Journalists and social scientists are shocked by new findings that show that parents who have more daughters than sons tend to be more politically conservative. Some previous studies had shown the opposite result. The old thinking was that since conservative policies oppress women, I mean, “constrain[…] the freedom of women,” then of course parents of women would want to be liberal, right? So how to explain the opposite result?
The authors of this latest study suggest that conservative policies “support the genetic fitness of women by capitalizing on each pregnancy, reducing male promiscuity, and increasing paternal investment in children” and ultimately maximizing the number of grandchildren, despite restricting the freedom of daughters.
In other words, conservative parents are willing to put their daughters into lifelong bondage and oppression as long as it means lots of grandkids.
Of course, the premise itself is flawed. The study’s authors, at least according to the reporter, start with the premise that conservative policies are opposed to the women’s freedom. But what “freedom” would conservatives curtail? The right to work? The ability to marry the man of their choice at a time of their choosing? No, the narrow definition of freedom here is obviously so-called reproductive freedom, i.e. abortion and contraception.
In a less pejorative interpretation of conservative motives, we might say that we would prefer our daughters not to be subject to the destructive effects of abortion and contraception and a mentality that treats their fertility (certainly not that of our sons) as a disease. We could also say that conservative economic ideas would assist women and their families as much as liberals think their liberal economic ideas would help. We’re not both going to be right, but you could assume that we both think we’re right and that’s why we hold them.
Maybe, just maybe, Republicans and conservatives love their daughters as much as, and for the same reasons as, Democrats and liberals.
- IMG_5778.jpg: Own photo