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Old 10-14-2003, 06:27 PM   #1
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Dirty Little Secret About Parents

Does anyone actually believe this? Actually to be truthful, one of my parents (maybe even both) seemed to prefer boys Of course maybe it was just me, and had nothing to do w/ me being female

I read a longer article about this last week, maybe I can find it somewhere..

http://channels.netscape.com/ns/home...entspreferboys

Dirty Little Secret: Parents Prefer Boys

It's a dirty little secret that you'll want to hide from your daughters: Boys hold their parents' marriages together, while girls break them up.

That's the word from two leading economists at the University of Rochester and the University of California, Los Angeles who maintain that in the United States the parents of a girl are nearly 5 percent more likely to divorce than the parents of a boy, reports Slate magazine. The more daughters a couple has, the greater the chance of a marital split. For example, the parents of three girls are almost 10 percent more likely to divorce than the parents of three boys.

And the risk of divorce climbs even higher in other countries, including Mexico, Colombia, and Kenya. In Vietnam, the chance of divorce for parents of daughters is a surprisingly high 25 percent.

The big question is WHY? Economists Gordon Dahl of Rochester and Enrico Moretti of UCLA have been positing theories, and it pretty much comes down to these two, they told Slate:

Theory No. 1: Sons improve the quality of married life, which suggests that having a son is a blessing.

Theory No. 2: Sons exacerbate the pain of divorce, which suggests that having a son is a curse--or at least would be if the parents split up.

And here's the real shocker: Dahl and Moretti insist that American parents have a strong preference for sons over daughters. This is the evidence they offer:

Mothers of daughters who are divorced are far less likely to remarry than divorced mothers of sons, suggesting that daughters are a liability.

Parents who have only girls are more likely than parents who have only boys to try yet again for a child of the opposite gender.

When an unmarried couple is expecting a baby, they are more likely to get married if the ultrasound shows that the child is a boy.
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:33 PM   #2
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I can't find the article I was thinking of, but here's one from Slate

http://slate.msn.com/id/2089142/
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:35 PM   #3
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No surprise there, it's gonna take more than a couple generation to undo a couple millenia of societal programming. It's not a dirty little secret, it's fairly obvious. It's not in all cases. Some people do strongly prefer girls, though I would say that is a fairly small percentage of the population. I confess I am somewhat guilty. I am the the last of my line and unless I have a son the family name dies with me. Ideally I'd like two girls and two boys (partly cause I'd like to avoid the dreaded middle child syndrome, which it seems no parent can avoid). I'm ano only child so a big family appeals to me. Even with three though I'd rather have two girls and one boy rather than the other way around, can't say why though.
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:45 PM   #4
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I dunno. I would rather have girls than boys but I'm a chick. In a lot of the countries cited, they look down on women and therefore daughters. It is much more societal than in the US. Think about the dowrys still seen in some countries when women marry or Muslim societies where women have limited freedoms. why would you want to have a girl in those societies?

As for the US, I think there are alot of loops in that. If you're a man dating a woman with kids, would you rather have someone to play ball with or someone you don't understand anything about? same with the unmarried/married thing. It has less to do with the gender of the child than the fact that there is a father involved or not involved.

and there is always my dad, who said he never wanted to have a son because God would curse him with a son as unruly as he was as a child.
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:50 PM   #5
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Why can't you play ball w/ a girl, or improve yourself by experiencing parenting a girl, to know more about them ?

And as for "carrying on a name", who is to say a girl can't do that? You can always keep it even if you get married..
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:58 PM   #6
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exactly Mrs. Spring. But you and I are thinking as women, not as some masculine male who needs a football playing, car talking, chick gawking son to relate to because he doesn't understand girls.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:02 PM   #7
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lol sharky..

Or in my case, to go huntin' with and shoot cans or whatever
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:29 PM   #8
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Ah but it's the old societal values again. It's still fairly rare for women to keep their names, and evn if they do how often do children keep their mother's name rather than their father's. Rarely. A friend of min is at least considering it, but then again his parents are divorced and he lives with his motehr. We still live in a society that is still very patriarchal. It's gonna take another several genrations and people being willing to give up certain traditions before our society becomes egalitarian.

But the name thing is a sticky matter. For countless generations one's family has been figured patrilinially (through the father's line) with this there is a sense of cominality with those who have gone before and those who will come on. It's a commonality. THough this is more for men than women. Women get accepted into a new family take on a new name, an the children take that name even though the split is fifty ffity. Names are very important which is why this is probably going ot be the last bastion of patriarchy.

