That settles it. Scientists have finally figured it out and the debate is over. Firstborn children really are objectively the best. Don’t take our word for it though, because it’s your own parents who probably agree. We even have the absolute proof to back it up.
Well, “proof” is a bit strong of a word actually, but this study done for the Journal of Family Psychology is still telling. Teen siblings who were born within four years of each other were asked individually in a controlled environment how they felt their parents treated them. They were asked if this treatment felt the same as or different than the treatment their siblings received, and they were also asked how this has affected their levels of self-confidence. Usually, the younger children felt that the older children were given better treatment than they were and that this has hurt their self esteem.
The study was originally done with the intent to prove the exact opposite; it set out to prove the fact that firstborn children were the ones who had things harder. In the words of one of the researchers, Katherine Conger from the University of California, behind the study:
“I was a little surprised. Our hypothesis was that older, earlier-born children would be more affected by perceptions of differential treatment due to their status as the older child in the family”.
Well, what may be more shocking than the results of asking the teens how they felt is how parents responded when confronted about this topic. Out of 384 families in the study, 74% of mothers and 70% of fathers admitted to liking one of their kids more than the others, though they unsurprisingly would not say which ones. Still, they confirmed that what their children perceived as a bias, actually was a bias towards one of them. That’s about 3/4 of the parents in the entire study, and you have to remember that these are only the parents who actually confessed to playing favorites. There were probably more parents who did prefer one child over the others but refused to say it out loud out of guilt, even in an anonymous study.
Don’t feel too bad if you’re not a firstborn child, though. Your parents still love you. Just not as much.
h/t The LADbible