The Ideal Family: Two Girls?

by Samantha on April 10, 2011

Image courtesy of www.wallcoo.net

Apparently many of us are in for a shock. We do not have the perfect family, according to a new survey by Bounty.com.
According to this poll, the “perfect” family consists of two girls. Yes, you heard right, people. That means that if you have any other familial configuration than what has been pronounced via these findings (of which I’m not sure are completely scientific), then you are likely very unhappy. Well at least that’s what the survey seems to say.
The happiest parents are, apparently, those with two girls, followed by those with one boy and one girl, then two boys. The list continues with a number of varied filial permutations, ending with – surprisingly – four girls! How ironic that two girls are supposedly the ideal complement to one’s family, yet doubling down on the double-X chromosone will only get you a double-dose of misery. Strange.
Following is the Bounty list, in decreasing order of parental happiness:
1. Two girls
2. One boy and one girl
3. Two boys
4. Three girls
5. Three boys
6. Four boys
7. Two girls and one boy
8. Two boys and one girl
9. Three boys and one girl
10. Three girls and one boy
11. Two boys and two girls
12. Four girls
The site also goes on to discuss the benefits of having two girls and the negatives of having four girls. You can find more details about the lists in an article I wrote about it for Technorati, here.
Firstly, I’m really not sure what the purpose of this survey was and exactly how they thought that the rest of us poor sods who don’t fit into the proscribed “happiest families” contingent would feel. I mean, really – of course parents of two girls are happy, but isn’t there something to be said about the rest of us that isn’t pitiful or downright insulting? We may not fit into the mold that Bounty has arbitrarily formed, but rest assured that I as well as many parents of children that are not two girls, are very, very happy about the type of family that we/they do have and wouldn’t change it for the world.
In a larger sense, there is something disturbing about a survey that at once pits one set of parents against others, as well as perpetuating gender stereotypes about boys and girls.
For example, some of the so-called “benefits” of having two girls are that they are “rarely noisy” and that they “help around the house.”
Many parents of two girls (or more) are probably laughing out loud right now, and will tell you that their kids are not “rarely noisy;” if anything, they are the opposite. As well they are pulling their hair out trying to get them to help around the house.
In other words, if it isn’t already apparent in this post, I am not a fan of surveys like these. They set up a hierarchy amongst parents and pit us against each other (the “haves” and the “have-nots”) unnecessarily. Because, really – parenting in and of itself is a hard, hard job. It’s rewarding beyond compare, but it’s an effort to do it well. Why add guilt and longing for what we don’t have into the mix?
So I have to ask: what do you think about this survey? Do you agree? Is the two-girl family the best type of family? Why or why not?
What type of family do you have? How do you feel about surveys like this?
I look forward to hearing from you!
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