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

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Wed Sep 12 14:51:18 BST 2007

--- "Tora K. Smulders-Srinivasan" <tora.smulders at gmail.com> wrote:

> I stopped to see if my husband is back from Stockholm yet (no! :-( )
> on the way back from lunch and happened to see just the guy I wanted
> to talk to about this. 

Great!  What exactly is his field?  

> Apparently, some of the studies
> didn't take other variables into account that you normally would.


> Some researchers find differences, some don't.  Also, even when
> statistically significant differences are found, some argue that they
> are barely differences compared to when you look at socioeconomic
> status or conservative/liberal values etc.

I'd be interested in seeing a historical study.  Problem is, a lot of the data one would need
isn't available.  (We know where Alexander and Julius Caesar and Elizabeth I were terms of birth
order, but what about Genghis Khan?  Tamurlane?  Attila?  So even taking the very most famous and
successful people of history, there isn't a lot of this sort of data.  Add into it the likelihood
of non-nuclear families, half-siblings, and so on.)

> On the other hand, his own research (taking into account all the
> things you should, of course) does show that first-borns are
> significantly more likely to give money to later-borns and that are
> also significantly more likely to take care of the later-borns.

Well...  yes.

> So there are some differences based on birth order (I would definitely
> trust this guy's research) but a lot of the studies out there may not
> be reliable.

It would be interesting to see what your friend has in terms of data.

> That was one of the biggest insights I had
> after I had my son --- I had never realized how individual babies are
> from the very second they're born!  

They are. And at any age.  The only exceptions I see - that this too is anecdotal, though there
are probably studies, and it supports my view - are in the cases of identical twins, but they are
similiar whether together with the parents or not, and the similarities are innate/genetic.

> I've decided that personality is a lot more innate than I ever
> realized!  (but I wouldn't say it was a scientific fact)

I will be interested in finding more information.
> -Tora, who really need to get back to her real researches -- the cells
> need to be washed!

Go wash those cells.


wandering back to lists of Front of House volunteers.

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