From the comments

by on August 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm in Education | Permalink

And since I'm rambling and have the floor, every man needs a daughter. ALL of my male friends who had children were changed for the better by having at least one daughter. It is not a wife who socializes a husband, it is a daughter.

The link is here.  

1 scarface August 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Don’t most of the Econ faculty only have boys?

2 Buce August 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm

The grandparent thing is not sex specific; has more to do with the decline of testosterone poisoning. Lot of men make better grandfathers than fathers.

3 Gary August 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Why wouldn’t having only sons improve a man?

4 MostlyAPragmatist August 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm

@Gary–

Because men are brutes who (in the absence of a woman they care deeply about) will revert to loud talk, rough language, rasslin’, not bathing, and eating dinner straight from the can.

Obviously, I’m exaggerating, but there’s a special bond between any father and his children and if that child is a gentle member of the gentler sex, the father will be changed in a different way from how he was changed by his sons. And the original poster doesn’t say that sons don’t improve a man, too, only that daughters do.

PS Yes, there are stereotypes in my response, but many illusions about conditioning of gender behaviors are dispelled by actually raising children.

5 Jose in Houston August 28, 2009 at 5:58 pm

As a husband, older brother of a sister and father of 2 daughters I think agree with the statement. Because most men start gaining and new perspective when someone ask them: do you want that for your daughter? At that moment the love they (in theory) feel for their daughters challenges any chauvinism they may have.

6 Vombatus August 28, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I don’t think it has to be a “gentling” effect, necessarily, more that it’s just a result of a close bond with impressionable children who happen to be female. My dad had two of us, both daughters, and I am always shocked to hear about what he was like and how he felt growing up — i.e., a lot more chauvinistic. But he raised the two of us pretty much the way he would have raised the sons he originally wanted, both of us tomboys, Santa gave us guns for Christmas, etc., and today he’s definitely a strong supporter of women’s rights in a way he never was before he was a parent. Still hardcore Republican, and he wouldn’t call them “women’s rights,” but when it comes to equality between the sexes or reproductive rights, he is gung ho all the way.

7 meat eater August 28, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Mongol General: “What is best in life?”
Conan: “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”

8 anon August 29, 2009 at 1:34 am

I agree with the comment.

One of my daughters can stop me mid-rant by quietly, yet firmly, saying “Dad” and then raising her voice just a tiny bit and repeating, “Dad.”

She has done this several times and it always makes me laugh. Mostly at my own foolishness.

No one else could do this but one of my daughters. And the result has been that I rant a lot less, and laugh a lot more.

A wise old (male) friend of mine once told me that there is nothing like the love of your daughters. And he is right.

And although I and most of the soccer dads I know are most definitely NOT feminists, don’t try telling me or any of them that some opportunity is closed to our daughters because of their sex.

Over time I have become downright intolerant of situations that if one of my daughters was subjected to some kind of treatment to which I would object and let my daughters know it was not acceptable, that treatment is not acceptable for anyone.

That might be “daughterism”.

9 Garcia Roberts August 29, 2009 at 7:11 am

Having daughter is really such a great feeling, She is the only one cares her parents whole her life.

10 Rama August 29, 2009 at 8:37 am

@ anon : Are you the same anon who posted the original comment or a different anon ?

11 Chris August 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm

My wife: “It’s true: you don’t have to wear pants until you have a daughter.”

12 KK slider September 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

Once again I am disgusted at the astounding patriarchal sexism espoused by MR’s readership. I guess that’s what I get for coming to a forum filled with very conservative older men: Women are property, and when you have daughters you’re able to realize what special and delicate property they are.

I am glad I’m not any of your sons, I pity them.

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