Does The Gender Of Our Siblings Affect How We Feel About Ourselves?

Does The Gender Of Our Siblings Affect How We Feel About Ourselves?

Since our siblings are so important to our childhoods, it makes sense that they have a long-term impact on our personalities. Researchers have long been interested in how having a sister as a child as opposed to a brother may affect who we end up being as adults.

What kind of interactions do kids have with their siblings? How do parents interact differently with children of different genders, and what effects does it have on the kids?

Previous theories have predicted completely diverse things, such as that sibling of the opposite gender may realistically produce either gender-stereotypical personalities (a girl may adopt a more feminine role to set herself apart from her brother) or less gender-stereotypical personalities (a girl may take on more masculine traits because she imitates her brother).

In reality, psychological studies have been investigating these variations for more than 50 years. Siblings of the opposite sex appeared to be more gender-conforming in certain research. Later, males with sisters grow more “typically masculine,” whereas girls with brothers become more “typically female.”

However, other research reveals the exact opposite. Siblings of the opposite gender grew up in regular gender-conforming manners. We sought to test the impact of sibling gender on personality in a thorough and rigorous manner in order to resolve these discrepancies.

Big data usage: The interactions between youngsters and their next older or younger sibling were the main focus of our most recent study. By merging 12 sizable representative polls from four continents and nine countries, we created an original data collection (US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Mexico, China, and Indonesia).

Above 85,000 persons were included in the data set as a result, which is a huge increase over the sample sizes utilized in earlier studies.

Additionally, we looked into a lot more personality traits than in earlier studies. This covered the characteristics that have been the subject of the most in-depth study in prior studies and have been proven to be significant predictors of people’s decisions and choices.

The “big five” of these characteristics are neuroticism, agreeableness, extroversion, conscientiousness, and openness to new experiences. The following characteristics were also looked at: locus of control, trust, and risk tolerance (the degree to which people believe they have control over their lives).

We have developed an assessment that quantifies how much a person resembles a typical female personality. This gave us the opportunity to thoroughly investigate whether having a sibling of the opposite gender influences one’s personality in a more or less gender-stereotypical way.

Gender and life experience of siblings: This study uses a huge data set in a novel way and follows a consistent methodology to find any gender-related causal effects on personality traits.

We leverage an intriguing natural fact—that once parents decide to have another kid, the gender is largely random—to estimate credible causal effects. Therefore, some people are “randomly assigned” a younger sister or sibling in this “natural experiment.”

By contrasting the average personalities of those who grew up with a sister as their next youngest sibling with those who grew up with a brother as their next youngest sibling, this enables us to estimate the causal effect of sibling gender on personality.

Sisters and brothers: Our findings imply that the gender of siblings has little bearing on personality. Persons who have a next younger sister typically exhibit the same personality qualities as people who have a next younger brother for all nine personality traits and the summary index, according to our research.

Additionally, there are no personality differences between those who have an older brother or sister as a sibling. These results are estimated quite precisely because we have data on more than 85,000 individuals.

The findings support the debunking of the theory that throughout time, siblings do not influence each other’s development of “feminine” or “masculine” personality traits.

The findings do not, however, imply that sibling gender has no influence over time. Similar analytical approaches used in other studies have demonstrated that women with siblings make less money in the US and Denmark. In addition, women with younger sisters marry sooner whereas those with older sisters marry later, according to a study of Asian populations.

So, interesting sibling dynamics that are related to gender appear to exist; nevertheless, personality is likely not one of the explanations for those effects.