The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior
(National Bureau of Economic Research)
When we look deeper into the reasons as to why boys are doing especially poorly when raised by single mothers, we find evidence suggesting that a small but non-trivial part of their disadvantage might be related to differential inputs, with single mothers investing more in their girls and feeling emotionally closer to them. Nevertheless, these findings are imprecise due in part to the small sample sizes and imperfect input measures available in this dataset. Turning to another dataset, the American Time Use Survey, we find corroborating evidence suggesting that single mothers spend significantly more time on childcare related activities with their girls relative to their boys. In contrast, there is no gender difference in childcare among children residing in two-parent families. These patterns are observed among children below the age of three, suggesting that these differences in parental inputs arise early in a child’s life.
Read the full study HERE.