I never took a psych class and I never studied human development. I have no idea if such a study has ever been done or how to find it if it exists. With that disclaimer…
If a child is raised by a single parent in a household where the parent and any sibs are of the opposite sex of the child, is said child more likely to act like/identify with the opposite sex than a kid in a two-parent household?
I know in more than one movie, part of the plot involves a girl whose mother has died and she grows up with Dad and a bunch of brothers. This girl is inevitably shown as tomboyish, holding her own with her brothers, pretty much dressing and acting like them. Somewhere along the line, Dad apologizes because he doesn’t know how to teach her all the girly things that she needs to know.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the opposite situation used as a plot device - a son who grows up with Mom, maybe Grandma, and a bunch of sisters. Maybe because no one wants to protray such a boy as being turned gay by living with all the females. Plus it would lack the heartwarming scene when the tomboy is suddenly transformed to the prom queen… I guess that’s more believable than a sissy boy becoming the winning quarterback in the big game. :rolleyes:
So anyway, are these situations merely plot devices, or do they reflect some truth. Will a girl in an all-male household become a proficient armpit farter? Will a boy in an all-female household become a great nuturer? Or do we become who we become because that’s just who we are?
My gut feeling is that our upbringing is less important - otherwise every child raised in a family would be pretty much like his/her siblings. Other than maybe the Osmonds, I don’t think that’s typical. Certainly not among my sibs.
Which brings me back to where I started: Is a boy in an all-female environment likely to adopt female traits? Will a girl in an all-male environment act like one of the guys? And no, I’m not asking if they’ll be turned gay/lesbian. More like: will their social interactions tend to be more typical of the opposite sex?