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Americans prefer sons over daughters, poll finds

James Cheng / MSNBC.com

Boys rule, girls drool?

Americans are boy crazy, it seems. That’s the take-home message of a new Gallup poll, which found that Americans would prefer a boy to a girl if they could only have one child. In the poll of 1,020 adults, 40 percent said they’d pick a boy, while 28 percent said they’d choose a girl. The rest had no preference.

Funny thing is that the results are similar to attitudes measured by Gallup in 1941, when the boy preference was a 38 percent to 24 percent margin.  In fact, Gallup’s done the same poll 10 times since 1941 and the results have always skewed in favor of boys. (Hellooo? Wasn’t there a women’s movement somewhere in there?)

So what gives? Like leaving the toilet seat up and never asking for directions, apparently it's a guy thing. That is, it’s men who drive the preference for boys over girls. In the poll, 49 percent of men said they’d want a son, while only 22 percent said they’d prefer a daughter. Women showed no real preference, with 31 percent choosing a boy and 32 percent preferring a girl.

It’s also an age thing. Americans younger than 30 were the most likely to want a little dude (54 percent compared to 27 percent who wanted a gal), and the gap declines with age.

Other categories that tipped in favor of boys: education (people with only a high-school education or less preferred boys) and politics (Republicans want boys more than Dems do).

What do you think? If you could only have one child, would you want a boy or girl?

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