Do parents have different hopes for their sons and their daughters?


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All parents want their children to do well in life. They even dream and plan for their children before their birth. They want the best for their children. But when it comes to girls and boys, do parents have different hopes and standards?

Yes, they do! Most parents are more concerned about their son’s education than for their daughter’s. It is sad to see that some parents though educated, subconsciously think that the daughter will get married and leave while the son will be there for them.

Sons are considered as a blessing, the person who will carry forward the legacy of the family. At some parts of the country, it is even said that “educating a daughter is like watering a plant sowed in someone else’s garden." There exists a double standard in dealing with sons and daughters. Girls are trained to be homemakers and brought up with a mentality that their main purpose in life is to take care of a husband and two children.

On the other hand, sons are encouraged to be outgoing, to take part in sports and given all the liberties that girls are generally deprived of. They are brought up with a mentality that in the future they will be earning a living for their family. It’s not that these families do not educate their daughters, they do but their focus is more on the boys. They are not bothered for their daughter as much as the son.

The saddest part is that even educated families do this. They are willing to spend a good part of the family resources on the son’s career building but are not willing to do the same for their daughter, but they are willing to spend on the daughter’s marriage. In many countries including ours, higher education is a privilege of the boys. Parents are unwilling to send their daughters to higher classes because they are physically mature. There exists an unexplainable fear that danger lurks behind them.

What is your experience? Do mothers and fathers have different hopes and standards for their sons than for their daughters?



More than a decade into the 21st century, we would like to think that American parents have similar standards and similar dreams for their sons and daughters. But my study of anonymous, aggregate data from Google searches suggests that contemporary American parents are far more likely to want their boys smart and their girls skinny.

It’s not that parents don’t want their daughters to be bright or their sons to be in shape, but they are much more focused on the braininess of their sons and the waistlines of their daughters.

Start with intelligence. It’s hardly surprising that parents of young children are often excited at the thought that their child may be gifted. In fact, of all Google searches starting “Is my 2-year-old,” the most common next word is “gifted.” But this question is not asked equally about young boys and young girls. Parents are two and a half times more likely to ask “Is my son gifted?” than “Is my daughter gifted?” Parents show a similar bias when using other phrases related to intelligence that they may shy away from saying aloud, like, “Is my son a genius?”

Are parents picking up on legitimate differences between young girls and boys? Perhaps young boys are more likely than young girls to use big words or otherwise show objective signs of giftedness? Nope. If anything, it’s the opposite. At young ages, when parents most often search about possible giftedness, girls have consistently been shown to have larger vocabularies and use more complex sentences.

In American schools, girls are 11 per cent more likely than boys to be in gifted programs. Despite all this, parents looking around the dinner table appear to see more gifted boys than girls.

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