Sunday, May 24, 2009

Beware, daughters turn you liberal!

I've long thought that every guy who treats women like crap deserves to have a baby girl, so that he can watch her grow up and deal with such men and see what kind of an ass he really was. A little poetic justice, so to speak.

Turns out there's another great thing about men having and raising daughters: It tends to make them more liberal and more sympathetic to issues such as family planning.

From this story:
In remarkable research, the sociologist Rebecca Warner and the economist Ebonya Washington have shown that the gender of a person's children seems to influence the attitudes and actions of the parent.

Warner (1991) and Warner and Steel (1999) study American and Canadian mothers and fathers. The authors' key finding is that support for policies designed to address gender equity is greater among parents with daughters. This result emerges particularly strongly for fathers. Because parents invest a significant amount of themselves in their children, the authors argue, the anticipated and actual struggles that offspring face, and the public policies that tackle those, matter to those parents. . . The authors demonstrate that people who parent only daughters are more likely to hold feminist views (for example, to favor affirmative action).

By collecting data on the voting records of US congressmen, Washington (2004) is able to go beyond this. She provides persuasive evidence that congressmen with female children tend to vote liberally on reproductive rights issues such as teen access to contraceptives. In a revision, Washington (2008) argues for a wider result, namely, that the congressmen vote more liberally on a range of issues such as working families flexibility and tax-free education.

The study also found that people who have sons tend to become more conservative. I wonder why that is, exactly.

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