For me it has to do with the fact that in a lot of ways my Dad redemed teh family name. In his own life he ended generations of alcohol and abuse in our family (my dad's side going back to my long departed grandfather). From the nine children born to my great-grandfather who lived there is only myself and my Dad who carry the name. I guess for me I want it to be a good name again. THough the ironic thing is that, even though I never met my grandfather I can say for certain that my Dad by far more resembles my grandmother in looks and personality. By this standard he should carry my Grandmother's family name. So who knows. But you can see how a family name can have emotional meaning. As to kids again I'll say I want bith and when it comes down to it I'd prefer daughters, though no I want both, as male and femal each bring their own uniqeness. But if I had many children I'd rather have more girls than boys.
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Old 10-14-2003, 07:47 PM   #9
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As a parent of both a boy (8) and a girl (3), I can understand from the standpoint of raising children that boys are easier than girls. I do not necessarily agree with the theories and explanations given for the statistical findings.
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Old 10-14-2003, 08:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I can understand from the standpoint of raising children that boys are easier than girls.
That's what I was going to say. I am one of 3 girls and my parents did not divorce but they should have. Dad died early on so they didn't have to divorce but man were they miserable for many reasons, and having 3 complicated moody girls did not help. Looking at all my friends with both boys and girls, the girls are in every case more difficult to raise. My sister has been amazed at the difference in raising a girl vs. a boy.
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:43 PM   #11
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My parents both wanted a girl, actually my father wanted a daughter much moreso than my mother. They ended up having one of each. But I do think that my dad was actually in a small minority of his friends.

People say that women all want a son, but a vast majority of my female friends has expressed a strong preference for having a daughter, so maybe times are a-changing.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:11 PM   #12
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I agree with joyfulgirl and NB...in my experience (as a female myself and the stepmother of one) girls really are more stressful to raise. Not only are they substantially more moody and dramatic, but you also have to worry about them in ways you don't have to worry about boys.

Out of the 4 kids my husband and I have raised (3 boys & 1 girl), I can honestly say the girl has caused us more stress than the 3 boys combined.

I wouldn't say I have any kind of preference for boys or girls but will agree that they are very different to raise.
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:21 AM   #13
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Interesting.

There are no boys in my family-just me and my sister.

And yet my parents are still married-26 years they've been together. And they have no intentions of having any more children.

I think that both genders could be a difficulty to raise-both can definitely cause some stress among parents. Granted, the reasons for why boys and girls are stressful to raise might be different, but I'd say both boys and girls can be stressful (My dad, from the stories he's told me about when he was a kid, sure caused his mom some stress).

*Hopes that she hasn't stressed her parents out too much over the years *

As for me, when I do have kids someday, I really don't have a gender preference. I'll be happy either way.

Angela
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:15 AM   #14
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my parents wanted a girl by the time I was born
but that was because they already had 2 boys
by the time nr. 4 was on the way they were hoping for a boy, because 3 boys and a girl would have just been cruel
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:14 PM   #15
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Funny, I just read about this on a site I love: Bitch Magazine (go to their (s)hitlist where they post articles like this one.)

I'll post their reply to this article:

Quote:
Girl Trouble
Last Thursday's Slate ran the enticingly titled "Oh, No: It's a girl! Do daughters cause divorce?" Apparently some economists from the University of Rochester and the University of California at Los Angeles did a study showing that American parents of girls are 5 percent more likely to split up than the parents of boys. (In other countries, the gap is even wider, they note.) After giving lip service to some interesting possibilities (For instance, "do [parents] worry that boys cope less successfully with the emotional consequences of divorce" and thus hold their marriages together?), the article (and the study, possiblythe author skillfully avoids making clear whose opinion he's talking about) declares, "The most natural way to interpret their data is that parents, on average, prefer boys to girls.... That seems to answer one question: Boys preserve marriages by making marriages better, not by making divorces worse. But it also raises a new question: What's so great about a boy? Why do parents prefer boys to girls?"

The obvious answer, of course, is sexism. Parents prefer boys to girls because of the crushing weight of cultural messages seeking to impress upon us all that boys are better. (The "duh" factor is reinforced by the study's conclusion that in Mexico, Colombia, and Vietnamcountries with less developed feminist movements than in the U.S.the divorce gap is much higher.) But Slate has chosen to play dumb: "Maybe boys are just more fun to have around. Maybe parents want a child who can carry on the family name. Or maybe there's something deep in our psyches that tells us a family just isn't a family without a son." Um, yeahhow 'bout examining that "something deep in our psyches" (not to mention question why it's only sons who are seen to carry on the family name)? Lisa Jervis

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