Study: Boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be Republican

posted at 2:01 pm on July 12, 2013 by Allahpundit

What better way to pass a slow news Friday than with a little controversial biological determinism to explain ideological differences?

At the extreme, they found that young men who grew up with sisters but no brothers in their household are 8.3 percentage points more likely to identify with the Republican Party than boys who grow up with only brothers.

The sister effect is smaller but still statistically significant when it comes to attitudes explicitly related to gender roles. Men who had sisters were 3.8 percentage points more likely to agree that “a woman’s place is in the home” than men who did not, wrote Healy, an economist who teaches at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Mahhotra, a Stanford University political scientist…

So why are boys with sisters more inclined to identify with the GOP as young men? Researchers have found that sisters are more likely than their brothers to help wash the dishes, sweep the floor and do other traditionally gender-stereotyped tasks around the house. For example, in the data they examined, about 60% of boys but 82% of girls 10 and older with younger siblings told interviewers they were expected to help with the dishes.

This early exposure to gender stereotyping, the researchers argue, translates into more socially conservative views in later life.

Two interesting wrinkles here. One: The researchers found no similar sibling effect on girls. If boys are supposedly susceptible to having their sisters’ behavior inculcate traditional gender roles, you’d think it would cut both ways. Hmmmm. Two: There’s evidence to suggest that the sibling effect fades over time — but only in terms of party identification. Support among men with sisters for traditional gender roles remained strong even later in life. It’s their identification with the GOP that tends to soften. Presumably that’s because, as they mature, other policy considerations begin to shape their political identity. But if exposure to liberal arguments about the economy or foreign policy are making them reconsider the GOP, wouldn’t their views of gender roles also be affected by arguments about that? Maybe the difference is a simple matter of politics versus “values.” Both can change over time, but values are more intrinsic to one’s character than the questions of whether Hayek or Keynes has a better macroeconomic theory.

Another thing. Why would the world-shaping sight of a sister sweeping the floor not be offset by watching that same sister succeed in school or do well at a job? The result here seems counterintuitive to me to some degree because men with sisters get to observe women’s capabilities firsthand growing up while men without sisters don’t. It should, in theory, be easier to conclude that their place is in the home if you’re less informed about what they can do in the workplace, not more. It’s also counterintuitive to me that, if the GOP association is supposedly being driven by views on traditional gender roles, the men in this survey had a relatively weak preference for the latter (3.8 percent more likely to favor) but a strong preference for the former (8.3 percent). It should be the opposite if the researchers’ theory is true — a strong preference for traditional roles leads to a somewhat weaker preference for the GOP, since some men with sisters will gravitate to the Democrats for other reasons. Very strange.


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Cool.
Another “avoid the subject of the Zimmerman trial as much as possible” thread.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on July 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Cool.
Another “avoid the subject of the Zimmerman trial as much as possible” thread.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on July 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Waiting for the verdict. Then explosion city.

nobar on July 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

all I know is all of boys are conservative and one of the two sisters in a flaming liberal in our family…and that is why no one can be caught talking about anything more controversial that kittehs when suzy is in the room

DanMan on July 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Good. More worthless “science.”

Shump on July 12, 2013 at 2:09 PM

re: zimmerman

it’s been ordained by Obama that the Z-man is guilty, not in the jury’s hands folks so move on and be surprised if it turns out otherwise

we are not a nation of laws right now

DanMan on July 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Ah, 2:00 Friday, running out the clock until the weekend. We’re all a little giddy that we might be rid of tyrant Napolitano. Eighteen months from 2015 and “science” is giving up on hoverboards in favor of studies like these… Who needs important news?

Let’s halfway the comments too: I’ll rip on feminism. Somebody say something favorable about it. A couple more of us point out its destructive effects. A troll comes in and whacks on a strawman. We shred the troll. Troll ignores and continues on strawman. Trollcott. Somebody non-sequitur complains about Edward Snowden. RWM links a blog post. Somebody comes in and says something insightful that’s on topic but it’s the last post on the 1st page and nobody notices it.

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

So the GOP is ALL about women’s place is in home. That’s ALL, nothing more. Give me a break.

Agrippa2k on July 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

SHOCK STUDY:

Researchers released a report today that proves that 80% of blondes……aren’t.

