NEW YORK, June 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Every June, Americans set aside a Sunday to celebrate the men who helped shape their lives. But a father can be many things. For some he's Mr. Fix-it, the handyman who took care of the overflowing toilet when they learned the hard way that teddy bears can't be flushed. Other fathers are of the nerdy variety, fun to play video games with, but maybe not the right man to ask for dating advice. Fathers come in all shapes and sizes, and what they want for Father's Day – as well as what they may be getting this year – can vary as well.
When asked what they would like to receive for Father's Day, the majority of dads simply want a day with family (57%). Nearly two fifths have their fingers crossed in hopes of receiving electronics/gadgets (37%), a gift certificate (37%), or a home cooked meal (36%). Meanwhile around a third are hoping for pictures of their children/grandchildren (34%), a home-made card (32%), tools/power tools (31%), cooking equipment (28%), or sports equipment (28%). And in case you were eying jewelry or a tie for your dad, know that less than one in ten fathers are hoping to get either (9% and 7%, respectively) for Father's Day.
A day with the family remains the number one choice regardless of whether dads have kids under the same roof as them or not (61% & 53%, respectively).
- Among fathers with children in the house, electronics/gadgets (41%) are the next "ask," followed by a third place tie between a home cooked meal and power tools (40% each).
- Meanwhile, many dads with an empty nest are hoping for pictures of their children/grandchildren (38%), followed by a gift certificate (36%).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,225 U.S. adults surveyed online and in English between May 20 and 26, 2015. Full results of the study, including data tables, can be found here.
Maybe you can get what you want
Of those respondents planning to give gifts this Father's Day, over a third will be handing out a gift certificate (37%) or offering up a plan for a day with family (36%). Around three in ten will be preparing a home cooked meal (30%) or gift-wrapping tools/power tools (28%). Meanwhile, one fifth of adults will be giving dads pictures of their children/grandchildren (22%), electronics/gadgets (20%), and hand-made cards (20%).
- There are many things in life about which men and women disagree, and what they are planning to give their fathers is no exception. Men are most likely to give gift certificates (39%) this father's day, while daddy's little girls are most likely to either prepare a home cooked meal or offer up a day with family (37% each).
"One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters." — George Herbert
Father's Day isn't just about gift giving or appreciating what our fathers have done for us; it's also about reflecting on what we have learned from them over the years.
Among the 81% who say they learned something from their dads, over three-quarters say their father taught them to have a strong work ethic (76%). Majorities also credit their dads with teaching them how to be a good person (64%) and how to drive (54%). Meanwhile, half learned financial responsibility (51%). Strong minorities say they learned car maintenance (40%), self-confidence (39%), and good sportsmanship (37%) from their fathers.
Moreover, when asked to specify which lesson meant the most, how to be a good person (35%) and a strong work ethic (31%) were the top selections by a wide margin, with financial responsibility – the third most frequent selection – singled out by only 9%.
- More women than men recall learning financial responsibility from their fathers (54% vs. 47%, respectively).
- Meanwhile, men are more likely to remember their dads teaching them self-confidence (36% vs. 42%), good sportsmanship (31% vs. 43%), and how to play a sport (22% vs. 33%). Men were also more likely to get the inevitably uncomfortable sex-talk from their dads: 16% of men learned all about "the birds and the bees" from their fathers as opposed to only 6% of women.
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
— Mark Twain
After looking at what Americans have learned from their fathers, perhaps it's not much of a surprise that around two-thirds of Americans say that as children they thought of their dads as smart (68%) and responsible (65%). Over half each believed their dads to be handy (59%), funny (54%), and a role model (53%), while two fifths have always perceived them as sentimental (40%) and cool (37%).
At the bottom of the list are two traits fathers are rarely ever labeled with, and unfortunately one of them is fashionable. But dads, don't feel too sad that only 21% of Americans believed their fathers to be fashionable when they were children. It could be worse. Hold tighter to the knowledge that even fewer thought of their dads as boring/lame (16%).
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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between May 20 and 26, 2015 among 2,225 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 405 were fathers. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.
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The Harris Poll® #33, June 17, 2015
By Hannah Pollack, Harris Poll Research Analyst
About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, please visit our new website, TheHarrisPoll.com.
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SOURCE The Harris Poll