Mother of Boys Could Live Shorter Lives

Maybe girls are really made of "sugar, spice, and everything nice". A recent study found having all boys can shave about eight and a half months off of a mom's life.

As a mother of two boys this is not the kind of news I want to hear, but psychologists say where the study was done may offer some insight on the findings.

"This was agricultural Finland, so there may be explanations for why the mothers of boys were living about 8 months less than the mothers of daughters. If you think about an agricultural society, you know, sons are probably out helping dad pretty early on. If you have lots of boys that leaves the mom with a great burden in terms of running the household," said Dr. Scott Bea, Psy.D. with Cleveland Clinic.

Finnish researchers teamed with researchers in the UK and analyzed the post-childhood survival rates of more than 11,000 moms and more than 6,000 dads.

They looked at people from the 17th through 20th centuries who did not have access to modern medical care or birth control.

They crunched the numbers and found women who had all boys lived about 8 months less than women who had all girls.

Researchers say the results could vary by country because Finnish girls, during this time period, typically shouldered many of the household responsibilities, which could have increased mom's lifespan.

Dr. Bea says the good news is he does not think this is what's happening today. "In a modern culture you probably don't have to worry quite as much, in fact, some of the folk wisdom in our culture is that if you have daughters it probably taxes you a little bit more as a mom because daughters and moms get to be a little combative, especially when girls get to be in adolescence. So, while it's a fascinating study i am not sure it's as applicable today."

Complete findings for this study are in the journal "biology letters."


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