Want to know who's the fun sibling? Or who's better at tests? There's finally a study that proves it.
Okay, siblings! You can finally stop arguing about who's more fun or who's more rebellious because there is finally a study that settles it once and for all.
There is certainly one sibling who is more opening to taking risks and more open to trying new things. And that sibling is more likely to be the second-born, according to a study that found connections between delinquency and birth order. Interestingly, the younger sibling is also the one who's more likely to go to prison, but that's probably because they can never say "No" to an adventure!
"I find the results to be remarkable that the second-born children, compared to their older siblings, are much more likely to end up in prison, much more likely to get suspended in school, enter juvenile delinquency," said Joseph Doyle, one of the co-authors of the study, according to NPR. "Across all these outcomes, we're getting 25 to 40 percent increases in the likelihood of these outcomes just by comparing a second-born sibling compared to a first-born."
So, if you're the second-born child of the family, you are probably the one who always got into trouble, and if you're the older-sibling, then you were probably the one who managed to stay out of it. But this doesn't always have to mean that the second-borns were going around making a ruckus. It just means that you have more of a thirst for adventure that your older brother or sister. But firstborns are not left out; they too get something extra because of their birth order.
It is also likely that when you were younger, you were the one who's not afraid of taking risks. While your older sibling might have said, "But what if..." or "what if we get hurt" or "what if we get caught", you were probably the one who would say "bring it on" when you see a new challenge. And it's likely that you have carried your adventurous streak into adulthood as well.
As the younger sibling, you are also someone who doesn't mind breaking the rules once in a while. You don't bother about conforming with the rules or expectations of the world. You are more likely to do things your way, whereas firstborn children are usually the ones who would conform. This could be because second-born children have been observed to value their independence more than firstborns, as found by a study The Pennsylvania State University, according to ScienceDaily.
But birth order has benefits for the first born as well. While second-born children would be more adventurous, firstborn children are more likely to perform better academically or do better at tests. These differences could be because parents tend to deal differently with their first and second-born children and it's not something they are conscious of.
While a firstborn child's role models would be his or her parents, a second-born child would have their older sibling, not an adult, as a role model. Doyle said, "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."
Because of the difference in how parents invest themselves in their children and because of the influence of an older sibling on a younger sibling, each child is bound to grow up differently. And that's why you might be completely different from your brother or sister. Understandably, even your parents would admit that raising you would have been a completely different experience from raising your brother or sister.
So, the next time you get into an argument with your sibling over who's really more rebellious, who's more adventurous and who's better at math or science, you already know the answer. And if you have kids of your own too, you can probably guess who is going to break the rules of the house more often.