Your Parents Do Have A Favourite Child And It May Depend Upon Your Gender

May 28, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Emily Bobrow looked at parental preferences for gender:

  • Couples are more likely to stay together if their child is a son rather than a daughter.
  • This seems to primarily be because fathers have a preference for sons over daughters. Mothers are mostly ambivalent between genders.
  • One reason for this preference seems to be that fathers struggle to form a connection with their child. Babies literally rely on their mother’s body to live, while father’s have to create a role for themselves.
  • In that context it’s easier for the role to model what it means to be a man, and shape the child as such.
  • Men also seem to struggle to make friendships in adulthood. A son can fulfil the desire for an emotional connection with another male.
  • All of this may also explain why the fathers of sons seem to work harder, bring in more money, and spend more money.
  • Interestingly households with male children also spend more money on “women’s goods” like jewelry – indicating that mothers benefit too.
  • But a son can also mean that unhealthy relationships persist. Women are less likely to leave their husbands if they have a son – believing that sons need fathers.
  • In contrast, with daughters, they feel that it’s important the daughter have a good role model for what a man should be like – making women more likely to leave an abusive husband.

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Source: 1843