A son is a son till he gets himself a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for all your life. This adage is true to its last word and it is a fact that daughters take the responsibility of taking care of their elderly parents. A new study suggests that daughter more aptly fill the voids left by sons.
Angelina Grigoryeva, a graduate student with the department of sociology at Princeton University and the author of the study said, “Sons provide a lower relative share of total parent care if they have a sister, whereas daughters provide a larger relative share if they have a brother. This finding suggests sons may pass on parent-care responsibilities to their sisters.”
Angelina feels that women are frequently raised to be caregivers and when the elderly parent is a woman she is not very comfortable with her son taking care of her needs. The study also revealed that Gender segregation remain strong even as the number of men doing housework is rising and they spend more time in giving care to their children. The Gender inequality is more pronounced in geriatric care as compared to house jobs or child care.
There are more than 11 million older adults in the US who need assistance in doing some part of their independent living for example dressing or bathing. The study revealed that most elder care in the US is provided at home by adult daughters. It is not clear why brothers do not contribute more.
The study examines data from a 2004 national survey of people over the age of 50. Angelina looked at the results from about 3,000 parents who had 1,477 sons and 1,537 daughters (one child each) and 2,461 sibling groups with at least one son and 2,488 sibling groups with at least one daughter.
Grigoryeva also found out that sons are more apt to step into the role of helping elderly parents when there are no sisters or spouse to help. The study also revealed that daughters cared more for their mothers than their fathers while sons cared more for their fathers.
Among other things, found that sons are most likely to step in to help elderly parents when there’s no sister or spouse to help out. The findings also suggest that daughters provide more care to mothers, while sons provide more care to fathers.
The study will be presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in San Francisco.