Do you have at least one daughter? If you answered yes, you might just be a Republican voter — or so claims a new study that found that having more girls than boys, or at least having a daughter first, makes you more likely to cast a ballot for a conservative.
According to Pew Research, two researchers from University of Kansas have gone through historical data on children, birth order and voting trends. Their conclusion? Having a passel of girls, only a girl or having your first child be a girl has a major effect on whether or not you register as a Republican. “Not only is the daughter effect statistically significant, it’s substantively large,” writes Pew Research. The study also said that, “[C]ompared to those with no daughters, parents with all daughters are 14% less likely to identify as a Democrat….[and] 11% more likely to identify as a Republican than parents with no daughters.”
What may be the most interesting about the allegations in the study is the fact that the trend has the most effect the more education and wealth a family possesses. “[A]mong those farther down the socioeconomic ladder, it weakens to statistical insignificance,” say Pew.
Assuming that the study is accurate, and that having a daughter (or several) somehow causes a person to be more likely to vote for conservative candidates, the implications that would arise are unmistakable, and, frankly, backward. According to the study’s author, the process behind much of their thoughts could be as simple as preparing for a world that will make the parents most likely to eventually become grandparents.
“Parents of daughters, it seems, have an interest in reducing male promiscuity and encouraging greater male investment in their children, consistent with the conservative family policies of the Republican Party,” said study coauthor Emily Rauscher in an interview with Yahoo Shine. “Parents of sons, in contrast, are more accepting of teen sex and more liberal policies. In other words, daughters seem to encourage Republican identification through parents’ interest in their grandchildren.”
As a way of preparing for their children’s future, it leaves a lot to be desired. With a party that focuses entirely on banning abortion, blocking birth control access and refusing equal pay for equal work or living wages for hourly employment, and that has fought against any form of paid sick leave, extended maternity leave or increased family leave, these parents may be “encouraging greater male investment in their children” by removing their own daughter[s] from any ability to succeed on their own in any area except that of wife and mother.
The silver lining, however, is that the new study was completed off of research compiled in the mid-90s, far before the current GOP’s passionate and all inclusive battle plan to turn back the clock and send women back into the kitchens and nurseries of America. The GOP that many of the respondents likely were voting for was the GOP of moderates like Olympia Snowe and Kay Bailey Hutchison. It was a time when the Republicans still tried to at least pay lip service to talking points like “compassionate conservative.” It wasn’t the GOP of today that would drive a member out just for supporting something as basic as affordable health care for every person.
Does having a daughter make a person more likely to vote Republican today as it apparently did in 1994? Probably not. At least, not with today’s “war on women” GOP. What’s probably just as likely is that the daughters of 1994 probably aren’t spending much time voting Republican these days, either.
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