In a weird twist that maybe only further study and/or a Family Ties reboot can answer, the Global Post reports that according to a study in the new Journal of Politics, boys with only female siblings are 9.3% more likely to grow up and become Republicans. They're also less likely to help with chores, and become accustomed to a traditional, Rockwellian view of gender roles. Why?
Researchers have found that sisters are more likely than their brothers to help wash the dishes, sweep the floor and do other traditionally gender-stereotyped tasks around the house. For example, in the data they examined, about 60% of boys but 82% of girls 10 and older with younger siblings told interviewers they were expected to help with the dishes.
So it's the parents' fault, basically. As usual. They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
The study began with a group of 3,000 10-year-olds or over in 1987 who were re-surveyed in 2008, in their 20s and 30s. Write the study authors: "Having sisters makes males more politically conservative in terms of their gender role attitudes and their partisanship." And the more sisters a boy has, the more likely it is he'll become a conservative adult. (Perhaps it goes without saying, but "the sister effect" doesn't occur on women with sisters.) Can the next study be "What percentage of adult sisters want to smack their Rick Perry-quoting brothers upside the head?"
The good news is, early waves of the research found that the reactionary attitude calms down when their now-adult brothers are in their mid-40s. I wonder if a smaller study of a boy with an older and feminist sister would show the same results.
'Why boys with sisters are more likely to be Republicans' [Pew Research Center]