Sibship Sex Composition and the Educational Attainment of Men and Women

Conley, D.
Social Science Research. 29:441-457,

This study decomposes the detrimental effects of increased sibship on educational attainment by the sex of the respondent and his/her siblings. Previous theories regarding the interaction of gender and sibship sex composition are reviewed and a new hypothesis is offered: a revision of the sex minority hypothesis, positing that an increased number of siblings of the opposite sex (regardless of the of the respondent's gender) are harmful to educational achievement since sex minority children may find their gender-specific needs unmet, may suffer from socialization by the family that conflicts with sex role expectations within the educational system, or because there may exist returns to scale for "gender-specific"goods within the household. Findings reveal that it is the number of opposite sex siblings that most hurts educational attainment efforts, marshalling support for the revised sex minority hypothesis.