Good news for firstborn girls, a brand new study suggests that they are more likely to excel at life than their younger siblings, something that doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
Of course “most likely” doesn’t mean every single firstborn girl will be better at life than younger brothers or sisters, but the odds favor them if you believe what researchers at the University of Essex concluded.
Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, Kate Middleton, Angela Merkel, Oprah Winnfrey, and J.K. Rowling. They are all firstborn in their respective families and very successful, strong women, according to Forbes’ magazine Most Powerful Women list.
The same can be said for Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Winston Churchill.
The British study suggests that firstborn girls are statistically — 13 percent — more likely to be more driven and attend graduate school than their male siblings.
For this latest study, scientists utilized data from the British Household Panel Survey, which examined 1,503 sibling groups and a total of 3,552 people and found out that millenial firstborn girls outpace men in the education field already.
Lead researcher, Feifei Bu, took into account the level of education and professional status of the parents and found that 16 percent of firstborns were more likely than their younger siblings to further their education and four percent more likely to enroll in undergraduate programs.
Bu also found out that a four-year or greater gap between siblings resulted in higher aspirations and educational success later in life, regardless of their sex.
As to why, firstborn children, specifically girls, have these aspirations and succeed, Bu said there are several possibilities:
“It could be that the parents simply devote more time and energy to them — it could be they are actually more intelligent. For me, I tend to lean towards the theory that parental investment is possibly at work here.”
One of the most interesting findings in the study is that educational differences exist not only between families, but within them:
“It is interesting that we observe a distinct firstborn advantage in education, even though parents in modern society are more likely to be egalitarian in the way they treat their children.”
Apparently, it all boils down to the amount of attention a firstborn gets from parents without other siblings, by the time a second, third or more boys or girls arrive, they are simply to overwhelmed to pay attention as if they were their only children.
The firstborn fascination has been the subject of several studies and myths such as the spoiled baby, and the black sheep of the family, the middle child. Previous studies have also concluded that a firstborn may have advantages over younger siblings, such as higher IQs, but the fact that firstborn girls have the greater advantage is certainly something to ponder.
A couple of interesting tidbits published by The Guardian. The 12-men who have walked on the moon are all a firstborn or an only child. Eldest kids are also more likely to go on to become rocker like, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Mick Jagger.
What is the situation with your family when it comes to firstborns? Are the girls smarter than the boys?
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