If Your Son Has A Sister, He’s More Likely To Be A Republican Who Expects To Be Cooked For

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shutterstock_142770229__1372514511_142.196.156.251According to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Politics, boys raised in a home with sisters are more likely to have traditional expectations of gender roles and have socially conservative views. Initially, this struck me as odd. Then I started thinking about the way my own household runs. Now I am not so surprised.

If I think about the division of labor in our house, I do most of the tasks that are traditionally labeled as “woman’s work.” I do most of the cooking, maintain the cleanliness of the house and do the grocery shopping. My husband mows the lawn, takes out the garbage and fixes things that are broken. It’s not like we ever sat down and discussed our expectations of the division of labor or made a chore list or anything. We just naturally fell into these tasks. He doesn’t ask me to cook and I don’t ask him to mow the lawn. It just happens.

From Pew Research Center:

Young men who were raised with sisters also are more likely to express socially conservative views on attitudes about gender roles, claim authors Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra.

“Having sisters makes males more politically conservative in terms of their gender role attitudes and their partisanship,” they wrote. “Particularly for gender role attitudes, we find that these political socialization effects persist until respondents are well into adulthood.”

Researchers found that sisters are more likely to help do dishes, clean the house and do other “traditionally gender-stereotyped tasks around the house.” This early exposure to gender stereotyping somehow translates to more socially conservative views for boys. The more sisters present in the house, the greater the inclination to be socially conservative. Oddly enough, these same factors had no bearing on the girls in the house. Whether or not they were raised with sisters had no significant effect on future political or gender attitudes.

As much as I don’t want to believe I am raising a little Republican who is going to expect to have his dinner cooked for him, I guess I have to admit that this research makes a little sense. I am modeling traditional gender roles to my children – without even realizing it. I guess it’s time to start mowing the lawn and ask my husband to cook a little more.

I always thought as long as couples were doing their fair share around the house, it really didn’t matter who did what. But I certainly don’t want to program my son to expect to be cleaned up after and cooked for. I guess I should start putting more thought into this.

(photo: Vitalinka/ Shutterstock)