Boys will be Boys
Moms let sons take more risks than daughters
By: Nathan Beaumont
Women pregnant with boys are more likely to be anxious or angry during pregnancy, while those having girls are inclined to be calmer, research suggests.
The review for an article in the journal Evolutionary Psychology also suggested mothers with two young sons were more likely to encourage their children into risk- taking behavior when playing than those with two daughters.
Author Valerie Grant, of Auckland University Medical and Health Sciences Department, said that a study had shown mothers with daughters were nearly four times more likely to stop a videotape showing risky activity.
Recent research suggesting that mothers with above-average female testosterone were more likely to give birth to boys could help to explain the findings, as they were potentially linked in the mothers’ testosterone levels, she said.
“Economists have found differences between mothers of sons and mothers of daughters, the latter being over-represented in the divorce figures and the former being more likely to vote right wing.
“Perhaps these are related to the personality differences said to be associated with higher testosterone in women. Perhaps the more dominant, tougher mothers of boys make it just that bit harder for their partners to walk out on them.
“At the same time, they may lack the empathic understanding that means mothers of daughters are more willing to support left- wing governments who will be better at caring for the needy.”
Miramar mother Fiona Purchas lets her four-year-old twins, Archie and Joel, take a few risks as she believed this was important for their development.
“Boys are more physical than girls and need an outlet to release their energy. I think it is important for their development to explore and learn from their mistakes.
“There are limits to what they can do, but you can’t keep them wrapped in cotton wool.”
She could not recall being angry during her pregnancy and did not think she had been too anxious.