Monday, May 25, 2009

Does having daughters really make fathers more left wing?

That's what a study in the Daily Mail says (via HotAir):

In an unpublished article to be submitted to an economics journal, the researchers wrote: ‘This paper provides evidence that daughters make people more Left-wing, while having sons, by contrast, makes them more Right-wing.’

Professor Oswald said: ‘As men acquire female children, those men gradually shift their political stance and become more sympathetic to the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public good.


Some of the commenters to this article aren't buying it:

What total drivel!

I have two daughters and never could they persuade me to follow the left wing trash of the Labour party.

But then; I'm just to the right of Genghis Khan.

What a load of rubbish!
Who comes up with this nonsense?
Oh yes it's Labour's think tank!
No wonder the country is in la la land.

My mother raised me "left wing", and I came to my senses and abandoned it when I became a wife and mother with a mortgage. And I don't get my political views from nitwits like "brangelina".


Good for them.

41 Comments:

Blogger Brother J said...

I'm not buying it either. I have two daughters, now 17 and 15, and whatever sympathies I may have harbored for liberal postitions in my younger days are long gone. The quote is usually attributed to Churchill but I think it applies; "A young man who is not a socialist has no heart. An old man who is still a socialist has no brain.'

2:30 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

When my first daughter was born, I realized that if anyone harmed her, I would kill them without trial. So much for liberalism.

I hasten to point out that those of us with daughters don't talk about the sexual revolution applying to them, but rather that we prefer it didn't. Not because we have an attachment to sexual purity, but because we know too many creepy guys.

This is nothing more than a bogus study that decides what it wants to "prove" and then sets out to do so.

I suspect that having children regardless of sex makes you more conservative (not conservative; but more conservative.) You quickly realize that all the liberal theories about raising children are nonsense, largely conceived by people with no children or who have selective amnesia about their grown children. (Or by parents who don't actually parent, but pawn that duty off onto someone else.)

2:57 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger ChrisA said...

Not at my house, although the rest of Boulder would probably agree.

3:17 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger campy said...

I have two daughters, and I haven't voted for a democrat in 20 years.

3:41 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

One wonders how "being sympathetic to your daughters" requires that one become left wing.

3:41 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

"In an unpublished article to be submitted to an economics journal..."

Uh huh.

"They found that among parents of with between two to four children who voted for Labour or the Lib Dems, the average number of daughters was higher than average number of sons."

While interesting, this does not indicate that anyone changed his or her political views. Pres. Obama has two daughters. GWB, 2 daughters. Clinton, 1 daughter. The elder Bush and Reagan had a mix of daughters and sons, but LBJ had daughters, as did Nixon. Carter had one daughter. Shall we draw some conclusions here about people with sons not becoming president? Or is this just a meaningless statistical anomaly?

Correlation is not causation. But it's the Daily Mail after all.

3:47 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Novaseeker said...

I haven't found this, precisely, but I *have* found that parents of daughters tend to be far less interested in hearing about the problems boys and young men face currently. I'm not sure it makes them left wing, but it does make them less sympathetic to male issues.

4:18 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Novaseeker,

And vice versa, it seems that women who have sons tend to be slightly more sympathetic to male issues. Mothers of sons often get upset that schools are often prejudiced against boys or give them a harder time than the girls, however, in my opinion, mothers are more reluctant to step in and help boys as they might a daughter who was being mistreated at school etc.

4:56 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

I heard about this article a couple says ago, but have not yet read it (a cardinal sin on this blog). No lefty here. My middle child, a daughter (2 daughters, 1 son), has been in college 7 years now. She has spent the last three in college on the left coast. We have become miles apart politically, and are careful with each other when speaking and spending time together.

My oldest daughter and my son (youngest) are as far to the right as I am.

4:56 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

My father is very Republican, although I am not sure I'd call that conservative. Both of our great joys in life is to sit at the dinner table and have a raucous discussion about politics. We've been doing it since I was a kid, wouldn't stop if my life depended on it.

