Study: Second-Born Children Are Natural-Born Criminals

MIT researchers and the Northwestern and University of Florida say that second-born children are more likely to turn to a life of crime than first-born children.

MIT researchers say that second-born children are more likely to turn to a life of crime than first-born children. 

The astonishing study looked at thousands of sets of brothers in the United States and Denmark and found that second-born boys are 40% more likely to enter into the criminal justice system than anybody else.

Disclose.tv reports: Why should the order of birth affect the chances of the younger child turning to crime in later life? The study suggested that the higher risk of delinquency might be down to second-children not having the one on one focus of parents as when the parents had a single child. This may mean that they are more prone to act out to get their parents to focus on them.

The authors of the study revealed that parents often have more time off work after having their first child, in comparison to having a second child. Two second-born children have to compete with their older sibling to get attention, and they have to compete for many other responsibilities and when coping with their career.

The study also revealed that second-born children could act out due to the fact that they look up to older brothers and sisters and the firstborn children look up to the adults in their life as their role models. In short, the older sibling has more development time around adults, and this influences them to behave in a manner that is more mature. Second-born children look at toddlers or school-age children as their role model.

First-Born Children Are Smarter Than Second-Born

Research has also revealed that the older siblings are usually smarter than younger brothers and sisters. The reason behind this again is that parents usually spend more time on their own with their first child than they do with the second. The first child often has their undivided attention.

This brings about the question of whether parents lose enthusiasm the second time around. Many parents admitted that they were less enthusiastic about taking part in activities with second children. This included the telling of bedtime stories, doing crafts and playing instruments. These are all of the things that help children to increase in intelligence.

Some Mothers Admitted to Smoking and Drinking During Second Pregnancy

Some mothers also said that they had not been as strict with themselves with second pregnancies. This may suggest that they smoked and drank while being pregnant with the second child. Choices such as these might have contributed to adverse outcomes for the second born children.

However, there should not be any cause for concern as Shankar Vedantam; the National Public Radio Social Science Correspondent said that crime sprees from second-born children are not a concern that is significant. This is despite the fact that studies revealed a 25% to 40% increase in the chances of poor behavioral choices along with consequences. It is important to bear in mind that this number is small overall.

It was said that about 1 in 10 or 20 children are likely to get into any serious trouble. However, Doyle, one of the authors of the study said that among the minority of children there does seem to be a difference that is sizeable between the first and the second born sons.

Perhaps it is the older child that influences, the younger one in some way or perhaps it is just pure coincidence that second-born children are naughtier than first-born.