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Do sons have it easier than daughters?

01:07 UK time, Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Mothers are harder on their daughters than their sons, according to a survey by a parenting website. Is this your experience?

Netmums found mothers were twice as likely to be critical of their daughters than their sons - even though half of the 2,672 mothers questioned said they thought it was wrong to treat boys and girls differently.

Boys were more likely to be described with positive traits such as funny, cheeky, playful and loving, while girls were given the labels stroppy, eager to please, serious and argumentative.

Do you agree with the findings? Do you find it hard to treat your children fairly? Did your mother treat you and your siblings equally? Do daughters benefit from tougher parenting?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    On the contrary, I feel parents and people in general are gentle towards girls.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I give my children preference by AGE. Not much, but just enough to instill RESPECT.

    Similar study would probably proove Fathers dolting more on their Daughters.

  • Comment number 5.

    Serious survey of parental practice from Netmums? Are you having a laugh BBC?

  • Comment number 6.

    Let me see, a web site on parenting with a MAJORITY of users being women has asked if mothers were more critical of daughters.... and this is the result..... I think the best word I can come up with to describe these results is duhhhhh..... That's like asking kids if carrots are more healthy than candy.

    Now go on a website that has more men than women and ask about fathers and sons, guess what the results will be? (I don't think we even need to have this survey now do we?)





  • Comment number 7.

    Still in moderation.


    Alright I'm sorry BBC, no more jokes about cannibalism, I promise.



  • Comment number 8.

    What a dumb subject.

  • Comment number 9.

    We have twins. Both boys. Non-identical. I treat them differently. This is because, from the very first minutes after birth they showed different character traits - one was placid and the other restless. They are now 21 and still show the same traits - which still elicit different responses from me.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Do these issues make you worry about having more than one child?"



    Unfortunately, in many instances, it clearly hasn't worried people who can't afford to bring up more than one child.

    My mother-in-law always wanted a daughter, and spoiled her daughter which she did not do with her two older sons.

    Everyone's going to be different, aren't they? Is there no other news?

  • Comment number 11.

    Well of course they are, how else are they to grow up moaning that they have had it harder than anyone in history?

  • Comment number 12.

    I've just realised it was a netmums survey, sorry i took it seriously!

  • Comment number 13.

    My mother did treat me differently to my brothers, in some ways stricter in some ways softer. She thought as a girl the world would hit me hard enough when I became a woman. How right she was.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    "8. At 06:34am on 06 Oct 2010, chrislabiff wrote:
    What a dumb subject"

    Couldn't agree more

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't have a son, but I am extremely fond of my son-in-law.

  • Comment number 17.

    'Mothers are harder on their daughters than their sons'

    Women doing each other down?

    who'd have thunk it?

    Stereotypes and casual sexism aside isn't this balanced by the fact that Fahers are normally far harder on their sons?

  • Comment number 18.

    "Netmums found mothers were twice as likely to be critical of their daughters than their sons - even though half of the 2,672 mothers questioned said they thought it was wrong to treat boys and girls differently."

    Interesting. It could be re-phrased as "Women prejudice toward own off spring because they are female" or "Women threatened by other females, including own daughters".

    I might be wrong of course but since I work in an environment where there are more or less and equal number of men and women across the board, women hate other women for some reason.

  • Comment number 19.

    What a dumb daft question to ask. Is there a shortage of subject matter ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Certainly I try and treat them equally, however it comes down to personalities and capabilities. My son needs to think about what he does and says, his sister - who at this age is brighter - needs to focus on behaviours.

    I understand the issues particularly with sons since boys develop more slowly intellectually and risk the late developer issues. Irrespective I feel very strongly that in modern life it is boys who face the greatest challenges.

  • Comment number 21.

    What an awful subject for debate. Get a grip BBC

  • Comment number 22.

    This has got to be the stupid question ever posed on HYS.

  • Comment number 23.

    Difficult to tell, as I only have a daughter!

