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PARENTAL STATUS AND GENDER PREFERENCES FOR CHILDREN: IS DIFFERENTIAL FERTILITY STOPPING CONSISTENT WITH THE TRIVERS–WILLARD HYPOTHESIS?

  • MARTIN KOLK (a1) and SEBASTIAN SCHNETTLER (a2)
Summary

Based on evolutionary reasoning, Trivers & Willard (1973) predicted status-biased sex composition and parental investment with son-preferencing effects in higher, and daughter-preferencing effects in lower status groups. Previous research shows mixed results. This study uses event-history methods and Swedish register data to study one possible mechanism in isolation: do parents in different status groups vary in their proclivities to continue fertility based on the sex composition of previous offspring? The results show no support for the Trivers–Willard hypothesis on a wide range of different status indicators. Future research on the stated hypothesis should focus on physiological rather than behavioural mechanisms.

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