The More Daughters, The More Likely A Divorce?

Posted on Sep 09, 2010
Can the gender of your children predict whether or not your marriage will end in divorce? Several studies have found that the more female children you have, the more likely you will divorce, but no one is sure why this phenomenon takes place.

In 2003, researchers found that having a baby girl increases divorce rates by five percent – and that each baby after the initial baby will either increase or decrease your chance of divorce by five percent depending on the sex of the baby. That is a family with three girls is 15 percent more likely to divorce, whereas a family of three boys is 15 percent less likely to divorce.

While most economists agree on the findings, many disagree on why this pattern occurs. A popular theory is that men are more likely to stay to raise a son than to raise a daughter and that men prefer sons to daughters generally. Others say that boys are easier to raise than girls and cause less tension in the marriage.

However, a new theory keeps in mind another statistic: that women initiate 75 percent of divorces. In this case, researchers say, women might leave men more often when they have female children. This may be because they do not feel that girls need a male role model as much as boys do or because female children will be easier to raise as a single mom. This theory also keeps into mind a recent study that shows having boys increases a parent’s chore burden while having girls cuts down on household work over time.

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