The birth of a child is considered a blessing with most parents absolutely thrilled to welcome a new addition to the family.
But while most claim they would be happy no matter what the baby’s gender is, as long as it’s happy and healthy, newly released research has revealed that isn’t really the truth.
A study undertaken by Rutgers University and published in the journal Scientific Reports has found mums actually prefer daughters while dads hope for a son.
To come to this conclusion, the team of researchers conducted an online experiment that saw participants complete several tasks to see if there was gender bias.
Men and women were questioned over whether they would pledge money to a charity that largely supports girls or boys; tested on their attitudes towards the sex for the children they might adopt, and assessed on the sex ratio they would prefer in their own offspring.
Overall, the results showed a person’s sex had a strong impact on what genders they preferred for their offspring. Females strongly preferred daughters and investing in them, while males had a weaker, though still significant, preference for sons.
According to one of the university’s professors Lee Cronk, the research could be quite beneficial to mums and dads in helping them to become better parents.
“Our research may help people be better parents if we become aware of our unconscious biases towards different kinds of children,” he explained.
This isn’t the only study to analyse parents gender preferences for their children, with research earlier this year claiming there has been a major shift towards one sex, the New York Times reports.
According to the study the majority of American parents now prefer to have daughters over sons for the first time since 1941 with many hinting this could be because of the apparent modern-day bias against boys.
Previously when asked if they could have one child only, 40 per cent said they would prefer a boy and 28 per cent a girl, with the rest showing no preference. However, now many research shows having a daughter makes it less likely that parents will keep having children.
Researchers have suggested this could have something to do with the shift in bias of boys and girls. In the past, sons have been the ones to, in most cases, be professionally successful and earn more money. But now, women are more likely to be college graduates and pursue rewarding careers than men.
“It should be celebrated that parents want to raise confident young women,” psychologist Michael Thompson told The New York Times. “But there is now a subtle fear of boys and the trouble they might bring.
“Parents think: ‘My son might have A.D.H.D., might not fit in as well in school, there might not be jobs for him. Life is going to be a little tougher for him as a boy’.”