    As a teacher, however, I require equally high standards of behaviour and effort from both male and female students. Gender is of no relevance whatsoever, likewise ethnicity, religion, sexual preference or any other irrelevancy. ALL students are required to be polite, attentive in class, and to work to the best of their ability.

  • Comment number 24.

    As a dad I see this in action every day!

  • Comment number 25.

    19. At 08:29am on 06 Oct 2010, smilingparrotfan wrote:
    "What a dumb daft question to ask. Is there a shortage of subject matter?"

    Clearly for the netmums users there is. I guess they can't discuss prams and breast pumps all day.

  • Comment number 26.

    I was hoping for Ken's brilliant new prison regime to discuss and brighten my day. However, for the record there is a great deal of transference between parent and sibling, parallel process, in other words women are their own worst enemy. My daughter is always expected to do the housework, while her brothers sit on their arses doing nowt! After years of oppression and indoctrination by her mum, peers and media my daughter feels it is her duty to comply, complain and shout but do it. I have noticed, as she gets older that her biggest enemy are other females, they are ruthless, where boys tend to face each other and one backs down, women carry on relentless, bullying, bitching and changing friends. Apparently this is all to do with some animal instinct; all about getting the best bloke to have kids with, weird or what?

  • Comment number 27.

    I personally try to be equally as hard on both my son and my daughter. Of course i have to take into account the fact that my son is 3 years older, but they both have their jobs to do each day and get an allowance accordingly. It can be hard to remember the age difference sometimes, but I at least hope that I am succeeding in bringing them up to believe as I do that genetic differences not withstanding there is no difference between males and females of the human species.

  • Comment number 28.

    Now we are going to get the middle class mums hit with child benefit cuts maybe they should get out and find jobs instead of sitting at home writing rubbish like this.

  • Comment number 29.

    A suggestion: rather than just say how pointless the debate is, why not spice it up by posting antagonistic statements?

  • Comment number 30.

    8. At 06:34am on 06 Oct 2010, chrislabiff wrote:
    What a dumb subject.

    ---

    Agreed, lets do 'Do women hate women?'

    'A recent survey based on pretty much nothing has found that when a woman finds a knife in her back, professionally, socially or romantically, 99.9% of the time its been put there by another woman'

    Discuss.

  • Comment number 31.

    It does seem rather obvious that mothers will favour their sons over their daughters and, as many have mentioned already, you would imagine that a similar survey on a male dominated web site would sugggest that the opposite is true of fathers.

    I would propose that this is not so, as a father of two sons, I would say that I favour my car over either of them.....

  • Comment number 32.

    What a load of nonsense.

  • Comment number 33.

    27. At 08:44am on 06 Oct 2010, Angryfinlandfff wrote:
    "I am succeeding in bringing them up to believe as I do that genetic differences not withstanding there is no difference between males and females of the human species."

    Very modern and PC of you, but probably a huge mistake. Men and women should be able to recognise, respect and even *admire* the differences between genders. Men and women can make a great team together when they appreciate how differently they view the world.

    You only have to look at 'Mr & Mrs Smith' for evidence of this. In the end they triumphed in an armed stand-off in a shopping mall when heavily out-gunned by the (probably all-male) opposition.

    Consider the similarly themed but less successful mono-gendered pairing of Butch & Sundance as further support to this theory.

  • Comment number 34.

    "Netmums"?


    Gaahh! Is this seriously the best the BBC can do as a source of a discussion topic now? An all-female, by choice, organisation of mums admits to treating daughters more strictly than sons, so you ask the question "Do sons have it easier than daughters?" without ever even considering how FATHERS treat their sons and daughters.

    Newsflash: Children are raised by FATHERS too, so unless you take the father's influence into account and deal with how fathers as well as mothers treat sons and daughters respectively, you aren't going to get an answer to your question, are you?

  • Comment number 35.

    The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.

  • Comment number 36.

