"The sex of the first-born child affects the likelihood that the parents will give to charity, the amount they give, and the types of causes and organisations they support," said Debra Mesch, director of Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
"This is an important factor influencing charitable giving that was previously unknown," said Mesch. The researchers found that the first-born's sex affects the parents' giving for those who are in two-parent families, but not in single-parent families.
Parents who have a first-born son and have two or more children are more likely to give to charity, and give 14.3 percent larger amounts than people whose first-born child is a daughter, the researchers found.
They found that parents whose only child is a daughter are more likely to give to charity, and they give 20.3 per cent higher amounts than parents of a son who is an only child. They also give more to education and basic needs.
"Research in several fields has examined how the sex of a child affects parents' behaviour, but this is the first study to ask this question about philanthropy," said Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, the co-principal investigator and professor of economics and philanthropic studies (IUPUI).


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