Par­ents buy more for child of their own sex

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

IT’S al­ways as­sumed that moth­ers are more likely to spoil their sons than their daugh­ters. But it seems the no­tion of be­ing a mommy’s boy or a daddy’s girl is wide off the mark.

A study has shown women are more likely to buy presents for their daugh­ters, while men tend to favour their sons. And when asked who they would give money to in their will, fa­thers gave more cash to the boys, while moth­ers were more gen­er­ous to the girls.

Re­search sug­gests par­ents will be more benev­o­lent to chil­dren of their own sex be­cause they iden­tify more with them. In the US study, more than 90% said they treated their chil­dren equally. But re­searchers found most moth­ers and fa­thers un­con­sciously favoured the same sex es­pe­cially when spend­ing money.

In an ex­per­i­ment, adults with a son and a daugh­ter were asked to buy a sur­prise gift for ei­ther. Moth­ers were more likely to choose some­thing for their daugh­ter, while fa­thers in­dulged a son.

An as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of mar­ket­ing at the State Univer­sity of New York, Lam­bri­anos Nik­i­foridis, said: “Although the idea that par­ents might play favourites is not new – we’ve all heard adages such as “like fa­ther, like son” or “daddy’s girl” – most par­ents strongly deny favour­ing one child over the other.”

How­ever, he added: “Even though par­ents say they do not have a favourite, they also ad­mit they do not ac­tively track in­vest­ment in each child, which leaves room for bias.” In one test, par­tic­i­pants with a child of each gen­der were asked which young­ster they would give a gift of £20 (R400) to.

Most moth­ers favoured their girls, while fa­thers chose their sons. The same re­sults were pro­duced when the ex­per­i­ment was re­peated in In­dia to see if the phe­nom­e­non held true in other cul­tures. In another ex­per­i­ment, par­ents were given a raf­fle ticket and told they could use it to win a girl’s back­pack, or a boy’s ver­sion. Moth­ers chose the girl’s prize 75% of the time, and fa­thers picked the boy’s one 87%.

Ac­cord­ing to study co-au­thor Dr Kristina Du­rante, of Rut­gers Busi­ness School in New Jer­sey: “The bias to­ward in­vest­ing in same-gen­dered chil­dren oc­curs be­cause women iden­tify more with and see them­selves in their daugh­ters. The same goes for men and sons.’’ – Daily Mail

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