Having female siblings makes boys significantly more likely to grow up to be Republicans, according to a new study by professors at Loyola Marymount University and Stanford University.
The study is in the latest issue of the Journal of Politics and based on data from the ongoing National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. It found that young men with only sisters were 8.3 per cent more likely to identify as Republicans than those with only brothers.
Those with only female siblings were also 3.8 per cent more likely likely to agree with the statement that “a woman’s place is in the home.”
Data suggested that boys with female siblings were less likely to do the sort of tasks stereotypically associated with girls, like cooking and cleaning. Researchers hypothesized that this enforced a conservative attitude towards gender norms starting early in a child’s life.
For a family with only boys, these household tasks are more likely to be shared among the male children and the environment doesn’t generate as much emphasis on gender-divided roles.
The researchers went a step further, linking the conservative attitude generated in the home with a greater likelihood to identify with the Republican party, which “has often been perceived as more supportive of traditional family roles.”
The study focused on men in their 20s and 30s, so it’s not yet clear if there’s a lifelong tilt towards the GOP. There’s a chance that the so-called “sister effect” may diminish over time.
You can read the full report here.
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