Mothers and Politics

Family, Featured, History & Politics

Having sons rather than daughters, can change a mother’s politics and vice versa, say British researchers. Recent study (via NY Times) showed that having boys makes moms more right-wing, while having daughters makes dads more left-wing over time. The same can be said about having daughters rather than sons, or vice versa, can change a father’s politics.

The theory goes something like this: “Having daughters made men “gradually shift their political stance and become more sympathetic to the ‘female’ desire for a… larger amount for the public good. They become more left-wing. Similarly, a mother with sons becomes sympathetic to the ‘male’ case for lower taxes and a smaller supply of public goods.”

That is the conclusion of British researchers Andrew Oswald, of the University of Warwick and Cornell University, and Nattavudh Pawdthavee, of the University of York. They analyzed data from the British Household Panel Survey — a study of British families who have been interviewed once a year since 1991 — and found that fathers with three sons and no daughters were far more likely to vote for conservative candidates than were fathers of three daughters and no sons.

In the United States, research has shown similar results. In 2004 and 2008, economist Ebonya Washington studied the floor voting records of US congressmen and found that those with daughters voted more liberally on issues relating to reproductive rights, flexible work policies, and government support for education.

Read: “Mothers and Children: Feminist Analyses and Personal Narratives” by Susan E. Chase & Mary F. Rogers.

One question this research doesn’t answer: What happens if you have kids of both genders? Do your political beliefs somehow balance out?

Do you think that your kid’s gender shapes your political beliefs? Do you have boys? Have you become more conservative over the years than you use to be?

One Comment on "Mothers and Politics"

  1. kclehman Oct 24, 2010 · 10:14 pm

    This is interesting. I wonder what the stats say for parents with an equal amount of children in both sexes.

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