A new study has shown that masculine characteristics - like competitiveness and adventurousness - can be linked to better parenting practices by some fathers. The men participating in this research, highly educated and from dual-earner couples, combined both stereotypically masculine traits and the need to be involved and nurturing dads.

According to Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study, the researchers were surprised to discover that stereotypes generally considered as old-fashioned can be related to more positive parenting. “These men are combining traditional aspects of masculinity with new nurturing ideals to create new fathering identities. They may be in the midst of transforming fatherhood,” said Schoppe-Sullivan.

The seven stereotypical masculine characteristics taken into consideration were: competitive, courageous, daring, adventurous, dominant, aggressive and pressure-resistant. The men who believed they should have a nurturing parenting role had more positive interactions with their children, and were also better at co-parenting with their partner.

Surprisingly, the more the fathers considered they fit the definition of "real men," the more they showed good parenting behavior. Maybe it's because men displaying masculine traits to succeed in their careers tend to have the same approach in their jobs as parents.

Picture: The best fathers combined masculine traits with the belief they should be nurturing (Ohio State University, w/Effects)