Older siblings rejoice, it turns out your younger brother or sister is secretly Satan in disguise. If you’ve ever thought younger siblings are more likely to get in trouble than the older one, it turns out you were right all along.
Apparently, the “curse of the second-born child” is actually a thing. Studies have already suggested that the oldest child is smarter than their younger family members, but now there’s another reason being born first is a benefit.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joseph Doyle released a report that suggests that second-born children — especially boys — are more likely to behave badly.
Doyle’s research focussed on thousands of sibling pairings in Europe and America. He concluded that second-born children are 20-40% more inclined to have behavioral issues. They are more likely to get told off at school and end up getting in trouble with the police.
So what’s the reason? According to Doyle, it’s your fault that your little brother or sister is a demonic devil spawn. It’s all to do with how much attention your parents dish out. “We consider differences in parental attention as a potential contributing factor to the gaps in delinquency across the birth order,” says the report.
He continued, “Second-born children tend to have less maternal attention than do their older siblings because first-born children experience their mother’s maternity leaves and temporarily reduced labor market participation both following their own births as well as following the birth of the second-born.”
NPR goes further into it and puts even more blame on us older siblings. Doyle told the site, “The firstborn has role models, who are adults. And the second, later-born children have role models who are slightly irrational 2-year-olds, you know, their older siblings.”
Doyle concluded, “Both the parental investments are different, and the sibling influences probably contribute to these differences we see in the labor market and what we find in delinquency. It’s just very difficult to separate those two things because they happen at the same time.”
It all sounds pretty plausible, but how do you explain Bart and Lisa Simpson? Maybe Matt Groening doesn’t take science into account? I’m one of three and I can tell you my younger brother was 100% a little turd growing up. Admittedly, I did nearly suffocate him on his first day back from the hospital, but that’s a story for a different day. Suddenly, being an only child sounds pretty appealing.
[Featured Image: NBC/HBO]