5:45 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I wonder if this is just another retelling of the men bad, women good meme. There are these bad fathers who are bad because they are male and they have a daughter and the daughters get them in touch with their feminine side and now they are good which means liberals or socialists.

Sounds like it.

Trey

6:10 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger David said...

Media stories citing scholarly research should really provide a link to the actual text of the study.

Researchers who are uncomfortable with this probably should't put out press releases, or allow their universities to do so.

6:26 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Many on here need to know that we are talkiing statistics here, so your "it doesn't apply to me." isn't relevant. I hear the researcher saying that girls cause x or boys cause y, but I would like to see the study design. It is possible the writer of the article is misinterpreting the relationship. It could merely be correlation.

6:36 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

With two sons and two daughters, I trend more right/libertarian than ever. My parents are quite liberal as are most of the other members of my family.

I'm a little like Joe with my daughters. Touch at your own risk. But, I feel pretty much the same about my sons although they're both big enough to take care of themselves.

6:36 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Here is an interesting article:

Lost Men On Campus.

One of the commenters seems to make the point Helen did about mothers of sons:

"It's there on campus, right in front of anybody who wishes to see it. I just spent a year visiting campuses with my son, a high school senior. Campuses that require freshmen to live in dorms offer all-female dorms but not all-male dorms. When I asked why, I was told "Guys don't want all-guy dorms." I wonder who is basing these assumptions on what studies? Some men want quiet places to study and retreat to, just as women do, but do the universities care about that? Campuses have Women's Centers, but no Men's Centers. One female student tour guide told us her campus's Women's Center offered free massages to women students during finals weeks--'Sorry, guys,' she joked to us. As the mother of a son I did not find that amusing, or even respectful. If campuses are this blatent and careless in their anti-male discrimination even to the students they attempt to recruit, what are they like when they have these men enrolled and in their clutches?"

7:30 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger MikeT said...

"A young man who is not a socialist has no heart. An old man who is still a socialist has no brain.'
I always thought that that was a stupid quote. Any young person who reads about the USSR, PRC, etc. and doesn't quickly start becoming anti-socialist is a moron.

11:07 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger David said...

"A young man who is not a socialist has no heart. An old man who is still a socialist has no brain"...might have been partly true when first said (which I believe was by Clemenceau prior to WWI), but many of our present-day "progressives" appear lacking in the heart department at least as much as in the brain department.

11:45 PM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger Evan said...

I'm in the anecdotal evidence against department. I have 3 daughters. If anything I've become more right wing since they were born. Any boy they date will know full well that I carry a gun and that the sexual revolution stopped the minute my girls were born. He will be a gentleman and will pay for dinner. Etc. etc.

12:10 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Val McMurdie said...

There has always been something strange about the economists I've meet... it must have something to do with the "rational man" causing markets to be rational....

When my first daughter was born I was a Libertarian; when my second daughter was born I was a Libertarian, and when my third daughter was born, I was a Libertarian. Now my daughters are 30, 32, & 34, but now I am a cigar smoking Libertarian. There must be a causal relationship in there somewhere.

12:29 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger MiaZagora said...

Nonsense. If fathers want to protect their daughters and give them a safer environment to grow up in, they will vote conservative. Silly left-wing feminists eat their own kind (Sarah Palin for example) and side with just about any man, no matter how much of a womanizer he is, and no matter how shallow or of bad character he is, rather than siding with a successful woman who is not only successful, but has a beautiful family, is perfectly happy with her husband, and didn't make the right choice when it came to having her disabled child. Of course they gush over the Obamas, but the Obamas hold the same anti-woman views that they do.

1:00 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

I like the way you think, Evan. I have been straight in the face of one of my oldest daughter's boyfriends. I don't know how or where he got his ideas about treating my daughter, but when we were done, he couldn't drive away fast enough. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I'm my daughters' dad.

