[LMB] Single children (Was China), seems OT:

sylvus tarn sylvus at rejiquar.com
Wed Sep 12 12:31:57 BST 2007

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> Interestingly, I'm just reading a book (_The Nurture Assumption_), which
> says that most of those studies just don't hold up, and especially don't
> hold up when you look at how people behave outside of their family.  The
> thrust of that book is that parents don't really have all that much influence
> on how their kid's personality turns up, or even how they behave outside
> the family home.  I'm finding it an interesting read; I'm not sure how much I
> accept but it definitely has made me look closer at some things I just
> took for granted.

Mark Liberman at Languagelog makes a practice of skewering this sort of
thing as well, and I think birth order got a mention, though lately he's
been focused on the supposed differences between female & male speech
patterns.  I tend to notice stuff on birth order because being the
eldest of several, I've probably paid more attention to those studies
than I should've.

So I too look forward to Tora's researches.

However, my mother was very fond of telling me that the day she had my
brother, she knew all those Franciscan(?) monks' theories about molding
a child till 7 were crap, because our behavior from birth was so utterly

That said I do think birth order makes a difference *within* the family
dynamic, and thus have always been glad to have been born first, as I
feel I would've been squashed flat in the dominance struggles otherwise.

sylvus tarn

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