What makes people creative? Scientists think that left-handed people are more creative, but does their birth order matter too?

While parents may not have control over their baby’s brains and looks?or what hand they?re going to write with?researcher Markus Baer says they CAN influence their baby’s creativity, especially if it’s their first child.

There are three factors that seem to impact creativity for firstborn children: the number of younger siblings he or she has; having siblings of the opposite sex; and having siblings close in age (less than three years apart).

Baer says, “The argument is that if there is a huge age difference between the firstborn and the other children, then people get pushed into the role of being a parental surrogate. From early on they are expected to help discipline their younger siblings and that usually leads to the adoption of adult-like behavior. When the children are born closer together, then the firstborn has a play-buddy and this enhances creativity.”

Having younger siblings of the opposite sex helps develop a higher level of creativity because the oldest child tends to adopt roles that may not be stereotypically male or female. The influence of a younger sister on an older brother, for example, often means that the big brother isn’t being socialized as strongly in male roles. However, birth order plays no part in whether a boy turns out to be gay, although his homosexuality CAN play a role in how many siblings he has.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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