Analysts aren’t sure what effect, if any, this data will have on society, but did thank the Department of Health and Human Services for the grant money.

BobMbx on July 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

And boys who are sisters grow up to be Democrats.

Akzed on July 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Man, you just took all the the fun out of it.

Akzed on July 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM

The theory is already flawed.

GWB is not that Republican.

Schadenfreude on July 12, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I have three sisters and have at no time in my life been tempted or persuaded to join the political Dark Side as I could see early on it had nothing good to offer, in my view. I was one of minority at my high school to register GOP as soon as 18 year olds were permitted to vote. Of course I grew up as a 4th generation Republican dating back to our families being involved in the slavery abolition movement and my dad was very vocal and reasoned as why the dems ideas were, and still are, bad for the country.

hawkeye54 on July 12, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

LOL!

This is just another bs study that doesn’t prove causation, and barely shows correlation. (8.3% – REALLY? I’d get better odds in Vegas betting against the house.)

Here’s my hypothesis:
guys that grow up with hot sisters at home realize that they have to keep the woman at home once they marry her to make sure no guy gets a wandering eye and moves in on her in the office.

Can I prove it? Nah. But that wasn’t really the point of this “study” either, was it?

GWB on July 12, 2013 at 2:23 PM

SHOCK STUDY:

Researchers released a report today that proves that 80% of blondes……aren’t.

Analysts aren’t sure what effect, if any, this data will have on society, but did thank the Department of Health and Human Services for the grant money.

BobMbx on July 12, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Its almost the weekend so I’ll volunteer to check out the girls at FNC.

And yes I have a brother and a sister and we are all republicans.

meci on July 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM

GWB is not that Republican.

Schadenfreude on July 12, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Wait, what? Which one you talking about there? And why? *baffled look*

GWB on July 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

In the typical nuclear family with both genders represented among the siblings, there is a good deal of real equality. Since at least the 70s we haven’t grown up watching our sisters sweeping the floor or cooking. One is just as likely to see a boy do those tasks too. Cross gender dynamics are different when everyone gets in trouble the same, has opportunities to excel in the family on equal terms, etc. (And sisters often take charge of the pack when young as well, honing leadership skills and also creating a dynamic where both sexes learn to mix well with the opposite sex).

Boys who grow up without sisters can only imagine what immersive mixing with the opposite gender entails, and, likely driven by media and other outside culture inputs, will respond to the stereotypes fostered by them. Today’s Democrats tend to put women in cages, in the mold of Julia, or must work and not stay home to raise children. Quite opposite, the Republicans tend to see an open playing field where women can choose however they wish to order their own lives.

JonPrichard on July 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Study: Boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be Republican

I–a male–have two brothers & one sister.

Two of us males are GOP, while one is to the Left of Obama.

So, we have a sister, & our family has a 2 to 1 ratio GOP to Dem men.

Anecdotal proof that the study is correct! LOL

itsnotaboutme on July 12, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Ah, so this is why leftists support the Chinese model which preferences the aborting of baby girls. Makes sense.

SBABG on July 12, 2013 at 2:26 PM

And yes I have a brother and a sister and we are all republicans.

meci on July 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Oh man, you just screwed up the whole thing….

GWB on July 12, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Waiting for the verdict. Then explosion city.

nobar on July 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

No explosion, because certain people don’t riot over court verdicts they don’t like and Zimmerman is sure to be convicted.

On-topic: This ‘study’ sounds like a bunch of bull. In one fell swoop, it smacks Republicans, Conservatives, and men in general as having automatic biases.

To wit:

This early exposure to gender stereotyping, the researchers argue, translates into more socially conservative views in later life.

I’m an only child; I wish I had a little sister for company when growing up. I think I’d have made her a Tomboy and spoiled her rotten.

Not only did I have to mow the lawn, take out the garbage, and other ‘boy things’, I also had the chore of drying the dishes after supper. I also had to often fold the laundry. I was also taught how to cook, and can still make a decent spaghetti sauce.

My dad finished the attic, so I had three rooms up there. Guess whose job it was to keep those rooms vacuumed and dusted? (hint: it wasn’t my mom or my dad).

