Saturday, October 09, 2010

Do Daughters Stink?

JP sent me a link to an article about the question why couples seem more likely to get married and stay married if they have sons rather than daughters:

Not only did researchers find that couples with sons are more likely to stick together, unmarried pregnant couples were more likely to have shotgun weddings if the baby was going to be a boy and divorced mothers of boys are more likely to remarry and stay remarried.

Does this mean that daughters are matrimonially risky and sons are marriage saviors? Not so fast, psychologists say.
The article is pretty good, actually, and well worth reading because it gives a much more considered view of the evidence.

But note the odd focus in the above quote: It must be something that daughters do or don't do that causes divorces! That NEVER occurred to me when I first read about the research. My thoughts were about whether men value sons more than daughters and whether both men and women think that divorce is worse for sons than daughters. It's not to my credit that I never thought of the possibility the above article later mentions: That daughters might provide more support to a divorced mother than sons and thus might make divorce easier for her.

But check out the comments to this article. Several of them interpret the article as meaning that daughters in fact cause divorces, by their behavior, by being pampered little princesses and so on. Some others argue that you can never have several women in one household because women can't get along. This despite the fact that the divorce does NOT reduce the number of women in the household because in the vast majority of cases it is the mother who gets physical custody.

So it sounds like the sameoldsameold misogyny again. In the comments, I mean. The article itself is not bad.