentive the father was.

What did the researchers find?

They found that higher levels of stereotypical masculine characteristics were connected to higher levels of positive parenting for dads. However, attitudes of hostile sexism were not connected in one way or another to positive parenting.

The researchers concluded that many stereotypical masculine characteristics were supportive of a nurturing, caring fatherhood, so long as hostile sexism was not one of the characteristics.

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Dads should feel encouraged to tap into many of the stereotypical masculine characteristics, such as competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure. Tapping into these while rejecting hostile sexism may be a recipe for being a nurturing, attentive father.

Original article: Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Shafer, K., Olofson, E. L., & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2021). Fathers’ parenting and coparenting behavior in dual-earner families: Contributions of traditional masculinity, father nurturing role beliefs, and maternal gate closing. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 22(3), 538–550. https://doi.org/10.1037/men0000336

What kind of study was this?

This was an observational study that followed participants over time, which means that researchers did not change, intervene, or experiment with the participants. They just measured different things at different times in the same group of people.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know how men’s attitudes toward gender and parenting roles were connected to their parenting style.

What did the researchers actually do?

They gave the dads a long survey that included questions that measured dads’ attitudes toward stereotypically masculine characteristics like competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure.

They also measured fatherly nurturing beliefs by asking them to rate statements like, “Men should share with child care such as bathing, feeding and dressing the child.” And they measured negative masculine stereotypes like hostile sexism by asking them to rate statements like, “Feminists are making unreasonable demands of men.”

Nine months after the baby was born, the researchers videotaped the fathers playing with their babies alone and alongside the mother. They had research assistants watch the videos and give “positive parenting” scores based on how affectionate and attentive the father was.

What did the researchers find?

They found that higher levels of stereotypical masculine characteristics were connected to higher levels of positive parenting for dads. However, attitudes of hostile sexism were not connected in one way or another to positive parenting.

The researchers concluded that many stereotypical masculine characteristics were supportive of a nurturing, caring fatherhood, so long as hostile sexism was not one of the characteristics.

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Dads should feel encouraged to tap into many of the stereotypical masculine characteristics, such as competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure. Tapping into these while rejecting hostile sexism may be a recipe for being a nurturing, attentive father.

Original article: Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Shafer, K., Olofson, E. L., & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2021). Fathers’ parenting and coparenting behavior in dual-earner families: Contributions of traditional masculinity, father nurturing role beliefs, and maternal gate closing. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 22(3), 538–550. https://doi.org/10.1037/men0000336

What kind of study was this?

This was an observational study that followed participants over time, which means that researchers did not change, intervene, or experiment with the participants. They just measured different things at different times in the same group of people.

What did researchers want to know?

They wanted to know how men’s attitudes toward gender and parenting roles were connected to their parenting style.

What did the researchers actually do?

They gave the dads a long survey that included questions that measured dads’ attitudes toward stereotypically masculine characteristics like competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure.

They also measured fatherly nurturing beliefs by asking them to rate statements like, “Men should share with child care such as bathing, feeding and dressing the child.” And they measured negative masculine stereotypes like hostile sexism by asking them to rate statements like, “Feminists are making unreasonable demands of men.”

Nine months after the baby was born, the researchers videotaped the fathers playing with their babies alone and alongside the mother. They had research assistants watch the videos and give “positive parenting” scores based on how affectionate and attentive the father was.

What did the researchers find?

They found that higher levels of stereotypical masculine characteristics were connected to higher levels of positive parenting for dads. However, attitudes of hostile sexism were not connected in one way or another to positive parenting.

The researchers concluded that many stereotypical masculine characteristics were supportive of a nurturing, caring fatherhood, so long as hostile sexism was not one of the characteristics.

What does this mean for parents and kids?

Dads should feel encouraged to tap into many of the stereotypical masculine characteristics, such as competitiveness, daringness, adventurousness, dominance, aggressiveness, courageousness, and standing up to pressure. Tapping into these while rejecting hostile sexism may be a recipe for being a nurturing, attentive father.

Original article: Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Shafer, K., Olofson, E. L., & Kamp Dush, C. M. (2021). Fathers’ parenting and coparenting behavior in dual-earner families: Contributions of traditional masculinity, father nurturing role beliefs, and maternal gate closing. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 22(3), 538–550. https://doi.org/10.1037/men0000336

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