    Sadly, what Netmums has found out is probably true. My son and daughter are now in their late thirties/early forties and I probably did favour my son over my daughter and was less critical of him than of her, especially in those teen years. If I had it to do over again I would be equally praising of the both of them, who both turned out to be very nice adults. Interestingly it is my daughter who is always there for me now and to whom I am closer. I am sorry my darling little girl. If I could do it over again I would do it differently.

  • Comment number 37.

    It is only natural that because of the 'gender' factor, fathers relate better to their daughters & mothers to their sons. All this nonsense in Asian & primitive societies about favouring only male offspring because then the family name & lineage will continue cuts no ice with educated people in the West.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    On the contrary, I think parents are more critical of boys than girls. Mothers always like to dress up their daughters and have you never heard the term "Daddy's girl".

    BBC has a reputation throughout the world for being serious and quite frankly you are not living up to your reputation. Please get real and raise more serious debates or will this stress the moderators too much.

  • Comment number 40.

    100% yes. Kipling got it right when he said that many women had a tremendous struggle not to hate their mothers.

  • Comment number 41.

    Of course I favour my sons over my daughters.... I have no daughters.
    A ridiculous and poorly conducted research, designed to be divisive.

  • Comment number 42.

    As a Step dad, I find that my wife tends to favour our daughter over our son. Then again they live with their real dad and we only get to see them every other weekend. Friends coming over for the evening, Shopping trips and Taxi services are more likely to be for our daughters benefit (Then again she has a part time job and pays most of her own way now).
    Our son is younger (Both teenagers) but more self sufficient and happy to spend a whole day fishing on his own, or a long night sat in front of the playstation. He tends not to have friends over (I'm sure the wife thinks they'll trash the house), and there's no way he'll get away with hanging around the streets with the local hoodie brigade.

    I get accused of spoiling our son, especially when I buy "myself" a spare sea fishing rod and real (After all you can never have too many fishing rods) or when I want to buy playstations games and I choose ones we both like (I may be in my forties, but that doesn't mean I don't like CoD).

    Then again, I also get accused of spoiling our daughter..... :)

    That said, this is still a non-topic. come on Auntie, give us a decent one to chew on...

  • Comment number 43.

    My Mum's not too fond of her daughter in law if that means anything... and my bloke's mother detests me...?

  • Comment number 44.

    My parents treated me different from my brothers and my Dad has openingly admitted it was because I was the oldest and they came down harder on me.

    I doubt it has anything to do with the fact I was the only daugther though - it was just the pecking order and my youngest brother got away with far more than I did.

  • Comment number 45.

    Netmums! A totally pointless organisation of coffee morning women discussing their brats, and what rubbish subject for HYS.

    Now how about asking why no one is interested in the commonwealth games and why the stadiums are empty and will the GB Olympics go the same way (hopefully), and if it does then can we put an end to all this athletics circus, get rid of the sickening Seb Coe and company stop wasting UK taxpayers money on a collection of minor sport’s events that clearly no one is interested in.

  • Comment number 46.

    We have one of each! The boy is naughty & 'hard work'. He causes trouble at home & school! His sister is "a pleasure to teach" said by all her Teachers.

    She is opposite to the 'findings's she is fun, easy going & happy, he on the other hand is grumpy, hard to please, disobedient, I could go on & on & on.... we wanted twins but we wouldn't have been able to cope!!!!!!!!

    He told me yesterday, in ONE MONTH last year he had detention 17 times!!! Daughter, like her parents hasn't had any.

    He NEVER does his homework, she does. He dosen't like peace, she does. Every morning when they come down .... he hits her over the head with the cushion!! So I've had to remove them.

    It takes him 2 HOURS to come home from school, his sister at the same school is home in 30 minutes....

    If we treated him with kid gloves he's steamroll you!!! Thank goodness he has a Mum & a Dad! I applaud thoses who bring up children well, on their own, for it can't be 'easy'.