I have to say this ‘study’ was great for an afternoon chuckle or two.

Liam on July 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Ah, 2:00 Friday, running out the clock until the weekend. We’re all a little giddy that we might be rid of tyrant Napolitano. Eighteen months from 2015 and “science” is giving up on hoverboards in favor of studies like these… Who needs important news?

Let’s halfway the comments too: I’ll rip on feminism. Somebody say something favorable about it. A couple more of us point out its destructive effects. A troll comes in and whacks on a strawman. We shred the troll. Troll ignores and continues on strawman. Trollcott. Somebody non-sequitur complains about Edward Snowden. RWM links a blog post. Somebody comes in and says something insightful that’s on topic but it’s the last post on the 1st page and nobody notices it.

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

You are the equal of any of the blog masters herein. Sadly, you are bit too tart for their tastes; therefore you are destined to spend your blog eternity to toiling in the comment threads, forever obscure to the outside world.

platypus on July 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Study: Boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be Republican

And girls with Brothers are more likely to be Republicans.

oh, I’m sorry, was that Sexist??

ToddPA on July 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

The study appears to be based on a fallacy. It assumes that all sisters are liberal.

I have brothers. I’m not a Prog…and neither are they.

I’m sure that this doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with it, but we are all pretty intelligent.

Resist We Much on July 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

So why are boys with sisters more inclined to identify with the GOP as young men?

Perhaps because they see firsthand that them girlz ain’t at all like boyz?

sharrukin on July 12, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I’m sure that this doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with it, but we are all pretty intelligent.

Resist We Much on July 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Now it works for me. :)

platypus on July 12, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Study: Boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be Republican

Probably explains all those Black and Hispanic republican males out there.

xblade on July 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM

You are the equal of any of the blog masters herein. Sadly, you are bit too tart for their tastes; therefore you are destined to spend your blog eternity to toiling in the comment threads, forever obscure to the outside world.

platypus on July 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

LOL, thanks! Alas, I know I stand no chance of being anything above a comment section peasant. It’s unfair. If only we could rise up and form a union! Then I would stand a chance! Once Erika Johnsen retires in 40 years, of course. And after all the people that arrived here before me get their nod by seniority. I showed up around 2011 or so. There isn’t anybody here from before then, right?

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I have an analogous and unscientific observation: girls with brothers grow up to be more well-adjusted women. When I dated girls I always found the ones with brothers were happier, easier-going, more confident and just better able to navigate the world.

I always seemed to find more trouble with girls who had only sisters or no siblings at all.

And I’ll bet this is true as well for boys with sisters.

rrpjr on July 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Boys with sisters are more likely to grow up to be Republican

This is true. I have two sisters and I vote Republican twice at every election.

timberline on July 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

I think it has more to do with Parents. I have no sisters, and 3 of 4 boys are conservative. The other one, well, he got into drugs and hippy sh*t, and well, he’s dead now.

My dad was on a LST at Gold Beach on D-Day (yes, a US Ship landing British Tanks) – and he was a Democrat then. Shortly after the war he realized Democrats were all liars that didn’t really care about prosperity for America. He even convinced his 2 brothers, who were both in big Unions, to vote Republican!

My dad also taught me to believe that little boys don’t grow up to be little girls.

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

And after all the people that arrived here before me get their nod by seniority. I showed up around 2011 or so. There isn’t anybody here from before then, right?

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

You’re farther behind than you realize. Seniority transferred from “Capn’s Quarters”, which I first hopped aboard, oh…2004? Maybe earlier.

Oh man…those were the days.

BobMbx on July 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Dang, I’m an hour late…everyone else is already at happy hour.

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Did they account for the fact conservatives are more likely to have sisters?

The smaller the family the more likely they are being raised by liberals.

So to throw out some example numbers, if the average conservative family has 3 kids, and the average liberal two, you would have more conservative families with boys with sisters, and as such boys would sisters would be more likely to be conservative because boys would sisters would be more likely to raised by conservatives.

18-1 on July 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Dang, I’m an hour late…everyone else is already at happy hour.

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

There is always room for one more.

Liam on July 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Somebody comes in and says something insightful that’s on topic but it’s the last post on the 1st page and nobody notices it.

