Does Your Boy’s Birth Order Help Explain Who He Is?

Post by jmack in Mommy Beautiful on Jun 22, 2010 at 3:15

I recently read a blog from Popular Science that claimed birth order could explain relationship compatibility. Prone to wanting to keep my mind as open as possible, I found some interesting truths behind the blogger’s descriptions. My focus remained on personality types until I discovered some fascinating research into the connection between birth order and testicular cancer, homosexuality and intelligence?

To begin, PopSci’s blog about personality types and birth order was based on the following descriptions:

Firstborns: Energetic, Logical, Ambitious, Enterprising, Scholarly.

Second Borns: Flexible, Diplomatic, Rebellious, Attention-seeking, Competitive, Peacemakers.

Last Borns: Risk takers, Idealists, Good sense of humor, Immature, Attention-seeking, Secretive, Sensitive.

Only Children: Mature faster, Get along well with older people, Responsible, Self-Centered, Perfectionists, Attention-seekers and Have difficulty sharing.

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According to the book ‘Birth Order Connection‘ by Dr. Kevin Leman, the different types of compatibility are as follows:

1. Eldest or only female child with a male who has older sisters – Let’s just say whoever this girl is, she’s able to manage her man’s ‘issues.’

2. Eldest female with eldest male – A combination destined to be explosive… but fun.

3. Last born female with last born male – Who’s going to wear the boots in this relationship?

4. Firstborn with middle child – This match could have all the right ingredients for stability. What do you think?

5. Firstborn with last born – A great combination where each member of the couple can learn from the other.

6. Middle child with middle child – This outcome of this match is laced with complexities and is certainly a hard once to predict… Just like all middle children, right?

7. Middle child and last born – In this case, the middle child must have some tendencies of a first born child in order for the best to come out of this relationship. Once again, it’s all down to the balance of personality types according to Dr Leman.

Do you agree? Give us your thoughts about birth order and compatibility!

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Next in my bundle of discoveries came some interesting, controversial research projects that attempt to confirm the evidence linking birth order with testicular cancer, intelligence and homosexuality.

1. Birth Order and Testicular Cancer

A Danish study from the mid 90s claimed that being fourth or more in the birth order of your family was positively related to a dramatic decrease in the risk of testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is partially affected by the impact of estrogen on the developing testicular tissue in a fetus.

2. Birth Order and Intelligence

A study by American Association for the Advancement of Science, which tested 400,000 19-year-old Dutch men and that controlled for socio-economic status, found that firstborns performed better on intelligence testing than those who were not first born in their family. However as family size increased the results became inconsistent.

3. Birth Order And Homosexuality

Research about the causes of homosexuality is limited in terms of data and is also ripe with controversy.

The Fraternal Birth Order Effect (FBOE) was initially presented in 1996 by researcher Ray Blanchard. It is a theory that suggests the likelihood of a mother having a homosexual child increases around 33 per cent for every older brother that child has.

In 2000, University of New Orleans academic Edward Miller explored the connection between homosexuality and birth order.

He indicated that in evolutionary terms Blanchard’s theory was plausible given that the birth of a homosexual child into a family of brothers reduces competition between offspring. Birth order thus allows the older brothers, who take on a dominant role as leaders of the family and carriers of the family name, to be better prepared to attract and pursue a female counterpart.

Miller finally asks that if homosexuality was dependent solely on the environment that a child was raised in, how is it possible that such an advanced species (human beings) could allow environmental factors to produce men and women that work against evolution by not wanting to produce children with members of the opposite sex?