1. Boys who grow up with sisters tend to grow up to be Republicans. Attention parents! A study by researchers from Loyola Marymount University and Stanford Business School finds that boys who grow up with sisters are more likely to turn out Republican. Reports Jane Dough:
Researchers found that boys with only a sister were 15 percent more likely to identify as a Republican in high school and they were 13.5 percent more conservative in their views of women’s roles than boys who only had brothers.
You might think that having sisters would turn boys into supporters of women's rights. But that's not so. The reason is that families with female children tend to reinforce traditional gender roles. According to Jane Dough:
The researchers speculate that boys take cues about a woman’s role in the home from an early age and that girls tend to be assigned more traditional chores when they have a brother. Watching their sisters do this housework “teaches” boys that washing dishes and similar labor is women’s work. Boys with only brothers don’t tend to suffer from these biases because their chore assignments are distributed more equally.
So what happens when these boys with sisters get married? The study finds that they "grow up to be men who don’t help much around the house. " In fact, they are "17 percent more likely to say their spouses were responsible for the housework, as compared to men who had only brothers."
So, parents, if you don't want your sons to end up as a Neantherthal, buy them an apron and tell them to whip up some dinner. And tell your daughters to wash the car and mow the lawn!
2. Brides are fewer and older. I thought it was just a New York thing, but according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University fewer women are getting married and, when they do so, they're older.
According to “Marriage: More than a Century of Change,” the U.S. marriage rate is 31.1, the lowest it’s been in over a century. That equals roughly 31 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women. Compare that to 1920, when the marriage rate was a staggering 92.3.
What's more, the average age for a woman's first marriage in the U.S. is at an all-time high: almost 27-years old. (In New York, at least in my circle of friends, it's more like 35 to 45.)
3. Give it a masculine gloss. Girls, does the man in your life like to borrow your beauty products (such as your favorite honeysuckle shampoo or your expensive La Mer face cream)? Is he always shopping for a male version of Spanx to wear under his jeans? And is he following you to your yoga class?
He might secretly prefer those "female" products and activities, but he probably feels a bit uneasy about admitting it. So how can society (actually, make that marketers) make men more comfortable about embracing their feminine side? Easy! Just put "bro" or "man" in front of the product or activity and—presto!—they are masculinized. Here are some ways to update our language to fit the new masculinity, courtesy of Jezebel:
Get The Careerist in your morning email. Sign up today—see box on upper right corner.
Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.