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Poll Shows Moms Are Harder On Daughters Than Sons

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momlogic's Vivian:

Mother scolding her daughter

BBC News reports there may be some truth to the common thought that mothers have a tendency to be harder on their daughters than their sons.

Netmums, a UK parenting website, found 21% of the 2,672 mothers surveyed admitted to being critical of their daughters -- as opposed to only 11.5% of moms admitting they were critical of their sons.

Even more staggering? A whopping 55% of these moms said they formed "a stronger bond" with their boys (with 48% saying their sons were "mummy's boys") and 22% of these moms admitted they let their sons get away with more than their daughters -- yet half (51%) said it's wrong to show preferential treatment to children of either sex.

"This could be why women are far more self-critical than men, who have a more happy-go-lucky attitude when it comes to making mistakes and moving past them," says Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of Netmums.

Hmmm ... she's got a point there. But these findings beg an even more important question -- why are mothers more critical of their daughters? Is it the age-old myth that all mothers see their daughters as competition? Do mothers just expect more from their daughters? Or are moms harder on their daughters to be more protective of them?

What do you guys think?

next: Why My Kids DON'T Want To Be Famous
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
KS October 10, 2010, 8:18 AM

This may be part of the reason that men are so hyper critical of women too. Women seem to not be able to catch a break.

We are held at a different standard then men our entire lives. If we work in a male dominated industry we have to work longer, harder and be morally superior to be taken seriously. If we chose to have children the brunt of the child raising is normally on the woman’s shoulders.

We should all buck the system and decide to raise better kids in an effort to make a better more egalitarian society. There should be NO double standard. Boys and girls should be treated equally yet different depending on their personalities.

Carolyn (temysmom) October 10, 2010, 8:22 AM

I think mothers are harder on daughters because we want them to be so much better than we are. I know with my girls, I want more for them than I have. I want them to be better than I am. I want them to succeed more than I have. I don’t have sons but I am kind of hard on my girls but that’s only so they will reach their full potential.

BillyT October 10, 2010, 3:48 PM

My wife thinks I am too hard on our 18yr old son. I think that my wife goes hard on our 15yr old daughter. What do guys (Dads) think? Parents probably shouldn’t do it but: I think that there can be guy/guy issues and girl/girl issues. For example: I totally disagree with my 18yr old son’s attitude and approach to various things especially finding work. Is that because he is different to me at the same age or is it because his male attitude really is so poor/immature?

BillyT October 11, 2010, 3:06 PM

I commented the other day on this article but had a nagging feeling something was missing. I’ve now checked, it was an incomplete email address; it’s fixed, just in case.

Claire October 12, 2010, 8:11 AM

Thanks for the interesting information. I think it’s not a myth that women see their daughters as competitors — indeed, it could be kind of instinctive jealousy. Though I have never felt such an attitude towards me from my mom. So I can’t make some total conclusion here.
Claire, from application development

melly October 19, 2010, 9:50 PM

I think my mom see’s me as competition. both of my parents were a lot harder on me than on my brothers. I am a college student i’m actually graduating this week and they have never once told me that they’re proud. my younger brother hasn’t graduated high school, he’s 19 he’s had 2 dui’s in a month and they’re buying him a brand new gmc sierra. i still live with them, i pay rent even though i share my room with my brother. i’ve been paying rent since i was 17. they never push him to find a job, he smokes weed all day and they have even found cocaine in his closet. but i guess to them i’m the bad one. my father has even said that he isn’t proud of any of his children even when i was a month from graduating and bringing home 4.0 certificates.

Erin December 10, 2010, 3:05 PM

I seem to be harder on my son than my daughter. I have talked to my husband about this but cannot pinpoint why. We have discussed that I see undesirable traits that come from Dad, that my son is older, or that it’s because he’s a boy. I wish I could stop the comments before they burst from my mouth. I have a sense that I want to simply toughen him up, but is that really this mother’s job?

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