Home security

Kevin Lewis

November 26, 2017

The Effects of Paternal Disengagement on Women's Perceptions of Male Mating Intent
Danielle DelPriore et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Previous research demonstrates reliable associations between low paternal investment and daughters' precocious and risky sexual behavior. However, little is known about the psychological changes that occur in response to paternal disengagement that encourage these patterns. Here, we aim to redress this empirical gap by testing the effects of paternal disengagement on women's perceptions of male mating intent. In 4 experiments, women who described their fathers' absence (vs. a comparison state) perceived greater: mating intent in the described actions of a hypothetical dating partner (Study 1), sexual arousal in male target faces (Studies 2 and 3), and mating interest from a male confederate (Study 4). In a mixed-methods study (Study 5), women with greater developmental exposure to harsh-deviant paternal behavior perceived greater sexual intent in men's actions than women with lesser exposure. Moreover, these perceptual differences predicted unrestricted sociosexuality among women in this sample. An internal meta-analysis (N = 408) across studies provided support for a relationship between paternal disengagement and women's perceptions of male sexual intent. Together, this research suggests that low paternal investment (including primed paternal disengagement and harsh-deviant fathering) causes changes in daughters' perceptions of men that may influence their subsequent mating behavior.

The Null Relation between Father Absence and Earlier Menarche
Kitae Sohn
Human Nature, December 2017, Pages 407-422

Researchers have claimed that the absence of a biological father accelerates the daughter's menarche. This claim was assessed by employing a large and nationally representative sample of Indonesian women. We analyzed 11,138 ever-married women aged 15+ in the Indonesian Family Life Survey 2015. We regressed age at menarche on the interaction of father absence (vs. presence) and mother absence (vs. presence) at age 12 with or without childhood covariates. For robustness checks, we performed a power analysis, re-ran the same specification for various subgroups, and varied the independent variable of interest. All results produced a null relation between father absence and age at menarche. The power analysis suggests that a false negative was unlikely. Our review of the literature indicates that the claim of the relation between father absence and earlier menarche was based on weak statistical foundations. Other studies with higher-quality datasets tended to find no relation, and our results replicated this tendency. Therefore, the influence of father absence does not appear to be universal.

Do Mothers Spend More on Daughters While Fathers Spend More on Sons?
Lambrianos Nikiforidis et al.
Journal of Consumer Psychology, forthcoming

Do parents favor some children over others? The overwhelming majority of parents state that they treat their children equally, but parents rarely track their spending on each child. We investigate in four studies whether mothers and fathers favor specific children depending on the biological sex of the child. Evidence from the field, laboratory, and community (online panel) showed that parents exhibit systematic biases when forced to choose between spending on sons and daughters. Mothers consistently favored daughters, whereas fathers consistently favored sons. For example, parents were more likely to choose a real prize and give a real U.S. Treasury bond to the child of the same sex as themselves. These parenting biases were found in two different cultures and appear to be driven by parents identifying more strongly with children of the same sex as the parent.

Gender and Sibling Dynamics in the Intergenerational Transmission of Entrepreneurship
Elizabeth Mishkin
Harvard Working Paper, November 2017

This project uses gender and sibling dynamics to explore the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship. I find that the transmission of self-employment from fathers to daughters is significantly reduced when there are sons in the family. I interpret this as evidence that the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship is driven at least in part by costly investments by parents, which can be crowded out by brothers. I investigate specific types of parental investments - transfers of money, businesses, and human capital - that potentially underlie this transmission and conclude that sons crowd out human capital acquisition by daughters. If all daughters of self-employed men experienced the "sisters-only" level of transmission, the overall gender gap in self-employment would be reduced by nearly 20 percent.

Sibling Gender Composition and Women's Wages
Angela Cools & Eleonora Patacchini
Cornell University Working Paper, September 2017

We examine the impact of sibling gender composition on women's adult earnings. Using data from Add Health, we find that women with any brothers earn roughly 10 percent less than women with no brothers in their late 20s and early 30s. This effect is primarily due to lower earnings within broadly defined education and occupation groups. We then explore mechanisms that may explain this result. We do not find strong evidence that differences in parental investment, cognitive ability, self-reported personality traits, or parental expectations drive our results. However, we find that more family-centered behavior (including family responsibilities, being in a committed relationship, and intention to have children) among those with brothers partially explains the result. We then confirm our results with data from the NLSY-CYA.

The Effect of Social Fathers on the Cognitive Skills of Out-of-Wedlock Children in the U.S.
Kwok Ho Chan & Ka Wai Terence Fung
Economics & Human Biology, forthcoming

There are two competing views regarding the presence of social fathers on childrens' cognitive ability: (1) either the social father provides more financial resources which benefit the children or (2) the mother with new partners may shift the focus away from the children. Previous research focused on older children or adolescents and ignored the self-selection problem. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), and a sample of younger children. Using propensity score matching method (nonparametric methods), we find that children with social fathers scored around three points less in a cognitive ability test than children living only with biological mothers (assuming that self-selection is based on observables). The result remains robust when using a control-function analysis (parametric method).

Does Paid Family Leave Reduce Nursing Home Use? The California Experience
Kanika Arora & Douglas Wolf
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, forthcoming

The intent of Paid Family Leave (PFL) is to make it financially easier for individuals to take time off from paid work to care for children and seriously ill family members. Given the linkages between care provided by family members and the usage of paid services, we examine whether California's PFL program influenced nursing home utilization in California during the 1999 to 2008 period. This is the first empirical study to examine the effects of PFL on long-term care patterns. Multivariate difference-in-difference estimates across alternative comparison groups provide consistent evidence that the implementation of PFL reduced the proportion of the elderly population in nursing homes by 0.5 to 0.7 percentage points. Our preferred estimate, employing an empirically-matched group of control states, finds that PFL reduced nursing home usage by about 0.65 percentage points. For California, this represents an 11 percent relative decline in elderly nursing home utilization.

The Economic Organization of Extended Family Households by Race or Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status
Adriana Reyes
Journal of Marriage and Family, forthcoming

This study examines differences in the amount of economic support or mutual benefit derived from extended family living arrangements by studying differences in monetary contributions to essential household expenditures across family units in extended family households. Using the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation, multivariate regression and selection models are estimated to assess racial differences in family contributions toward household expenses in extended family households. Extended family households have very unequal monetary contributions toward household rent and utilities, although Hispanics have less unequal monetary contributions when compared with other racial groups. Hispanic and Asian extended family households experience decreasing inequality in financial contributions as the income of each family increases, whereas no relationship between financial contributions and income is found for Whites or Blacks. This suggests a different cultural orientation to extended family living arrangements for Asians and Hispanics when compared with non-Hispanic Whites.

to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.