Speed Reads

girls rule boys drool

Twice as many Americans say boys are easier to raise than girls

More than half of Americans say boys are easier to raise than girls, a Gallup poll published Thursday found. While a full 54 percent said boys are easier, just 27 percent said girls are. Just 14 percent said there's no difference.

This belief may be a factor in another poll that found that 36 percent of Americans would rather have a son than a daughter, if they could choose only one.

Both numbers fit into a deep-rooted pattern — Americans have long preferred boys, with an average 11-point gap between the two sexes since 1941. But the percentage of people who think boys are easier to raise has actually increased in recent years. Until the 1990s, about 42 percent of those surveyed said boys were easier. The number began to rise, as the number of people who thought there is no difference decreased.

Gallup points out that young adults aged 18-29 are more likely to say girls are more difficult to raise, with 62 percent saying boys are more straightforward. Men overall are also more likely to choose their own sex. Men are also much more likely to say they would rather have a son, while women largely don't have a preference. Young adults were more likely than older age groups to choose sons over daughters, though with record-low fertility in the U.S., many are choosing neither.

The Gallup poll was conducted June 1-13, surveying 1,520 random U.S. adults reached by phone. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.