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

where all my best comments are…premature ejokulation trying to be first on the second page

DanMan on July 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

18-1 on July 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

And kids with more than 2 sisters AND more than 2 brothers are Catholic/Mormon/Home Schooled…or on welfare.

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:08 PM

BobMbx on July 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I remember those days. I’ve been around a long time too, but sometimes, I really have to work ;-) Like now…shoot…have a good weekend.

Can’t wait to watch my Sharknado! recording tonight!

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:10 PM

There isn’t anybody here from before then, right?

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Not unless you count all of us who commented when Ed still had his own blog. And Michelle Malkins’ blog. ;)

GWB on July 12, 2013 at 3:10 PM

My dad also taught me to believe that little boys don’t grow up to be little girls.

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

I think its being in close contact with progesterone as the young man enters puberty and mixes with testosterone. Sorta “lights the fire”, causing a desire for competition, jealousy, a need to collect tools and an innate understanding of sports.

No progesterone early in life, no balls.

BobMbx on July 12, 2013 at 3:10 PM

… so if Zimmerman is convicted I’m supposed to loot the local Williams-Sonoma, is that it?

M240H on July 12, 2013 at 3:13 PM

… so if Zimmerman is convicted I’m supposed to loot the local Williams-Sonoma, is that it?

M240H on July 12, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Dat would be racis’, man.

Report yourself for re-education immediately.

Liam on July 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM

What percentage of boys grow up to be Democrat?

Zero. Because if you’re a Democrat, you’ve never really grown up.

Thank you, I’m here all night.

Shump on July 12, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Like I said in the headlines version of this story….

Either that, or a lifetime of exposure to people who feel more than they think gives us a built in aversion to liberalism.

CurtZHP on July 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM

CurtZHP on July 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

kirkill on July 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

You have my condolences for your loss. My first child is in the same condition, with the same result.

platypus on July 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Not unless you count all of us who commented when Ed still had his own blog. And Michelle Malkins’ blog. ;)

GWB on July 12, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I actually might stand a chance then. I’ve been registered over at MM’s blog under a different name for ages, not even sure when, at least since 2006.

where all my best comments are…premature ejokulation trying to be first on the second page

DanMan on July 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

We’ve all been there. Posted a good 500 word comment explaining anything and everything, but noticed 97 comments showing. Open the main page in another tab and refresh hoping you don’t get stuffed in the dreaded spot. Come on… 98. Refresh. 98… It’s worse than the money bubble at a poker tournament.

Of course, if you’re like me, you manage to wait it out and post first comment on the 2nd page, just to realize that you hit the blockquote tag when you wanted emphasis and the whole thing is a jumbled poorly formatted testament to stupidity for all to see.

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Of course, if you’re like me, you manage to wait it out and post first comment on the 2nd page, just to realize that you hit the blockquote tag when you wanted emphasis and the whole thing is a jumbled poorly formatted testament to stupidity for all to see.

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Not sure what you mean.

BobMbx on July 12, 2013 at 3:32 PM

No clue how I fit into this ridiculous study.
I have 1 older half-brother and 3 older half-sisters (my Dad’s first 4, all half Eskimo), and 1 each younger sister and brother.
I’m the only solid conservative in the bunch, although now that my younger sister has divorced her left-wing union husband and is dating a conservative guy – she’s finally turned Republican.

The others have ALL spent most of their lives on gubmint handouts, lots of drugs and drinking, with multiple baby-daddies breeding far more than they should – although a couple of them have “found Jesus” late in life – but they’re still left-wing residents of the gubmint plantation.

I’d love to see these brilliant scientists twist their statistics around my family…..

dentarthurdent on July 12, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I have two brothers, no sisters.

I am registered (R.), but I have no place for gender stereotypes.

The money they waste on these pointless studies…

bmmg39 on July 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

The money they waste on these pointless studies…

bmmg39 on July 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Liberals always have something to ‘prove’.

Liam on July 12, 2013 at 3:47 PM

How about we go for the most obvious explanation first: 1 time in 20 you, by random chance, get a result about the 95% confidence interval, even when there’s no reality behind your result.

IOW, these guys took a data set, hit it with a couple hundred questions, 1 / 20th of them came back with “statistically significant support”, and they picked one of those and wrote a paper on it.

