Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. Go to the home page to see the latest top stories. I essay about sad feelings like no one loves me. But why would having a sister make you happier?
The usual answer — that girls and women are more likely than boys and men to talk about emotions — is somehow unsatisfying, especially to a researcher like me. Much of my work over the years has developed the premise that women’s styles of friendship and conversation aren’t inherently better than men’s, simply different. A man once told me that he had spent a day with a friend who was going through a divorce. When he returned home, his wife asked how his friend was coping. We didn’t talk about it.
Obviously, she said, the friend needed to talk about what he was going through. This made the man feel bad. Asking about the divorce might have made his friend feel worse by reminding him of it, and expressing concern could have come across as condescending. The man who told me this was himself comforted to be reassured that his instincts hadn’t been wrong and he hadn’t let his friend down. But if talking about problems isn’t necessary for comfort, then having sisters shouldn’t make men happier than having brothers.
Laura Padilla-Walker and her colleagues at Brigham Young University — is supported by others. Recent and archival health news about psychologists. Times of London article about the findings. So what is going on? My own recent research about sisters suggests a more subtle dynamic. I interviewed more than 100 women about their sisters, but if they also had brothers, I asked them to compare. Most said they talked to their sisters more often, at greater length and, yes, about more personal topics.
This often meant that they felt closer to their sisters, but not always. One woman, for example, says she talks for hours by phone to her two brothers as well as her two sisters. And, she added, one brother calls her at 5 a. Please verify you’re not a robot by clicking the box. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times’s products and services. You are already subscribed to this email.