The Weird Reason Couples With Daughters Divorce More Often

Why parents of daughters are more likely to separate.

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Daughters are not easy.

Any parent of a daughter will probably tell you that boys are far less difficult to raise.

Because of this cultural opinion, whether or not it's entirely true, daughters have also long been one of the contributing factors of divorce, at least according to research done in the U.S.

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Although those researchers couldn't tell you why exactly, the divorce rates say it all: If you want to save your marriage, have a son. Simple as that.

You know, because it's so easy to just pick and choose the gender of your children. It's almost as easy as finding a perfectly ripe avocado when you want one, right?

However, research has found that while the previous study about higher divorce rates for parents with daughters is still true, there is now a reason why. Not only is that reason awesome, but it has everything to do with the fact that girls are tougher than boys. Which, let's be honest, we already knew.


The study, from Duke University, which was updated in 2018, found that girls are "hardier" than boys.

From their early moments in the womb, girls are able to withstand more, and some of that stuff they withstand from inside their mama's uterus could be the stresses of a marriage on the rocks.

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Researchers determined that girls are more likely to survive pregnancy in a rocky marriage. Since the relationship was already in turmoil before the baby was born, little girls often wind up being the product of divorced parents.

As Duke economist and co-author of the study, Amar Hamoudi, put it, “Many have suggested that girls have a negative effect on the stability of their parents’ union. We are saying: ‘Not so fast.’”


It has nothing to do with the fact that raising a teenage girl is enough to give anyone a heart attack and gray hair, but everything to do with "the robustness of female embryos," and the overall badassness that comes with being the "fairer" gender.

The same study also found evidence that the "female survival advantage," is something that baby girls get while in utero. Hamoudi says, “Girls may well be surviving stressful pregnancies that boys can’t survive. Thus girls are more likely than boys to be born into marriages that were already strained.”

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So, what we're really gathering from this study is that women are born warriors. Amen to that!


In addition, despite my earlier comment that you can't technically choose the gender of your child, it's women with more marital conflicts who end up having daughters. So, have lots of fights with your husband before and during your pregnancy if you want a warrior, errr... daughter? Yes, I think that’s what research is telling us.

While no one wants to see their parents divorce, there's something to be said about the way in which a daughter might contribute to the break up of a marriage. To have scientific proof that the female gender means business from the very start might bring us one step closer to, oh, I don't know, gender equality — maybe?

If anything, we're glad daughters aren't to blame for divorce because of their gender. Daughters just happen to be the tough cookies who can handle a marriage that's already on the outs, because that’s just how we roll from the get-go.


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Amanda Chatel has been a sexual wellness and relationship journalist for over a decade. Her work has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Self, and other outlets.