It’s one of the, sadly, most common MOs in “Social Science”.

Greg Q on July 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Our family must have been the exception that proved the rule. Both boys and girls had the responsibility of doing the dishes, trading off who would wash and who would dry (pre-dishwasher days, obviously). It was a great bonding experience for us as we discussed our gripes and current thoughts, snapped towels at each other, and “raced” to see if the washing/rinsing ended concurrently with the drying/putting away of items. There was no prize for who “won.”

We were all familiar with fundamental household maintenance and repairs, some of us better than others at these skills.

Our mother was a traditional stay-at-home suburban housewife, and our dad was the breadwinner. We young-uns simply were expected to pitch in as part of a family.

All three of us ended up as conservatives, more than likely Republicans in voter registration.

My guess is that this “study” was undertaken in order to confirm the researcher’s bias.

onlineanalyst on July 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

OK. Which democrat was it who wanted to be more like China?

WryTrvllr on July 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Gingotts on July 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Pretty good. Especially the part about ” we shred the trolls”.

Cleombrotus on July 12, 2013 at 4:25 PM

At the extreme, they found that young men who grew up with sisters but no brothers in their household are 8.3 percentage points more likely to identify with the Republican Party than boys who grow up with only brothers.

So what happens to a boy who has both brothers and sisters? Does the brother steer him left more than the sister steers him right?

What about an only son, who has neither a brother nor a sister?

Interestingly enough, the boys with sisters are more likely to become Republicans (8.3%) than believe that a woman’s place is in the home (3.8%).

Maybe some guys with working sisters thought that Republicans were more likely to get their sister a job than the Democrats.

Steve Z on July 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Considering most women are liberals, I think the effect has more to do with trying to oppose the sisters on every front than anything else.

ButterflyDragon on July 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

My only sibiling-Happy 35th Birthday S.-is a gun-loving NADERITE!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 12, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Boys who grew up surrounded by smug, controlling, egotistical, self-aggrandizing, know it all control freaks know it when they see it. Strangely some of them like it.
My sister on the other hand was kind, generous, and helpful. Being 11 years older than me with three brothers in between did not hurt either.

Slowburn on July 13, 2013 at 5:57 AM

This whole thing needs work! These clowns are trying to explain political identification based on what has been a disappearing social dynamic.

Ask yourself this . . . what are you “more likely to be politically if you grew up in a home with a dishwasher? Why didn’t they ask that? I would submit that it was because it represents the fundamental flaw in their entire argument.

I’m quite certain that over the past 60 years, the number of American households having electric dishwashers has rather steadily (perhaps at times exponentially) increased to the point where “helping wash the dishes” has become a largely irrelevant factor in family dynamics — an anachronism.

Using the Pew logic, I suppose I could easily claim that the presence of home dishwashers may even be the single most significant factor accounting for the breakdown of the American family structure itself! After all, the increase in the number of home dishwashers has indisputably correlated with the increasing divorce rate over the same period of time, no?

The folks at Pew are quibbling over an impermissibly isolated 8.3% correlation, whilst blithely ignoring huge and significantly related social changes.

Perhaps they should be asking questions like the following:

Has the increased presence of home dishwashers “made” people more likely to become libertarians, on the theory that the “benefit” has automatically translated in to more leisure time to smoke pot, or to engage and experiment in “other” activities?

Or, perhaps they could also say with some confidence that if your home had a dishwasher, you were more likely to grow up to be a progressive Democrat, on the theory that feeling you have been personally blessed and entitled as a result of no longer having to get your “hands dirty” (pun intended), has thereupon lead you to embracing a pattern of assuaging the resultant feelings of guilt by tirelessly looking for ways to give compensatory benefits to other “less fortunate” souls (using other peoples’ money, of course.)

Finally . . . it seems to me that other commenters here have correctly identified many, many factors (other than the “sexual” division of household chores) that would likely influence why someone would gravitate toward a certain political identification as an adult. For example . . .

. . .
Maybe some guys with working sisters thought that Republicans were more likely to get their sister a job than the Democrats.

Steve Z on July 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Hard to argue with that!

Trochilus on July 13, 2013 at 1:05 PM