Boys with sisters more likely to be conservative politically and at home: study

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 15:00 EDT
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'Teenagers Not Enjoying Housework' [Shutterstock]
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An upcoming report by researchers at Loyola Marymount and Stanford Universities suggests that boys who grow up alongside sisters are more likely to both identify themselves as Republican and consider household chores “women’s work” as they get older, Mother Jones reported.

“Studies on parental influence generally have shown homogenization in that children’s attitudes become aligned with their parents’ beliefs,” said the study, written by Andrew Healy and Neil Mahotra. “However, our findings instead show how the childhood environment can push family members’ attitudes in different ways, potentially leading to ideological heterogeneity within the household.”

Healy, an associate professor of economics at LMU and Mahotra, an associate business professor at Stanford, found that compared to boys with male siblings, respondents who grew up alongside sisters were 15 percent more likely to identify as Republicans in their high school years, and 13.5 more likely to have conservative views regarding gender roles.

“Detailed data collected from respondents during their adolescence shows that boys with sisters are substantially less likely to have performed female-stereotyped household tasks during childhood than boys with brothers,” the study said. “For girls, sibling gender has no effect on chore assignment.”

Healy and Mahotra also argue that their findings carry over into middle-age; male respondents who grew up with sisters were 17 percent more likely to report that their spouses did more housework.

“This paper has highlighted an often-ignored aspect of the household environment that can substantially affect political socialization,” the report stated. “While an extensive amount of research has explored how attitudes are transmitted from parent to child, we show that siblings can influence each other as well.”

[Images: "Teenagers Not Enjoying Housework" via Shutterstock]

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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