When times are tough, parents favor daughters over sons

June 29, 2015, University of Minnesota

In tough economic times, parents financially favor daughters over sons, according to researchers at the Carlson School of Management and Rutgers Business School. Their study, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, found participants preferred to enroll a daughter rather than a son in beneficial programs, preferred to give a U.S. Treasury bond to a daughter rather than a son, and bequeathed a greater share of their assets to female offspring in their will when they perceived economic conditions to be poor.

"Almost all say that they don't favor one of their children over another, but economic recessions subconsciously lead parents to prefer girls over boys," said Rutgers professor of marketing Kristina Durante, lead author of the study.

In one experiment, 629 participants read a news article that described the economy as either improving, getting worse, or neutral. They then were asked to make a will dividing their assets between an imaginary son and daughter as well as assign one to a beneficial program. Those led to believe tough economic times were ahead, allocated nearly 60 percent of their available resources to the girl compared to a nearly 50/50 split between the two children when were viewed as either neutral or prosperous.

"These findings in humans align well with the behavior of other animals," adds Professor Vladas Griskevicius of the Carlson School. "When resources are scarce parents prefer females because they have a larger reproductive payoff. Almost every female child will produce some offspring, but many male children end up having zero offspring."

Another experiment in the paper explored the boundaries of age on resources allocation. As expected, the bias toward females was stronger as the children moved closer to reproductive age.

U.S. Spending Patterns Support Study's Findings

To bolster the findings in their experiments, the researchers also examined the relationship between U.S. Real GDP and retail spending on apparel for boys and girls between 1984 and 2011. They discovered that when the economy was struggling, the ratio of spending on girls versus boys increased 19.8 percent compared to when the economy was faring well.

"As the GDP decreased, relative spending on girls versus boys increased," said Associate Professor Joseph Redden of the Carlson School.

Results Offer Lessons for Parents and Marketers

"Spending on Daughters Versus Sons in Economic Recessions" has implications for both parents and businesses. By being aware that they can unwittingly bias their spending toward specific children, parents can more carefully track specific spending to maintain equity.

"When we survey parents, it's very clear they want to treat their children equally," says Redden. "But if they're relying on feelings for how they're allocating resources, it's very likely this bias is seeping in, especially when times are tougher and they don't have money to do everything," added Redden.

For companies, recognizing the consumer bias towards girls in difficult could allow them to better optimize manufacturing, sales, and marketing efforts.

Explore further: Pay-to-play sports: Parents with traditional beliefs about gender may shortchange daughters

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14 comments

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betterexists
1 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2015
Now that Gay Marriages is Law of the Land, it WILL Change.
Gender Affinity will be the Rule for American Mind.
dan42day
4 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2015
Another possible explanation for this is that in a male dominated world, you are stuck with your son whether he succeeds or not, while your daughter can pick and choose, and dump and re-chose until she finds a successful male.
docile
Jun 30, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Jun 30, 2015
Now that Gay Marriages is Law of the Land

It's 'marriage' now. Not 'gay marriage'.

Get used to it.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2015
@It's 'marriage' now. Not 'gay marriage'.

Only formally. Because there is no God blessing for such unnatural deviations from His standard.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2015
Because there is no God blessing for such unnatural deviations from His standard.

So? Who cares. Since god doesn't exist there's no advantage/disadvantage in having its blessing or not.
But the legal side is now clear. And a good thing, too.

In the end religions will choke on this, because they have always said (though never actively implemented) that they are fair and good. When the legal systems are fairer/better than religion (as in the case of marriage now)...how long do you think anyone will still bother with religion?
viko_mx
1 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2015
God does not exist onlly for people with do not want to see the wide spread all around as evidence for God existance.

"how long do you think anyone will still bother with religion?"

To the end of time. We are very close to the end of this civilization. Only one little step.
airsculler
4 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2015
It's not because we concern about our girl survival and well being
We dont think that girls need diamonds and tampons
Nop.
It's because we think about survival of the species.
airsculler
4 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2015
You give money to a child who wont survive without help
Or China would have only girls policy
you idiotic morons
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2015
it's marriage now not gay marriage
I don't understand the problem. Licences are issued by the state, not the religion.

If religions have a problem with state marriages they ought to offer their own versions of god-endorced marriages, replete with certificates, badges, wallet cards, etc.

They would be free not to recognize other forms of marriage including those of other religions in accordance with their particular dogma.

Why is this not an equitable solution? Why would they not jump at the chance to offer a higher and purer form of this institution?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2015
To the end of time
That's what they all say. Thats what the zeus-lovers said. Thats what the hindus and the buddhists all say.

But for YOUR god to return, these religions must end. Which is what they all say about yours.
We are very close to the end of this civilization. Only one little step
Yes and because all your religions are mutually exclusive, and all are dedicated to outgrowing and overrunning each other, you all threaten to bring about exactly what you all crave...

Armageddon. End of days.

And you will not be allowed to do this.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2015
We will not be allowed to do what?
To destroy civilization. The only reason that xians arent still in charge of western society is because they were forceably ousted.
I do not understand what you mean exactly? How exactly the cristianity will end?
I enjoy listening to xian radio. No really, I do. 'Know thine enemy' and all.

The broadcasts are full of easily debunked lies about what the bible actually says and what it means. Further they preach the most vile forms of bigotry and ignorance.

The preacher said it - 'When you find god, people will want to do business with you... they will invite you into their homes, will allow their children to play with yours, and allow their daughters to marry your sons.'

Your religion will not survive the internet. Your lies, ignorance, and rank bigotry can and will soon be instantly exposed.

Doesnt matter what pretty music you wrap it in - foul is foul. Heaven will come to earth when god finally leaves.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 06, 2015
Religions threaten our future.
https://www.youtu...TVUulGwc

Go ahead ren. WATCH IT.
the power of truth
Ive shown you many times that archeology has proven that the bible stories are all FALSE. It tells tales of things that never happened and people who never existed.

Of course, the being who made the universe in 6 days (but needed a rest on the 7th, implying limits to his omnipotence... ?) could have obliterated all the evidence FOR, and replaced it with totally convincing evidence AGAINST.

But why would he do this ren? Why does the god of infinite goodness, wisdom, and TRUTH want to LIE about the past in order to find out how much we TRUST him?

And why would the god of infinite love want to torture us for eternity just because we couldnt dismiss the evidence HE provided, that he doesnt exist?

Youve never addressed these questions. Why? Dont you have any answers?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2015
double post

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