A new study from the Rutgers School of Business has assessed whether mothers favour daughters and fathers favour sons.
Publishing their findings in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Rutgers found that parents tend to favour the child with the same sex as they have, in one important aspect.
Although 90 per cent of parents surveyed by Rutgers' professor of marketing Kristina Durante claimed to favour neither child, in financial affairs it appeared there was some favouritism at play.
According to the results of four experiments, conducted across cultures, mothers are more likely to invest more money into daughters, just as fathers do the same for their sons.
In one test, participants, all of whom had one male and one female child, were given a $25 (USD) treasury bond and told to invest it for one child. The majority of mothers gave it to their daughter, and fathers to their sons.
Participants were also found to favour children with the same sex as them when it came to dividing up the family will.
The full study is scheduled to be published in January 2018.
Durante also suggested that the family bias may continue to the office environment, where familiar relationships are often recreated.
If a woman is responsible for promotion decisions in the workplace, female employees may be more likely to benefit. The reverse may be true if men are in charge of such decisions.
If this gender bias influences decisions related to charitable giving, college savings, promotions and politics, then it can have profound implications and is something we can potentially correct going forward