June 12, 2021

By HMC Research Chair Nancy Tellet

According to a study by the Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC), 54 percent of Dads said, “I’m the boss in the family,” but only 5 percent of Moms agreed. HMC also asked teens ages 13-17: 28 percent of them said Dad was the boss, 34 percent said Mom, and 28 percent said Dad and Mom were co-bosses as a unified team. Non-Hispanic Black teens were more likely to say Mom was the “boss”—49 percent compared to 31 percent for non-Blacks.

Prioritizing Family & Community

Dads said the most important thing in their life is their family—spending time with them and protecting them. Dads went “out with their kids for fun” 2.6 times weekly on average compared to twice for Mom.

Both Blacks and Hispanics placed greater cultural emphasis and value on community. When asked which cultural element of mainstream America they would least add into their family’s cultural lives, both non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic Dads agreed, “too much American individualism.”

A Wider Trust Circle

Dads expressed greater trust in people, America & core institutions than Mom. Their Tier 1 and 2 core trust circles scored higher than those of Mom: 6.7 vs. 5.7 on a 10-point scale.

Dads also scored higher in overall American pride when it came to the armed forces, free press and the U.S. educational system, an average of 7.6 vs. 6.5 on a 10-point scale, scoring 17 percent higher than Moms. Even though Black male respondents scored average American pride lower than other Dads, at 6.6, they scored higher than Black moms at 6.0.

A Multicultural Majority? Dads Say, “Bring It On!”

When it comes to race, more than half (59%) of Dads were comfortable if their child was only one of a few of their racial/ethnic segment in school compared to 32 percent of moms. Male teens also felt more comfortable, compared to their female peers. Dads were also more likely to say the shift to a multicultural majority population was both “positive” and “negative” with the “positives” (56%) decidedly outweighing the “negatives” (23%).  Forty-two percent of Moms were neutral compared to only 21 percent for dads.  Non-Hispanic white dads were more negative (26%) than non-white dads (18%).

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

Dads see themselves as the boss and protectors of their families, however, they express more optimism about the multicultural majority, fully embracing this change, while Mom just sees it as “normal”.  Dads are also less cautious and more trusting than Mom when their kids are a “distinct minority” in school. Dad’s wider overall trust circles can translate into more opportunities to build meaningful relationships and brand loyalty with Dads, especially brands who have community-building as part of their core values or identity. Brands must understand the cultural nuances and triggers that all people have, not just Dads, to maximize the reach and effectiveness of their marketing efforts.


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