    It is hard to treat them the SAME for they are not the same.

    Growing up in my family boys were treated different to girls - boys could do nothing, while the girls had to do the housework!!!

  • Comment number 47.

    7. At 06:14am on 06 Oct 2010, Trollicus wrote:
    Still in moderation.


    Alright I'm sorry BBC, no more jokes about cannibalism, I promise.
    ===========================================

    That's interesting: I had a post removed a couple of weeks ago, for suggesting cannibalism as a solution to both food shortages and population growth! Tongue firmly in cheek, of course. But cannibalism seems to be a touchy subject with the moderators, for some reason, even if the intention is humorous. Perhaps they consider it... er... bad taste (sorry!)

  • Comment number 48.

    Netdogs have found 75% of people treat their dogs better than both sons and daughters.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think this is probably because on the whole little boys are SO much nicer than little girls.

    If i take my girlfriends kids as an example her son (4) is a lovely little boy he's kind and shares etc.

    Her daughter however (5) has no capacity seemingly to have any kind of empathy for anyone but herself. She is totally 100% selfish. She is obsessed with attention and doesn't care if its positive or negative. She is a total nightmare to live with.

  • Comment number 50.

    39. At 09:31am on 06 Oct 2010, Confuciousfred wrote:
    On the contrary, I think parents are more critical of boys than girls. Mothers always like to dress up their daughters and have you never heard the term "Daddy's girl".

    Yep - and I've also heard the one "Mummy's boy".
    Speaking from experience, as the only girl in my family I know only too well how much easier my mother was on my brothers than me. They were allowed to do as they liked, I was ruled with a rod of iron and screamed at if I did the slightest thing to displease her. My role, apparently, was to babysit younger brothers while all my friends were going out, and listen to my mother complaining endlessly about her terrible childhood, adult life, etc, because "that's what daughters are for".
    Not surprisingly, I no longer speak to her!

  • Comment number 51.

    Is this becuase girls should know better while boys are harder "to train" so mums just give up trying? Ok that was tongue in cheek.

  • Comment number 52.

    15. At 07:55am on 06 Oct 2010, martin3647 wrote:
    "8. At 06:34am on 06 Oct 2010, chrislabiff wrote:
    What a dumb subject"

    Couldn't agree more

    -------------------------

    So do I.

    What next:-

    What do you think bears do in the woods?





  • Comment number 53.

    There are the serious and relevant debate questions on HYS.
    There are the light-hearted or tongue in cheek debate questions on HYS.

    Then there's this one, which is neither, (in fact it deserves a category that will not get past the Mods) based on this survey BBC? Aaaaargh!

  • Comment number 54.

    Other news media are reporting a UK poulation forecast of 70million, the Times Square bomber threatening an Islamic War and an ex marxist headteacher demanding war on the teaching unions.
    So lets address the burning issue of the netmums survey on HYS.

  • Comment number 55.

    Slow news day is it?

  • Comment number 56.

    I think it is appallingly accurate to say mothers are more critical of their daughters. It's a sad fact that women just love to have a go at other women, in a different and much worse way that men are critical of other men. It's depressing, and sad, and I am astonished that mothers admit to it. If I had children I would do everything in my power to be equally encouraging to both my son and daughter. How dare parents think gender is a legitimate basis to be more critical?

  • Comment number 57.

    Great subject for intelligent debate. May I suggest another?

    'Are women different to men?"

  • Comment number 58.

    "Mothers are harder on their daughters than their sons, according to a survey by a parenting website. Is this your experience?"

    Yes - my mother even admitted to treating me differently to my brother when we were kids. However, my parents are both Chinese, so culturally, my brother will always be considered superior to me, even though my brother and I were born & bred in the UK.

