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Gender Composition of Children and the Third Birth in the United States


Tian, Felicia F. & Morgan, S. Philip (2015). Gender Composition of Children and the Third Birth in the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(5), 1157-1165.


Pollard and Morgan (2002) argued that the parental mixed-gender preference (i.e., parents' preference to have at least one son and one daughter) will weaken in the United States as aspects of gender become increasingly deinstitutionalized. They presented evidence that mixed-gender preference weakened in the 1986-1995 period compared to earlier and coined this change as emerging gender indifference. On the other hand, credible claims and evidence suggest that after 1985, the gender revolution has stalled. Such arguments suggest that weakened mixed-gender preference will persist. In this study, the authors replicated and extended Pollard and Morgan using 4 waves of data from the National Survey of Family Growth that allow examination of the 1966-2009 period. The results show that the effect of same-gender children on intending/having another child declined in the 1986-1995 period; however, no evidence that this effect has continued to weaken was found. Thus, these data show evidence consistent with a stalled revolution.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Marriage and Family


Tian, Felicia F.
Morgan, S. Philip