Do Fathers and Daughters Share Special Bond?

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Scribe:  N. Tru Bass



Do fathers treat daughters different than sons?  According to a recent study, compared with fathers of sons, fathers of daughters were more attentively engaged with their daughters, sang more to their daughters, used more analytical language and language related to sadness and the body with their daughters, and had a stronger neural response to their daughter’s happy facial expressions in areas of the brain important for reward and emotion regulation (medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex [OFC]).

This is probably what we expected by an interesting point was made by Yale University’s Alan Kazdin, Director of Yale Parenting Center suggested conclusive evidence could not be gleaned from such a small sample study. 

Emory University and the University of Arizona gathered data from 52 fathers of toddlers (30 daughters and 22 sons in the Atlanta area for the study.  Fathers were equipped with a small computer that recorded audio in :50 second intervals every nine minutes including in the child’s room at night where the device was charged. 

In a recent interview, Alan Kazdin of Yale said of the study, “Daughters and sons are very different even in utero and then when they're infants they start behaving very differently,” he continued with a corporate news source, “Interactions between parents and children drive and influence each other's brains. So what we don't know here is whether the fathers drive the behaviors of their daughters and the sons or if the daughters and the sons drive the behavior of the fathers.”

Others question the influence of regional or even national culture issues. 

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