I also had a long talk with her after that. She has a son now, and the young man she decided on, and he on her, are doing well. I actually like him a lot. And let me tell you about my grandson!

5:00 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Joe says:

“When my first daughter was born, I realized that if anyone harmed her, I would kill them without trial.”

Dadvocate says:

“I'm a little like Joe with my daughters. Touch at your own risk. But, I feel pretty much the same about my sons although they're both big enough to take care of themselves. “

Evan says:

“Any boy they date will know full well that I carry a gun and that the sexual revolution stopped the minute my girls were born. He will be a gentleman and will pay for dinner. Etc. etc. “

Br549 says:

“Right, wrong, or indifferent, I'm my daughters' dad. “

And then everyone wonders why some grown women have such a huge sense of entitlement....

6:19 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Bill Dalasio said...

Well, I think we can say one thing with certainty. The study in question is tainted by the preponderance of imbeciles so idiotic as to allow their children to dictate their views.

7:40 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Dogwood said...

And then everyone wonders why some grown women have such a huge sense of entitlement...Don't confuse being protective of our daughters with coddling or spoiling them.

Quite frankly, anyone who beats or rapes my daughters will die if I get to them before the police do. It really is that simple.

Dates will treat them with respect, just as my daughters are taught to treat others with the same respect.

However, I don't spoil my children. They are well behaved, respectful, smart, and all around good kids. Of course, they are not teenagers yet, but still, we're hoping their positive behaviors carryover into that era of their lives!

8:59 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Ern said...

the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public goodWell, the word "female" is in quotes, so I won't argue whether women desire the public good more than men (in my experience, it's quite the opposite). However, I certainly don't think that left-wingers desire the public good more than right-wingers, and to imply that without stating it explicitly is, to be charitable, sleazy.

10:36 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Cham --

There's nothing that those men said that would instill entitlement in their daughters. I feel the same toward mine and she leans right, makes her own way in life, has a career she crafted on her own and runs her own family successfully. Protection from predators != spoiling.

I also taught her "a beautiful bitch is still a bitch", "be able and willing to support your own ass" and "you'd best treat your man well".

Also, because of the environment she grew up in, although petite, she's rougher than hell and I've watched her pin and cuff a grown man.

Expressing their devotion to their daughters is only one aspect of their parenting and mine.

11:16 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

Cham,

My comment was simply to observe that holding a newborn in your arms makes you realize things about yourself. I am not a violent man, but realizing that I would commit great violence to protect my child (and later, children) was an eye opening experience.

So has been holding a very sick child or sitting next to them in the hospital wishing you could trade places with them to spare their pain.

When my oldest daughter had her daughter several months ago, she told me that she finally understood what I was talking about (and not just knowing you would do what you had to for your child, but what it's really like to have one of those little creatures consuming your time 24x7.)

11:59 AM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

I won't argue whether women desire the public good more than men (in my experience, it's quite the opposite).Opposite? Voting patterns suggest otherwise, as does actual benefits payouts.

12:04 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Randian, do you think liberals have better ideas than conservatives when it comes to what's good for the public?

I agree with Ern. When I vote for the conservative candidate, I consider that to be for the public good. To say that public good = liberal politics is facile, to say the least.

12:10 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Cham - I'm protective of my kids but I don't tell them they're entitlted to anything. You earn what you get whether it's respect or material goods. You treat others respectfully unless they give you good reason to do otherwise.

I have gotten on my daughters for picking on boys. And, I don't let them play the "I'm a poor little girl and big brother or someone else picked on me game."

12:20 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

Randian, do you think liberals have better ideas than conservatives when it comes to what's good for the public?No.

12:22 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Bolie Williams IV said...

Professor Oswald said: ‘As men acquire female children, those men gradually shift their political stance and become more sympathetic to the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public good.As I often have to tell my Liberal/Democrat friends, my political position and views are based on what I believe will result in the greatest public good. Just like they do, I wish for everyone to be prosperous, healthy, and free. The differences is in what we believe will achieve this goal.

