If you follow DadsDivorce.com on Twitter or Facebook, you probably noticed a post from last week that mentioned a study showing parents of girls are 5% more likely to get a divorce than parents of boys. And we want to hear what YOU think!
The common interpretation of the 2003 study was boys are assets and daughters are a liability to a marriage.
Prevailing thoughts were that sons improved the quality of the marriage or were more likely to worsen the pain of divorce (perhaps because of the father-son connection and how a divorce usually means the father losing parenting time.)
But PsychologyToday.com’s Anita E. Kelly offered a different theory to the “boys keep marriages together” opinion: “wives with daughters are less likely to stay with their husbands because they know that with a girl, they’ll never be lonely or without help. Thus, they may be … less willing to stay married because they don’t need their husbands as much.”
Kelly backs up her theory with research that shows females offer more and better social support than do men and an enormous human motivation is avoiding being lonely. Besides, Kelly asks, since the vast majority of divorces are initiated by the wives, shouldn’t we be asking “Why are mothers of daughters divorcing more than mothers of sons?”
The findings from the study are worth some thought:
- The parents of three girls (Mrs. Brady) are close to 10 percent more likely to divorce than the parents of three boys (Mr. Brady).
- Divorced women with daughters are substantially less likely to remarry than divorced women with sons.
- Unmarried couples that are expecting a child are more likely to get married if the child is a boy.
As Steven Landsburg’s 2003 Slate magazine article put it, “If you want to stay married, three of the most ominous words you’ll ever hear are ‘It’s a girl.’”
So what do YOU think? Any validity to the theories out there? What have your experiences been like raising a son compared to a daughter?