AirTalk for July 2, 2013

Why are young men who grew up with sisters more likely to be Republican?

Bothers with sisters

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A study found that men who grew up with sisters were more likely to become Republicans.

A new paper shows that out of thousands of men surveyed, those who grew up with sisters are more likely to be Republican. Men with sisters are also less likely to help with household chores. Is there a connection? The research will be published in the Journal of Politics. Neil Malhotra of Stanford University and Andrew Healy of Loyola Marymount University combed through data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Children, and Young Adults.

They used sophisticated statistical analysis designed to identify causal relationships. Men with sisters have more traditional views of gender roles, they found, likely because parents tend to treat boys and girls in roles of husband and wife. The researchers argue that the males' early views of gender stereotypes leads to more socially conservative views in later life.

If you grew up with siblings of the opposite sex, does your experience mirror or contradict these findings? How does the "sister-factor" compare to the political influence of parents' views?

Guest:

Neil Malhotra, Assoc. Professor of Political Science, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; Author of forthcoming paper in the Journal of Politics


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