Does the Gender of Offspring Affect Parental Political Orientation?

38 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2014 Last revised: 14 Mar 2021

See all articles by Byungkyu Lee

Byungkyu Lee

Columbia University

Dalton Conley

New York University (NYU) - Department of Sociology; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

Recently, the sex of child has been widely used as a natural experiment and shown to induce change of the allegedly stable political predisposition, however, prior results have been contradictory: in the U.K., researchers found that having daughters leads to parents favoring left-wing political parties and to holding more liberal views on family/gender roles, whereas in the U.S. scholars found that daughters were associated with more Republican (rightist) party identification and more conservative views on teen sexuality. Here, we utilize data from the General Social Survey and the European Social Survey to test the robustness of effects of offspring sex on parental political orientation while factoring out country and period differences. In analysis of 36 countries, we obtain null effects of the sex of the first child on party identification as well as on political ideology. Further, we observe no evidence of heterogeneous treatment effects. We discuss the implications of these null findings for theories of political socialization.

Suggested Citation

Lee, Byungkyu and Conley, Dalton, Does the Gender of Offspring Affect Parental Political Orientation? (August 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20384, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2482147

Byungkyu Lee (Contact Author)

Columbia University

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Dalton Conley

New York University (NYU) - Department of Sociology ( email )

New York, NY 10012
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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