    Mother's reasoning was that I was always the more capable child and my brother needed a lot of looking-after (which ended up being done by me from the age of 11 to 17!), so they thought they could just leave me to get on with life. I managed, but I now look back upon a very unhappy childhood where I suicidal at the age of 16. Fortunately, I came to my senses, and got into University as a means of escape. Since leaving home, it's taken many, many years to get over it all, but I've now accepted it was a cultural thing and they didn't do it maliciously.

    OK, my case is an extreme one, but in this day & age and in a Western culture, I'm shocked at these findings. I would suggest that the Mums that have admitted to this look closely at their behaviour and attitude. In this day and age of equality, there is no reason or excuse for treating boys & girls differently just because of their gender.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think girls get a harder time from their mothers, particularly if they are the first-born, because they have to fight all the battles first, especially as teenagers. My sister had three brothers, of whom I am the eldest and, being born at home, was always closest to my mum, although we often quarrelled, even after my father died and I went back to live at home for a while. Our relationship made my sister jealous, naturally, and this still affects our sibling relationship seventeen years after my mother's death. By contrast, my father always had a close relationship with my sister, but never treated any of his sons less favourably. I've seen this pattern in many other families over more than thirty years as a teacher. Mothers have a very different relationship with their sons, no less difficult for that, while fathers are nonetheless important as role models. Fathers are often 'heroes' to their daughters, while mothers become increasing 'rivals' to them. Of course, this is generalising and anecdotal evidence, but the research quoted rings true for me...

  • Comment number 60.

    43. At 09:39am on 06 Oct 2010, Trina wrote:
    My Mum's not too fond of her daughter in law if that means anything... and my bloke's mother detests me...?
    --------

    Dear Trina,

    Surely this has more to do with in-laws & outlaws!

  • Comment number 61.

    If this finding of "Mummy's boy" is accurate, then I would put forward that you also tend to find "Daddy's girl" syndrome.

    I'll have lots of kudos for that very scientific finding, thank you.

    More seriously, I have tried to treat my children as evenly as possible, but I certainly found that my daughter appeared more empathic and was more willing to sit with me to watch my type of programme. My son seemed to enjoy spending time in the kitchen with Mum, so there may be something to this study, but they have only done half the work. I suppose that's what comes of only questioning one half of the equation.

    As I say, for completing their study for them I'll take the kudos, and maybe next time they'll remember that mums aren't the only parents who have responsibility for children.

  • Comment number 62.

    I have raised three daughters, all different, one is a single mum, one a hair dresser and the youngest has a Phd and is a university tutor. I've also been involved in raising two grandsons (twins).

    Boys are easier only during puberty. They are either a) in bed, b) playing football or c) playing with ******** (you know what).

    All the girls, when reaching puberty, started bouncing off the walls. Everyday was an argument, followed by a tantrum, followed by a sulk, interlinked with lies, accusations, demands, apologies etc etc etc.

    I came to the conclusion that all girls should be put in jail when they reach 14 and released when they turned 21.

    And yet. They are all now wonderful, and I recently cried my eye's out trying to give a father of the bride speech.



  • Comment number 63.

    I suppose that Mothers do go easy on their sons more so than their daughters. This is because the mothers know the Hell that their sons are going to get from all the rest of the female population for the rest of their lives.

  • Comment number 64.

    A lot of people are positing that Fathers favour daughters and Mothers favour sons; a theory with which I have to say I partly agree. As a thought, and as a much more interesting debate, what implications does this have for the idea of the traditional family as compared to alternative family types such as single or gay parents?

  • Comment number 65.

    Ah yes! Lets branch off into the psychology of women. I've always wondered about the differences traits between male and female relationships. At secondary school I had basically the same set of 7 friends throughout the 5 years (we never really fell out), whereas the girls would tend to bounce from drama to drama having a different set of close friends each month (exaggeration, but you get the point). Just an obervation, but one that I still see in my female friends today. So like someone else said, I don't think it's so much a mother-daughter thing as a female-female thing. Of course I could be talking rubbish, hey ho.

  • Comment number 66.

    I have certainly seen evidence of mothers treating their sons very differently from their daughters.

