This article is about gemstones associated with a person’s birth date. For the magic stone which is supposed to make birth easier, see Aetites.

A birthstone is a gemstone that represents a person’s month of birth. Birthstones are often worn as jewelry and as pendants.

Some common birthstones


  • 1 History of birthstones
    • 1.1 Western custom
      • 1.1.1 Traditional birthstones
      • 1.1.2 Modern birthstones
      • 1.1.3 Eastern Traditions
  • 2 Birthstones by cultures
  • 3 Zodiacal
    • 3.1 Tropical zodiac
  • 4 Birthday (day of the week) stones
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

History of birthstones[edit]

Western custom[edit]

The first century Jewish historian Josephus believed there was a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate (signifying the tribes of Israel, as described in the Book of Exodus), the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac.[1] Translations and interpretations of the passage in Exodus regarding the breastplate have varied widely, with Josephus himself giving two different lists for the twelve stones.[2] George Kunz argues that Josephus saw the breastplate of the Second Temple, not the one described in Exodus. St. Jerome, referencing Josephus, said the Foundation Stones of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19–20) would be appropriate for Christians to use.[3]

In the eighth and ninth century, religious treatises associating a particular stone with an apostle were written, so that “their name would be inscribed on the Foundation Stones, and his virtue.”[4] Practice became to keep twelve stones and wear one a month.[5] The custom of wearing a single birthstone is only a few centuries old, though modern authorities differ on dates. Kunz places the custom in eighteenth century Poland, while the Gemological Institute of America starts it in Germany in the 1560s.[6]

Recreation of the high priest’s breastplate in front of the central Sephardic synagogue in Ramat Gan, Israel

Modern lists of birthstones have little to do with either the breastplate or the Foundation Stones of Christianity. Tastes, customs and confusing translations have distanced them from their historical origins,[7] with one author calling the 1912 Kansas list (see below) “nothing but a piece of unfounded salesmanship.”[8]

Traditional birthstones[edit]

Ancient traditional birthstones are society-based birthstones. The table below contains many stones which are popular choices, often reflecting Polish tradition.[9]

There are poems which match each month of the Gregorian calendar with a birthstone. These are traditional stones of English-speaking societies. Tiffany & Co. published these poems “of unknown author” for the first time in a pamphlet in 1870.[10]

Modern birthstones[edit]

In 1912, in an effort to standardize birthstones, the (American) National Association of Jewelers (now called Jewelers of America) met in Kansas and officially adopted a list.[11] The Jewelry Industry Council of America updated the list in 1952[12] by adding Alexandrite for June, citrine for November and pink tourmaline for October. They also replaced December’s lapis with zircon and switched the primary/alternative gems for March. The American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite as a December birthstone in 2002.[13] In 2016, the American Gem Trade Association and Jewelers of America added spinel as an additional birthstone for August. [14] Britain’s National Association of Goldsmiths created their own standardized list of birthstones in 1937.[15]

Eastern Traditions[edit]

Eastern cultures recognize a similar range of gemstones associated with birth, though rather than associating a gem with a birth month, gemstones are associated with celestial bodies, and astrology is employed to determine the gemstones most closely associated with and beneficial to a particular individual. For example, in Hinduism there are nine gemstones associated with the Navagraha (celestial forces including the planets, the sun, and the moon), known in Sanskrit as Navaratna (nine gems). At birth, an astrological chart is calculated, and certain stones are recommended to be worn on the body to ward off potential problems based on the place of these forces in the sky at the exact place and time of birth.[16]

Birthstones by cultures[edit]


Tropical zodiac[edit]

Birthday (day of the week) stones[edit]

While the term “birthday stone” is sometimes used as a synonym for birthstone, each day of the week is also assigned a unique gemstone and these assignments are distinct from the monthly assignments.[1]

See also[edit]

  • Birth flower
  • Gemstones


  • ^ a b Kunz, George F. (1913). The curious lore of precious stones. Lippincott. pp. 275–306. 
  • ^ Gleadow, Rupert (2001). The Origin of the Zodiac. Dover Publications. pp. 130–131. 
  • ^ Knuth, Bruce G. (2007). Gems in Myth, Legend and Lore (Revised edition). Parachute: Jewelers Press. p. 294. 
  • ^ Knuth, p. 299
  • ^ Knuth, p. 298
  • ^ Knuth, p. 293
  • ^ Knuth, p. 310
  • ^ Gleadow, p. 132
  • ^ Kunz (1913), p. 320
  • ^ Farrington, Oliver Cummins (1903). Gems and Gem Minerals. Mumford. pp. 63–64. 
  • ^ Kunz (1913), p. 317
  • ^ Knuth, p. 311
  • ^ Grande, Lance; Augustyn, Allison (2009). Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World. University of Chicago Press. p. 335. ISBN 0226305112. 
  • ^ National Jeweler Magazine, “JA, AGTA Add Spinel as August Birthstone”
  • ^ Osborne, Harold, ed. (1985). The Oxford Companion to the Decorative Arts. Oxford University Press. p. 513. ISBN 978-0192818638. 
  • ^ Johari, Harish (1986). The Healing Power of Gemstones: In Tantra, Ayurveda, and Astrology. Destiny Books. pp. 15–34. 
  • ^ Kunz (1913), p. 315
  • ^ Kunz (1913), pp. 319-320
  • ^ “Tips & Tools: Birthstones”. The National Association of Goldsmiths. Archived from the original on 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  • ^ Knuth, p. 318
  • ^ Kunz (1913), pp. 345–347
  • External links[edit]

