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Firstborns are most ambitious — especially girls, study says

Even though parents try to treat children equally, firstborns are more ambitious and advantaged in education, according to a British study that also found firstborn girls outperform firstborn boys.
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: April 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm •  Published: April 30, 2014
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Even though most parents try to treat children equally, firstborns are more ambitious and also more advantaged in education, according to British research published in a working paper that also found firstborn girls outperform firstborn boys.

Feifei Bu of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex looked at birth order and family structure in terms of the individual's ambition.

Slate titled its coverage of the study "Firstborn Girls are Statistically More Likely to Run the World."

"What do Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, JK Rowling and Beyoncé have in common? Other than riding high in Forbes list of the world's most powerful women, they are also all firstborn children in their families," noted The Guardian's Tracy McVeigh.

The study "appears to show that, if you are the eldest child and female, you are statistically more likely to be the most ambitious and well-qualified of all your family," McVeigh wrote, adding that firstborn boys are next in line in terms of success and that all 12 men who walked on the moon were firstborn or only children. More than half of U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize recipients were also firstborn.



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