Go make your brother do the dishes. According to a new Journal of Politics study including data from 3,000 people, boys with only sisters are 9.3 percent more likely to grow up Republican than boys with only brothers. The correlation was especially strong for boys who were the eldest sibling.
Chores and voting are—perhaps unsurprisingly—closely related. When a boy only has female siblings, he is more likely to develop traditional ideas regarding gender roles. Boys with sisters are also more likely to let their wives do the chores later on, mostly because young girls are more likely to offer a helping hand around the house.
“Having sisters makes males more politically conservative in terms of their gender role attitudes and their partisanship,” write the authors of the study, Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra. OK, so Republicans aren't the best spokespeople for feminism. What else is new?
What's so neat about this study is the importance given to family. As they say, the personal is political: If raising a feminist Democrats starts with getting our brothers and sons to wash the dishes, I'm handing over the dishrag right now.