Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have twin daughters, and are now expecting our third child–another daughter. I feel terrible about thinking this way, but when we found out the new arrival was going to be another girl, I was disappointed. It’s as though having a third daughter reduces my value as a man (I’m quite sure my in-laws, who were hoping for a boy this time ’round too, feel exactly the same way). This probably makes me sound like a terrible person, but I was really hoping for a jock. Is there anything I can do to move past this internal struggle?
A: The first thing you need to do is stop torturing yourself. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows that fathers of girls are any less masculine than fathers of boys (and I say that as a Marine Corps veteran with three daughters). Although most parents wouldn’t admit it in public, there’s a ton of research that shows that a majority of dads—and moms—do have a preference. And that preference is usually for a boy. Men often hope for boys because they aren’t quite sure what to do with girls. And women often hope for boys because they want their husband to be happy. After the first child, though, most parents say they want the next one to be the other sex. So you’re not alone.