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Do Dads Prefer Sons?

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Do All Fathers Want Sons?

Before we learned the gender of either of our children, my husband and I both agreed that we’d be happy with either a boy or a girl. Like most couples, all we wanted were two healthy children. As it turned out, we ended up with two girls and no regrets.

My husband has never seemed disappointed that he never had a son (and we’re certainly not going to try for #3). But according to the UK’s Mirror, “men secretly want only boys.”

To prove their point, the authors quote celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, already a father to three girls, recently became the dad to a son, Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver.

“When I saw the crown jewels it was a big shock. It’s really nice to have a boy,” Oliver recently said. Does that mean that he was hoping for a girl all along? Is that why he’s going for kid #4? Not necessarily, but most likely.

The article goes on to say that “man’s primal desire for a male heir dates back thousands of years.”

As evidence, they cite the study by Gordon Dahl and Enrico Moretti, which found that parents of girls are more likely to divorce. And that an unmarried couple who is expecting a baby is more likely to marry if the baby is a boy. But does that prove that men prefer sons over daughters? I’m not so sure.

“If you ask most women, there’s a real sense that ‘I want a girl more’, so perhaps what we’re seeing is gender-specific identification that ‘I can identify with a boy because I can identify with what it means to be one,’” said Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, psychologist and expert on gender issues,  says.

On that basis, it makes sense that men would want sons. But that assumes that fathers are going to bond with their son about football and cars. What about the dad who, like my husband, isn’t into traditionally “masculine” hobbies? Or the son who would rather go to the theater than a football game? And what about the whole notion of “daddy’s little girl?”

What do you think? Do all dads secretly want sons?

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Photo: flickr/KellyB

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