Intro to Sociology 101
26 November 2012
There are a lot of different characteristics that go into shaping one’s personality. Some characteristics might be how we were raised, others being the financial stability of our family, or maybe even if we grew up in a single parent home. One characteristic that people may not think about is the birth order of an individual. Picture yourself as being an only child or maybe even if you were part of the Brandy Bunch family, and imagine how your life would be different, or possibly how it would affect your personality towards others around you in society. Often birth order is compared to intelligence and personality. Typically, people who are first born tend to be logical, ambitious, and have leadership qualities. Middle children might be a little more attention seeking or competitive compared to the other children. And as for the last born, they are more so the sensitive type and risk takers (Jordan, 2010). Keep in mind that there are some others factors to take into consideration such as how many children there might be, or how many years each sibling may be apart from each other. Overall these characteristics of each child can typically affect their personalities and how they fit into society. Some researchers found that birth order impacts personality, behavior, learning, and earning power (Earley).
Natural Born Leaders First born children relate more so with only children in a way. With being the first born there is a lot of responsibility that takes place in this child. Because they grow up with the parent emphasizing success and achievement, they typically grow up as more driven and serious and less playful compared to others (Moorhead, 2006). First born children usually take on the caretaker role and are considered natural born leaders. Because of their leadership skills they tend to mentor and tutor their younger siblings. An example of how first born children may interact with the community and in society could be, the oldest of four brothers may feel uncomfortable working with the opposite sex just because he is so used to being around all males, but on the hand if there was a lady boss who was the oldest sister to four brothers, she would probably would feel more comfortable having authority over her male employees (Moorhead, 2006). Some famous people that fall under this category and possess the same characteristics of first born children are Madonna, Princess Diana, and Oprah Winfrey (Jordan, 2010). There have also been studies done on first born children typically having higher IQ’s and becoming more intelligent. With first born children, they usually reach higher education goals and acquire more net wealth (Earley).
Although there are some similarities with first born and only children there are also a few differences. Children with no siblings tend to have higher self-esteem than first born kids, and they have less need to have control over others. It is also harder for them to adjust to different personalities at once, and unlike children with siblings it is a little harder for them to understand the importance of sharing (Moorhead, 2006). In society they probably feel most comfortable working alone rather than with a team or group of people. First born children find it hard to adapt to change and often don’t like surprises.
Middle of the Family Next in the family is the middle child. The middle child is typically a little harder to read, but normally they are the kids that are attention-seeking or competitive towards their siblings. They have the role of the younger sibling to the oldest and also the older sibling to the youngest. Some personality traits of being a middle child may be dependent of others or sometimes often people who fail to think independently (Moorhead, 2006). Because they are in the middle child they sometimes are left out or forgot about, and they are pressured less by