    The mothers fuss over their sons, don't encourage them to do anything for themselves and can do no wrong in the eyes of their mother. Daughters are treated totally the opposite.

    As a result, the young females are more self reliant and harder working and seem to get better qualifications and are more employable than young males.

    As a male with teenage daughters, I have seen this happening and it makes me cringe. Cannot these women see the harm that they are doing to their sons? What are the husbands doing to put a stop to it?

    You can certainly see the difference in the boys that are not spoilt and have caring encouraging parents that do not keep fussing over everything that the poor child does. Fortunately, I do know a few of these better parents and their boys are up there with the girls in the 'employability' stakes and they are very nice kids. So - everything is not lost.

  • Comment number 67.

    Why does anyone find this surprising?? It has always been the case that boys get away with murder, as far as their mothers concerned. I'm 55 years old and still get angry at the preferential treatment my brother used to get. I'm one of 5 children - 4 girls and 1 boy. He was allowed to leave wet towels on the bathroom floor, not do the washing up etc.He used to get 6d a day pocket money, we girls got 3d. We not only had to strip our beds and make them, but we had to do his too!! And make him cups of tea and sandwiches when he got in from school, even if he got in before us!! If we dared to remonstrate with my mother, it was a clip round the ear, followed by 'He's a boy. Get used to it.' Is it any wonder we girls all grew up to be raging feminists??

  • Comment number 68.

    I don't think "eager to please" or "serious" should necessarily be seen as negative traits, or "cheeky" be seen as a positive trait. All those words are open to a lot of different interpretation.
    I think my parents treated us all equally. As for me I only have sons, but if I had daughters I would try to treat them in the same way.

  • Comment number 69.

    As a father with two daughters I have never considered giving any kind of preferential treatment simply on the grounds of gender. I have always tried to be even handed and protective to both my daughters - now adults - but they are different in character and the younger is more head strong and independent. My wife has much the same attitude in her relationship with both daughters.

  • Comment number 70.

    As a father and grandfather I can honestly say I never showed preference to either my son or daughter (they may feel different of course, but I don't think so).

    My grandchildren are all boys and they are all different in terms of affection, personality, ability etc and it is often difficult not to choose a favourite, but I make sure I treat them all the same as far as possible. I would not want them thinking they are second class.

    I don't think the sex of the child enters into it.

  • Comment number 71.

    Still in moderation.


    Alright I'm sorry BBC, no more jokes about cannibalism, I promise.
    ===========================================

    That's interesting: I had a post removed a couple of weeks ago, for suggesting cannibalism as a solution to both food shortages and population growth! Tongue firmly in cheek, of course. But cannibalism seems to be a touchy subject with the moderators, for some reason, even if the intention is humorous. Perhaps they consider it... er... bad taste (sorry!)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't apologise mate, that was top! haha.

  • Comment number 72.

    Yet more wooly headed nonsense from the BBC, and who the h*** are NOT-MUMS?

  • Comment number 73.

    Could someone quietly ditch this pointless HYS and add some about the burning issues - 'Tories c###ups department' for one.

  • Comment number 74.

    Who makes up these ridiculous surveys and thinks they are definitive of the nations opinion? Absolute rubbish. Why did the BBC waste its time on this?

  • Comment number 75.

    I think that the most astonishing thing about raising children (one of each) is that however hard you try to treat them in a similar manner they still grow up completely different.

  • Comment number 76.

    18. At 08:25am on 06 Oct 2010, Shoogly Peg wrote:

    "Netmums found mothers were twice as likely to be critical of their daughters than their sons - even though half of the 2,672 mothers questioned said they thought it was wrong to treat boys and girls differently."

    Interesting. It could be re-phrased as "Women prejudice toward own off spring because they are female" or "Women threatened by other females, including own daughters".

    I might be wrong of course but since I work in an environment where there are more or less and equal number of men and women across the board, women hate other women for some reason.

