The team behind the work say the findings support the idea that men become more aware of the challenges facing women when they see the female experience of life up close through their offspring – something dubbed the “mighty girl” effect.

More fundamentally, they add, it pushes back against the idea that people’s views are fixed after their formative years, suggesting efforts to improve attitudes on gender equality should not be confined to the classroom.

“Basically we are saying there is scope for changing attitude later in life,” said Dr Joan Costa-i-Font, co-author of the research from the London School of Economics.