Parental Preference for Sex of Newborn as Reflected in Positive Affect in Birth Announcements

Abstract

Content analysis of birth announcements was used as a method to investigate parental preference for the sex of newborns in Canada. The expression of positive affect (happiness and pride) in birth announcements was examined to determine whether parents express these emotions differently as a function of the sex of newborn. The findings suggest that parents express relatively more pride at the birth of boys than girls, whereas the opposite results were found for happiness. Parents seem unconsciously to categorize boys and girls into two distinct motivational systems: status and attachment, which are related to pride and happiness, respectively. This distinction may influence parents’ perception of their child’s worth and their subsequent investment in their child’s development.

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Correspondence to Richard Koestner.

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Gonzalez, A.Q., Koestner, R. Parental Preference for Sex of Newborn as Reflected in Positive Affect in Birth Announcements. Sex Roles 52, 407–411 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-2683-4

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Keywords

  • parental preference
  • sex of newborn
  • pride
  • birth announcements