    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    I agree with your comment entirely!

    I have worked in both predominantly male and female workplaces and the differences were incredible. For the most part the males worked together as a team towards a common goal with the usual general banter that you get with men. The women seemed to spend all their time in a constant battle of one-upmanship and trying to stick knives into each others backs (I also found all the constant crying and moaning most off putting). Probably not allowed to say that these days but there you go...

  • Comment number 77.

    I had a good relationship with my mother but a fantastic one with my father who was interested in everything I did. He even helped me with dressmaking but my mother wasn't interested.

    When I got married I could cook the basics but really had to teach myself to cook and my husband had to put up with a lot of failures as I had never been given the time by my mother. My dad was a good cook and if it hadn't been for his patience I would't even have been able to boil an egg.

    I don't think it is possible to determine either way what kind of relationships children will have with their parents as every family is differnet.

  • Comment number 78.

    and why is it that i have to wait for god knows long for the moderators to post my comments?
    Are they that busy that i have to wait well over an hour and still no sign of my commentary?

  • Comment number 79.

    Is this really something HYS needs comment on?

    There are very many more serious debates this site could discuss; all this kind of subject will do is create pages of mindless banter between two extremes, and consequently devalue what should be a sensible, considered forum.

  • Comment number 80.

    I agree with yellowsandydog - eager to please, serious and argumentative are not negative personality traits.
    I also find it astonishing that 49% of mothers did not think it wrong to treat boys and girls differently. 78% of mothers said they do not let their sons get away with things more than girls.

    BBC- please do not report this sort of survey without at least giving the number of respondents to the survey. Without this it is extremely sloppy journalism.

  • Comment number 81.

    Society in general is much more forgiving of female behaviour though whereas I've taught my son to realise the world will be pretty merciless to his actions- he will be held wholly accountable- whereas my daughter won't. Don't know exactly why but it's just a reality of being male.

    I think parents are more readily critical of the child which is of their own gender as they are the principal example to that child whereas they are not to a child of the opposite gender... pretty simple stuff really as some contributors have already alluded to.

  • Comment number 82.

    Yes and fathers are harder on their eldest son. So what?
    Parental aspirations aside, why should children be treated the same? This gives no one what they need but punishes everyone equally. Some children need more help, love, reassurance than others. Some are happy in isolation others need socialising. Being sent to my room was never a punishment for me, but was unbearable for my brother. Would equal treatment have been fair to either of us? We should be celibrating our differences, not trying to eliminate them!

  • Comment number 83.

    Talk about only having half a story!

    One suspects that Fathers are harder on sons than daughters and that the whole issue therefore balances out, all for rather obvious evolutionary reasons.

  • Comment number 84.

    Yes,I totally agree with the findings.. Really mothers are tougher with their daughters than their sons.In my opinion girls need a different treatment from boys.However mothers should bring up their sons in a way that would enable them to be great and brave men when they grow up.Therefore boys are in a critical need for the tough treatment not the girls.That is to say mothers need to reconsider the way they treat their children especially the sons , not the daughters.

  • Comment number 85.

    "I also find it astonishing that 49% of mothers did not think it wrong to treat boys and girls differently..."

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Hmmm, why is it astonishing though? Boys and girls are different, it seems logical to suggest their upbringing should be approached in different ways. I suppose it depends on how you interpret the statement. I wouldn't want to love or favour my children differently, but the way I raised them would depend on their gender to some extent surely. The same way it would depend on their personality traits.

  • Comment number 86.

    78. At 11:16am on 06 Oct 2010, entropydave

    Stop whining.

    79. At 11:29am on 06 Oct 2010, milvusvestal

    Stop whining.

    80. At 11:31am on 06 Oct 2010, James

    It says in the header. It's 2,672. Try reading. And stop whining.

  • Comment number 87.

    An interesting point is that feminists (almost exclusively women? - some men) seem to 'hate' all things male. And yet women with kids give preference to that often maligned creature 'the mummy's boy'.

