Little girls may very well be considered the spice and sugar of a happy family. However, according to recent studies, having a daughter may boost the risk of divorce in many couples.
Couples with daughters (as well as couples with a girl as the first born child) are somehow more prone to divorce than those that have boys. A few studies conducted on the families in the United States have proven this particular predisposition, and there`ve been more than a few who`ve rushed to claim that the little girls are the cause for parental divorce.
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What Do Studies Say?
Not only that scientists found that families with sons are more prone to remain together, but unmarried pregnant couples were considered more prone to have a shotgun wedding if the actual child was going to be a boy instead of a girl, and divorced mothers with sons are more prone to marry again and remain that way.
One of the latest studies performed at Duke University suggest an entire new conclusion: girls are considered more resistant than boys even since they`re in their mother`s womb. They`re more prone to survive even when their pregnant mothers endure a lot of stress due to difficulties in their marriage.
Older research indicated the predisposition of fathers towards boys and the fact that they were more likely to stay in marriages where the kids were boys. Conversely, according to this research, fathers were more likely to give up their families in which the children were girls.
This particular interpretation offered to the numbers of lots of researchers isn`t really recent. The relation between the child`s gender and divorce rate has been popular in the American culture for many decades.
Would this mean that daughters are a risk, while sons are more likely to save a marriage? Not really! The last study indicates a different explanation. Even though the number of divorces around couples with girls is higher, girls are more of a “symptom” and not the actual cause of divorce.
Amar Hamoudi, co-author of a study from the Duke University, said that there`re lots of people who believe that girls might have a negative effect on a relationship`s stability between 2 parents. However, the author of this study also said that these people shouldn`t hurry with such conclusions.
According to his study, the difference between the rate of divorce for couples with girls and that of couples with boys has a different explanation – the female embryo is more resistant than the male one.
Do Boys Make for Better Marriage?
Traditionally speaking, scientists have analyzed this particular phenomenon from the point of view of boys. Either they`re somehow making divorce seem not as attractive or they`re increasing the likelihood of marriage somehow.
In order to support this particular idea, economists Enrico Moretti and Gordon Dahl from the University of California-San Diego and, respectively, UC Berkeley, cite a series of statistics which point to a boy ensuring that his mother will commit to the family.
“Fathers are notably (3%) less presumably to be living with their own children if they`ve daughters and not sons,” wrote the 2 researchers on the subject in 2007. “We approximate that around 52,000 first-born daughters up to 12 years would have had their father staying home if they would have been boys.”
Couples who had a child outside of their marriage were more plausible to break-up until the child was born if he would have been a boy. This might encourage the idea that a man might incline to commit to childrearing if they child is a boy.
In this particular scenario, the fear of having a son mature with no male model may play an important role. – More info!
Do Gender Matter that Much?
Social researchers indicate there`re a few reasons why daughters may increases the risks of divorce. One theory would be that certain parents have social and cultural predispositions when it comes to sons.
A different theory suggests that sons are generally more vulnerable and their necessity for male role model makes their father to stay more committed to the family. There`s also a gender-selection theory that suggests that mothers whose families are somehow more stressful might be more probably to have a baby girl.
Still, we don`t find this kind of notions worthy to be taken into consideration.
Instead, most recent findings indicate the higher rates of divorce are generally explained by strains in the couples between certain parents and their adolescent daughters, probably originating from misunderstandings regarding gender roles.
This particular theory is supported by another analysis of a survey of Dutch households, which asked various families about their opinions in relation to marriage, parenting or gender.
Parents of adolescent daughters disagreed more when it came to how they would have to raise the children, and were more likely to take divorce into consideration. There were less pleased the relationships within their family as well.
In turn, adolescent daughters reported bad relationships with the fathers, but not with the mothers.
More & More People Support the Same Idea
Steven E. Landsburg, a U.S. professor at the University of Rochester in New York, said in an article in State magazine in 2003: “Boys hold families together, while girls break them up all over the world.”
The professor may chose this explanation based on that parents usually prefer more to have boys instead of girls. Still, these particular explanations may have overlooked a few essential facts:
- Latest statistics in the United States outline that almost 73% of divorces involve mothers leaving fathers. So, probably the questions should be,” Why mother with daughters divorce more than those with sons?”
- When daughters become adults and leave home, they decrease the daily workload of their parents, while sons increase it when leaving home.
- According to The Tending Instinct, written by Shelley Taylor in 2002, females provide a lot more and better social assistance than men do.
- Also, according to Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, written by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick, a huge human motivation is keeping away of being lonely.