Boys vs Girls
November 10, 2019 7:22 PM   Subscribe

A question just came to me as I was looking over legal papers. Is there any research that says that men who father mostly girls do or don't get along with men who mostly father boys?

I know there is research surrounding females who are aroused by the sweat of certain men over others. And people who for no reason, get along while other people for no reason, can't stand each other. I'm just curious as to whether this kind of spookiness spills over into my question. In the case of the tendency of one man's genome to lean toward boys vs another's to lean toward girls, is there natural conflict, affinity or it makes no difference?
posted by CollectiveMind to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
There is no genetic tendency toward fathering mostly boys or mostly girls.
posted by rockindata at 7:26 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Eggs also have an active role in choosing which sperm fertilize them, so the concept that the sperm is the only deciding factor in the chromosomal sex of the zygote is outdated.
posted by lazuli at 7:43 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


Eggs also have an active role in choosing which sperm fertilize them, so the concept that the sperm is the only deciding factor in the chromosomal sex of the zygote is outdated.

I think the point is that even if it WERE all about the sperm, men produce half X sperm and half Y sperm. I suppose it's possible that it might be non-random-with-regards-to-X-Y-ness which ones are stronger swimmers or which ones play defence instead of offence, but I don't think there's any reason to think that's the case. Or maybe speicifc males could -- due to genetic mutations on the X or Y chromosome make X-sperm or Y-sperm that are more likely to result in live births, but that would be pretty uncommon I would think, and there's no reason to think one person's X-chromosome mutation would affect how they get along with another person with a completely unrelated Y-chromosome mutation.

I thought from above the fold that you were envisioning a social/structural mechanism: Fathers of girls are more likely to be feminists, maybe fathers of boys are more likely to have a boys-will-be-boys attitude towards things and these worldviews are incompatible and unlikely to lead to harmony. I suppose I could imagine that being the case, though I don't know of any research showing it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:02 PM on November 10


I am told that in a four way box or boy/girl possibilities, women with a body chemistry composition of more acid than base tend to be friendlier to the fertilization of girls while men with "exhausted" sperm (resulting from frequent ejaculation) tend for that sperm to be more likely to carry Y chromosomes. But, I am not talking about the sexual outcomes as much as I am thinking about what "If only I had a penguin" pinpoints. Namely, if there is some kind of social/structural mechanism or something related to pheromones between males that fathers of boys versus girls that makes them friendly vs unfriendly or cooperative vs uncooperative towards each other.
posted by CollectiveMind at 9:37 PM on November 10


Not exactly on your pheromones point but similar to the suggestion above: "the experience of having a daughter as a first child—but not the effect of having a daughter in general nor the experience of fathering a higher proportion of daughters—significantly increases fathers’ support for policies designed to increase gender equality." Maybe they'd be annoyed by men who hadn't undergone that change in view. I'm sure you could find a study that says that similarity in viewpoints increases friendliness and cooperation. But this research would tie it to a firstborn daughter not to total number of daughters.
posted by slidell at 9:47 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


I don't have an answer for OP, but responding to the discussion:

I recall reading years ago that male fighter pilots and astronauts have more daughters than sons, 60-40 in favor of daughters; the speculation was that there was an effect on the pilot's testes or sperm due to the extreme acceleration forces, G-forces, that they routinely experience in their flights, since the disparity was not observed in non-pilots and pilots who did not experience high G-forces (such as airline pilots). The study that revealed this disparity was published in 1987.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:45 PM on November 10


Continuing on from Sunburnt's contribution, I heard about a similar correlation with firefighters, police, and other intermittently high-adrenaline jobs. I don't have any cites, sorry.

Anecdotedly, I have a cohort of male friends who have been front-line forest protesters for a few decades. Back when they were living and blockading in the forests, and breeding, the offspring output from 6 men was 1 boy and 13 girls.
posted by Thella at 11:13 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


Interesting question. My father was an only son with two sisters, I'm an only son with one sister (and two half sisters on mother's side). Everybody knows that I, my father, and my grandfather and great-grandfather (from what I've been told) share some qualities of temperament not found in the girls. It could be that fathers of mostly boys have a greater chance of understanding that peculiarly obvious Y sort of thing. While fathers of mostly girls wouldn't ever have seen that in their daughters (they'd maybe see the X of their mother). If the distribution of children goes mostly male/female the chance of division increases between men who have seen their father/grandfather in their offspring and those who haven't or couldn't. Whether that could be studied on the lines of getting-along with other fathers does seem like something that could be done, but seems to be more psychology. In the "We don't get along because you don't have a son that has this thing that is yourself and your father and your grandfather". It could depend on whether the father's side has some Y dominant trait.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:12 PM on November 11


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