Do Daughters Equal Divorce?

If you follow 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.

Though the study is seven years old, the conversation has gained traction with a recent posting on that was picked up by The New York Times.

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’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?

Please comment and let us know! Chime in on Facebook, Twitter, the DadsDivorce forums or leave a comment below.

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4 comments on “Do Daughters Equal Divorce?

    Love My Daughter…
    My wife and I could not have kids. Being in my early 40s, I resigned myself I would not have kids. We eventually adopted a little girl. I love my daughter immensely. My wife and I have grown estranged, and now in pre-divorce period. My wife’s true character has come out. She is already limiting my time with my daughter before we’ve even met with mediator. She is gold digging every dime out of me though she stands to take 3/4 of my inheritance from a grandparent through joint accounts, and take half of 401K. In our e-mails, my tone is along the lines of ‘we need to be friends and work together so our daugher will have a happy successful life.’ Her tone is how she is going to clean me out in court if I don’t do what she wants. We need major reform in divorce laws, custody, child support and the entire 9 yards. I’d almost say, we need laws in this country to force divorcing couples into counseling and have a counselor validate a reason to divorce is there ( abuse, drug abuse, etc. ) and not someone who just is tired of a spouse and sees a walking future ATM machine. Love my daughter though. Will hang in there until I’m broke and destitute. I just hope when I get to that point, she’ll be old enough to remember me and perhaps someday forgive me if I fall down and can no longer support her. And I believe in karma and what goes around comes around.

    I was a 33 year old man, never thought i would have ANY children when i was told i was going to be a father. through the course of a difficult pregnancy i got worried about what kind of daddy i would be. when my little girl was born 2 1/2 months premie and the doctor placed her in my hands she had my heart totally, it was almost a month before we brought her home still with a feeding tube. now 5 1/2 years later she’s is still my little princess but the ‘queen’ has tried to destroy my relationship with her over the years, and we have seperated. CPS has my lil girl in foster care and i am trying like mad to get custody. i am almost out of money but i still have hope. i just want my daughter to be safe, and happy. thanks Shawn

    I didn’t want to be a parent in the first place, but after the birth of my daughter, I knew I had ZERO desire for more children. After my wife guilted me into another child with tears, I agreed to have another baby. The second child was a boy. Now, looking back, if the first baby had been the boy, I might have wanted another child. The boy is so much easier to deal with.

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