The only way I will become "Liberal" is if someone convinces me that the Liberal agenda will result in greater prosperity, health, and freedom for the greatest number of people.

12:50 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Heh....

As men acquire female children, those men gradually shift their political stance and become more sympathetic to the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public good. -- 'Professor' Oswald

....this character is on crack, or seriously indebted to some feminazi.

All of my children are of the female persuasion.

And look at ME!

• Airborne
• Ranger
• Infantry
• Born Again
• Evangelical
• Christian
• Republican

This character is a true 'jackass'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Is there ANY way to get his 'professor' status revoked?

3:34 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger iconoclast said...

he talks about "the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public good." I don't think females care any more about the public good than males do, unless "public" means "me and my family and close friends."

Women have been just as eager as men to enjoy wealth from the work of impoverished slaves, or exploitation of miners, or empires invading other countries.

Women probably do usually have better emotional skills than men, but this doesn't mean that they always use them for good.

3:34 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: iconoclast, et al.
RE: Now THERE'S....

I don't think females care any more about the public good than males do, unless "public" means "me and my family and close friends." -- iconoclast

....and interesting idea for some aspiring doctorate.

Does gender play a part in altruism?I would suspect that it does.

After all, looking at it from my perspective and experience....

....you don't see many women given the Medal of Honor for jumping on a hand-grenade to save the lives of their comrades-in-arms.

The measure proposed is how far are women willing to go to save the life of a 'friend'? Let alone a 'total stranger'?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Great love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend. -- some Wag, around 2000 years ago]

3:40 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

he talks about "the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public good."No, he talks about the "female" desire for a larger amount from the public good. In other words, women are more likely than men to want to leech off the taxpayer.

5:28 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Sandeep said...

Professor Oswald said: ‘As men acquire female children, those men gradually shift their political stance and become more sympathetic to the “female” desire for a larger amount for the public good. I have heard another explanation for this somewhere - as people have daughters, they become more interventionist and hence liberal :-)

12:26 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Cham, you've never been married, never had any kids, and from what I saw on your web site home page, run around in a life like bear suit.

I'm confused.

By the way, I'd have protected my son the same as my daughters. Now however, he's bigger and stronger than me.

3:41 PM, May 27, 2009  
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4:28 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

What is there to be confused about? The bear suit is warm and soft.

5:36 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Trust said...

I find a lot of studies to be rubbish since there are underlying factors that are usually not considered.

Example: I once read an article by a man citing a study that, after a divorce, children do better when their father's get custody than their mothers. I believe the results of the study are accurate, but the premise is flawed. It is not because fathers make better parents than mothers, it is because the courts are so sexist against men that the father must be really exemplary (coupled with a hideous mother) in order for the father to get custody. It's not that father's are better, it is that we are pickier about fathers. Of course, if only the top 5% of dad's get custody, but any mom can, the results will be lopsided.

Example 2: We often here women quote stats about marriage, and how married men live longer. The flaw is it looks at men who die today (men who married 50-60 years ago) and applies it to men who marry today. 50-60 years ago, women wouldn't marry a dead beat. So they quality that got them married is the quality that makes them live longer. They dont' live longer because of the marriage, the live longer because they had their act together to begin with.

Fact is, I believe parents of daughters seem more liberal because they are less likely to care about favoritism of women or sexism against men. I doubt many parents of daughters would protest "Women in Business" at universities they way "Men in Business" would be opposed. Throw a son into the mix--the one man a woman may truly love and want the best for--and there will be more concern for cheating the boys. So it is not the daughters that move the family left, it is the lack of sons that keeps them from moving right. Not to mention, it is natural to be more protective of daughters than sons.

I'll have to be careful. I have identical twin daughters due in July, and they will be my only children, so I'll need to make sure I think clearly about gender issues.

3:22 PM, May 31, 2009  

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