Women With Brothers Earn Less, New Study Finds

by : Julia Banim on : 21 Sep 2017 16:58

Ladies, your brother might drive you crazy, but have you ever considered he might also be the cause of your sluggish pay and dead end job?


A new study from Cornell University has revealed how having a brother lowers a woman’s earnings by 10% while in their late twenties and early thirties.

For brother-free women in the same age bracket, the gender wage gap was found to be about 5% smaller.

Yikes. And you were angry that time when he scribbled all over your Barbies with red felt tip…


Drawing from data gathered in the US, Cornell researchers Angela Cools and Eleonora Patacchini found women with brothers to be more likely to concentrate on ‘family-centric behaviour’.

For example, having committed relationships, planning to have children and carrying out family responsibilities were all of greater priority to these women than for those without brothers.

According to Cools and Patacchini, this could be due to girls with brothers adopting more traditional gender roles from an early age:

Traditional gender role attitudes continue to contribute to the gender wage gap in the United States, but the development of these attitudes is not well understood.

By examining the role of sibling gender composition on women’s wages, we show that exogenous changes in family environments can lead women to adopt less sex-typed attitudes and behaviors, potentially reducing earnings gaps between men and women later in life.

20th Century Fox

Sigh. Siblings eh…

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life


Cornell University
  1. Cornell University

    Sibling Gender Composition and Women’s Wages