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Father's Day facts and figures

  • Father's Day facts and figures

    Father's Day is June 16, and it's a great opportunity to reflect on the role dads play in society. While some people are most familiar with pop-culture fathers—either in a negative way (Darth Vader comes to mind) or a positive way (such as Phil Dunphy)—many people draw from their own experiences. For instance, it's likely that many people remember dad teaching them how to read, tie their shoes, play basketball, or ride a bike, and statistics show that the experiences were likely as formative for dads as they were for kids.

    Aside from being a federally sanctioned, greeting-card occasion, Father's Day is a chance to think about all the ways dads have helped shape their children's lives. For example, while male role models are crucial to the development of young boys, did you know that the academic and vocational aspirations of young women are directly affected by their relationships with their dads? It's just as important for young women to have strong male role models, if not more so, than for their male counterparts; this can affect their socialization, especially in college and once they become sexually active.

    In addition, it may not be possible for parents to share the housework or child care equally. But that may not be a bad thing; children who see their parents take on flexible gender roles may be able to think more creatively in terms of the roles they will take on later in life. Drawing on information from several online resources, we've compiled 25 facts and figures about fathers and Father's Day.

    Read on to find out some cool facts to share with a dad this Father's Day.

    You may also like: Best and worst states for working dads

  • A Hallmark occasion

    Father's Day is the fourth-largest card-giving occasion in the United States, according to Hallmark. About 20% of Father's Day cards are purchased for husbands and about 50% for dads.

  • Fathers influence career choice

    A 2014 University of British Columbia study found that fathers who do more chores at home have daughters who grow up with higher career aspirations. The study looked at 326 children ages seven to 13 and at least one of their parents.

  • Father role as central to identity

    Fathers see their role as parents as central to their identity, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. In fact, 57% of fathers agreed with this statement compared with 58% of mothers.

  • Random father fact

    Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain as an homage to his father, who in 1896 died of typhoid fever because of a contaminated water supply. Taylor also witnessed the quick spread of dysentery at the Packard Motor Car Company from another case of unsanitary water. He devoted his life to creating safe drinking water in public places and developed the Puritan Sanitary Fountain in 1912.

  • Washington: Father of our country, but not of anyone else

    Interestingly, the father of our country, George Washington, had no biological children of his own. He adopted his two children from his wife Martha Custis's first marriage.

  • Father-daughter singing hit

    Frank and Nancy Sinatra hold the distinction of being the only father-daughter duo to hit the top spot on Billboard's pop music chart with their 1967 single, “Something Stupid.” The song hit #7 on the year-end, “hot 100” recap, and led to Frank earning his sixth Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year.

  • History of the holiday

    Father's Day was conceptualized by Sonora Smart Dodd, who thought of the holiday while listening to a sermon on Mother's Day in church with her father. Though she had the idea in the early 1900s, the holiday was not made official until President Richard Nixon's 1972 declaration. Dodd intended to honor her father, a Civil War veteran, who raised her along with her five siblings after her mother died during childbirth.

  • Thanks, Dad, for being a great role model

    Researchers at the University of Florida found that daughters whose fathers were more involved with their lives as teens were likely to have safer sex lives as college students. The researchers believe that the consistency of male attention in a young woman's life affects the number of sexual partners she will have, as well as the level of safe sex she will practice.

  • Stay-at-home dad stats

    Stay-at-home and single fathers have grown in number significantly in recent decades, with at least 1.45 million at-home dads as of 2009, according to what the National At-Home Dad Network considers being the most accurate count. This definition includes dads who are the daily, primary source of care for at least one child under the age of 18. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put the number at 1.45 million in 2013.

  • Who's the breadwinner?

    Fathers are still seen as providers more so than are mothers; increasingly, both parents are expected to provide income. In 2013, 41% of Americans said it's important for a father to provide income, compared with 25% saying the same for mothers, according to Pew studies. However, 67% of the public agreed that having women in the workforce makes it easier to provide a comfortable family life.