Role that opposite gender siblings play on children

Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author, explains the results of a recent study showing how children with an opposite gender sibling are affected differently than those without
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Role that opposite gender siblings play on children

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College girls always say that they can tell if a boy has grown up with sisters, and college boys often say the same with girls growing up with brothers. This is not just a casual observation. In one of the studies I site in my book, an investigator paired boys and girls up. They had them chat for 10 or 15 minutes as if they were on a speed date. At the end of the session, all of the volunteers rated how the conversation went. Consistently, boys who were raised with sisters, rated better higher in the eyes of the girls they were talking to, in terms of their ability to ask questions; which is something boys don't often do on dates; in terms of making eye-contact on dates. Girls tend to rate higher in the eyes of the boys in their sense of humor and vague sense of reverence that boys tend to find very attractive. The reason for this is, keep in mind, children self-segregate by sex. You are on the school yard playing in a mixed group, and suddenly that circle closes off to you. The opposite sex world is a place you are not allowed to go anymore. If you live in a house in which there is still an emissary of the world, side-by-side at the dinner table every night, it gives a boy the opportunity to learn how that girls mind works; to turn those tumblers a little bit. It gives the girl the opportunity to learn how the boys mind works. These lessons become ingrained, unconsciously, so when the kids go out in the dating world, they simply do better at connecting with the other gender.

Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author, explains the results of a recent study showing how children with an opposite gender sibling are affected differently than those without

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Jeffrey Kluger

Science Journalist & Author

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

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