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The Sister Advantage

April 2, 2009

An article in the Times published today helps me understand why I might not be the optimistic, ambitious and better-balanced character that I ought to be. 🙂 Well, I don’t have a sister and the article reports a study in which psychologists found that “growing up with a sister makes people more optimistic, more ambitious and better balanced”. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

“A study of 571 families comprised of brothers, sisters, a mixture of both and only children found that having a sister in the home led to siblings of either sex scoring more highly on a range of standard tests for good mental health. They were found to be better at coping with setbacks, more highly motivated, had more friends and a better social life than those who grew up with just brothers.

The research was conducted by psychologists at De Montfort University and the University of Ulster and will be presented today at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Brighton.”

At first I wondered whether, with the high incidence of female feticide in Punjab, this report needs a wide coverage  in the newspapers in Punjab. Perhaps it would give another reason for couples to have daughters. But then it made me think that making a case for families to have daughters so that their sons can be ambitious and better-balanced seems to be more insulting to womankind than actually helping them. It is treating some people as means and not as ends.

You think I am not being optimistic here, don’t you? Well, didn’t I tell you I grew up without a sister? 🙂

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