More than two-thirds (70%) of married dads in America consider themselves equal parenting partners with their wives, and 69% say fathers are evolving to meet the needs of today’s world, according to a report from Packaged Facts and Silver Stork Research.
Seven in 10 of the estimated 64 million fathers in the US say they are “hands-on” and want to keep their families first on their list of priorities, the second edition of “US Dads Market: A Unique Profile of Fathers, Their Attitudes, Values and Behavior as Consumers” finds.
A survey included in the report also finds that nearly three-fourths of US fathers open to dad-focused marketing programs. Some 40% say marketing efforts to dads should be designed so kids get something out of them, 20% believe a dad-focused marketing program is overdue, and 17% would like to see a dad-focused marketing program “fix a problem.”
Despite these results, dads are somewhat less likely than their wives/partners to buy products that promote bonding between dads and their children. While 36% of women are “extremely likely” to buy products that promote father-child bonding, only 25% of fathers say they are as likely to buy these products.
- 15% of today’s fathers are first-time dads. If the numbers and trends hold for the next 20 years, there will be 13 million more children in the US than before.
- 81% of first-time dads actively participate in the baby gift registry process – something that has historically been considered to be in the domain of mothers.
- Though evidence points to a higher future participation level from dads, the extra work doesn’t appear to affect desire for children. More than 50% of men age 15-44 plan to have children in the future.
- When asked what the best part of being a father, the largest number of respondents (23%) say “the hugs and kisses,” and 20% said “caring for something so incredible.”
“Dads today are evolving right before our eyes, ” said Marta Loeb, founder of Silver Stork Research and author of the report, who added that the recent introduction of Todd Palin – the non-traditional husband of VP candidate Sarah Palin – has bloggers debating about the roles of moms and dads. “Todd Palin is only the tip of the iceberg but he has truly brought into the spotlight this new evolved father who is willing to take on more responsibility and share in a true partnership with his spouse. ”
According to Silver Stork Research, young men heading into their prime parenting years have been influenced by their Boomer mothers, who were in turn influenced by the feminist movement. The result has been a more liberated perspective on the role of women in the household.
“These young men grew up being parented by two high-achieving, hard working adults who were less involved in their lives but equally contributing to the family,” said Loeb.
About the study: The research includes exclusive primary research conducted over a three-year period, including two recent online surveys of more than 500 US dads.