Mothers' and fathers' differential expectancies and behaviors: parent x child gender effects.J Genet Psychol. 2008 Sep; 169(3):261-79.JG
In 3 studies using 6 subscales, the authors investigated (a) others' parenting expectancies for mothers and fathers and (b) parents' reports of the frequency of their parenting behaviors with their 3- to 6-year-old sons and daughters. Mothers rated higher for physical care and emotional support than did fathers, and mothers reported engaging in the parenting behaviors assessed more frequently than did fathers across subscales. In each study, the authors obtained Parent x Child Gender interactions only for personal-interaction parenting (e.g., hugging their child) and found the lowest scores for fathers with daughters. These findings and the relations between parents' ratings of appropriateness and of their own behaviors support the view that gender-based expectancies prescribe gender differences in parenting.