    As a mummy's-boy myself (my mum thought I taught Jesus to walk on water) I know for a fact I was allowed much more freedom and understanding than my sisters, (One older the other younger). Did it cause friction?

    I don't know, but there again I was so wrapped up in self interest I didn't notice.






  • Comment number 88.

    I think , that however much you try not to, you will always tend to favour the child of the opposite sex to you. I think this applies to both mums and dads.

  • Comment number 89.

    I actually agree with the findings. I know my mum was very critical of me growing up that it led to a big rift between us which took me having my own children to heal. I know I can critical of my own daughter but more because she is the eldest of my children and it usually relates to her needing to set a good example to her brothers.

  • Comment number 90.

    Including my earlier comment I can split the comments on this HYS into 4 basic categories:

    1. I agree with the survey
    2. I buck the trend
    3. I wish to point out that fathers and daughters have a bond
    4. Why this HYS when there are other stories.

    So, now that the whole thing has been summarised please, HYS, clear this off and give us something meaty to dissect and argue over.

  • Comment number 91.

    Sounds like another labour nanny state debate!

    Why don't we worry about things that actually matter? I hope the tax payer didn't pay for this survey,

  • Comment number 92.

    I hope nobody got paid for administering this survey!

    I would be worried if parents didn't tend to treat girls differently than boys. They are a different species after all. Some boys barely qualify for upper-primate status though.

  • Comment number 93.

    My father always used to say that I would never get past 6 years old in his eyes. Therefore, I was always his "little girl" right up to the point of his death 3 years ago. I still miss the close relationship we had, even though he didn't treat my brother any differently - we could both go to him with problems of any nature. My brother now thinks of his daughter the same as my father thought of me - no one will ever be good enough for her!
    My mother on the other hand always seemed to favour my brother when we were growing up. Maybe that was because I was a little horror during my teens that it seemed more noticable, but it only seems to have been the last year or so that the rose tinted glasses have fallen off and she sees my younger brother for the man that he is, not the man she thought he was.

  • Comment number 94.

    [ 62. At 10:38am on 06 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:

    And yet. They are all now wonderful, and I recently cried my eye's out trying to give a father of the bride speech. ]

    Awwww, just like my dad! ;-)

    As the oldest child of 6, my parents were tougher on me. The fact that I'm a girl had nothing to do with it. In fact, I think my mother was harder on my brother than on me. And although he's the only surviving son, he still had to do household chores etc. My dad, meanwhile was happy to teach his girls to change a fuse, hang wallpaper, change a spare tyre, and all the stuff we're not supposed to be able to do (including mastering the offside rule!) We all got the same pocket money too! After reading some of the stuff on here, I'm so proud that my parents were apparently before their time in ignoring all this sexist rubbish!

  • Comment number 95.

    chrislabiff wrote: What a dumb subject.

    How dumb to comment on a "dumb subject". Last time I checked it wasn't compulsory to make comments on this forum. Are you incredibly bored or something?

    Why do you think it's your god-given right to be served up topics of interest to you? How arrogant is that?

  • Comment number 96.

    With all the things you could be discussing on here... What a daft topic!!

    Come on H.Y.S team - A bit more creativity please!

  • Comment number 97.

    Of course the male child has it easier for example they have more access to education worldwide. Male chances of survival must also be greater because there are an estimated one million 'disappeared' females worldwide and the list could go on.

  • Comment number 98.

    Come on BBC is this the best you can do.

    During the Labour Conference you had wall to wall coverage on HYS.

    There are plenty of better subjects that are currently worth debate.

  • Comment number 99.

    Netmums? What on earth is netmums? Are expected to take this seriously?

  • Comment number 100.

    I'm amazed that an organisation such as the BBC would even consider the inclusion of such a question as this one. Women have fought long and hard for equality - anyone who admits to treating their children differently according to gender is not a fit parent.

 

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