    • Jewelers of America leaflet
    • The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, G.F. Kunz – full text online version
    • Gems and Gem Minerals, Oliver Cummings Farrington – full text online version



    so these macaroni9s had their birthday some days ago so here is another intro to more oc9s. the black and white one is monotone and the yellow one is polygon, both are S class. monotone is suposed to be more like a bombay and polygon is a javanese! also tomor…



    it was phil’s birthday yesterday and i forgot


    the warriors series came out 15 years ago in all seriousness, i wouldnt be an artist if i never read this series sooooo ur welc also i feel like this would look better without the writing but????????? that capital s took too long so its staying

    Snail Gives Birth – Birth of a Snail

    A Snail gives birth in Nicosia Cyprus. Filmed in Nature by Marcus Platrides. Film has been speeded up by 4 times. I have the original if anyone is interested. Copyright Marcus Platrides 2016.



    it is the day of birth


    Fun fact it started off as sperm cells


    A birthday gift for CoffeeJan


    o hye i can learn how to driv now  ni ce  also tysm for the people that wish me a happy birthday and stuff it means the world to me!! :,DD


    happy birthday dad! Andrew-Reach is the birthday boi

    Quiet birth

    Silent birth, sometimes known as quiet birth, is a birthing procedure advised by L. Ron Hubbard and advocated by Scientologists in which “everyone attending the birth should refrain from spoken words as much as possible” and where “… chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to ‘PUSH, PUSH’ and loud or laughing remarks to ‘encourage’ are avoided”.[1] According to Scientology doctrine, this is because “any words spoken are recorded in the reactive mind and can have an aberrative effect on the mother and the child.”[1] Hubbard believed that breaking the silence during childbirth with words could adversely affect the child later in life. Church members believe that noises, sounds and words while a child is being born can possibly cause trauma, which in turn causes the production of engrams, thus necessitating silent birth. Scientologists believe that it is also a way to assist a newborn in his or her development spiritually.[2]

    The concept of silent birth is a mandatory practice in Scientology doctrine. It is based upon the principle that expectant mothers must be provided the utmost care and respect and Hubbard’s words: “Everyone must learn to say nothing within the expectant mother’s hearing using labor and delivery. Particularly during birth, absolute silence must be maintained and the more gentle the delivery, the better.” Silent birth is meant to make the transition to physical separation from the mother less painful for the child. The church does not rule against medication and caesarean section births.[3] There have been no attempts to prove this medically or scientifically and[4] the church does not claim silent birth as a medical approach but a religious and philosophical one.[3]


    • 1 Scientific opinion
    • 2 Ray and Louise Spiering
    • 3 Katie Holmes
    • 4 See also
    • 5 References
    • 6 External links

    Scientific opinion[edit]

    The efficacy of silent birth has been questioned by a number of doctors and other health care professionals. Patricia Devine, MD, a maternal–fetal medicine specialist who directs the Labor and Delivery Unit at Columbia University Medical Center, said, “There’s absolutely no scientific evidence that taking [noise] away at the time of delivery will have any effect on outcome for the baby or mother.”[4]

    When asked whether there was any medical evidence that indicated that silent birth was beneficial, Damian Alagia, MD, associate clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University Medical Center, replied, “It may be in the Scientology literature, but it’s not in the scientific literature. In my understanding, L. Ron Hubbard never spent any time in medical school, studying pediatrics or studying neonatal development. To think that a baby born in silence is going to do any better than a baby born, say, listening to Hank Williams is just foolhardy.”[4]

    Ray and Louise Spiering[edit]

    In 2004, Scientologists Ray and Louise Spiering went to federal court to argue that Nebraska’s mandatory blood test for infants would violate their right to practice the “Silent Birth Method” of their religion. According to the lawsuit “every effort should be made to avoid subjecting the baby to loud sounds, talking, stress or pain during the first seven days of the baby’s life … Because a baby goes through so much pain during the birth process, Scientologists believe that a newborn baby should not be subjected to any further pain or significant sensory experiences.”[5]

    Katie Holmes[edit]

    The “silent birth” became an object of media interest when it was known that outspoken Scientologist actor Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes, who converted to Scientology from Roman Catholicism, were expecting a child. Reports that the couple would follow the practice of silent birth were denied, until photos were taken of large placards being delivered to the couple’s mansion bearing instructions for the silent birth, such as “Be silent and make all physical movements slow and understandable.”[6]

    It was often reported in the media during this time that speaking to the infant during the first week of its life was barred by Scientology doctrine as well.[7] A Church spokesperson termed this “a total fabrication.” The Church of Scientology International writes, “L. Ron Hubbard never wrote that parents should not speak to their child for seven days following birth.”[8] The same website also says “[t]he idea of silent birth is based on L. Ron Hubbard’s research into the mind and spirit. He found that words spoken during moments of pain and unconsciousness can have adverse effects on an individual later in life.”[8] The website also says “[m]others naturally want to give their baby the best possible start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet as possible.”[8]

    See also[edit]

    • Scientology portal
    • Engram


  • ^ a b Church of Scientology (2006). “Scientology Newsroom”. Archived from the original on 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  • ^ Ashcraft-Eason, Lillian; Martin, Darnise C.; Olademo, Overonke (2010). Women and New African Religions. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780275991562. 
  • ^ a b Pande, Navodita (2016-05-01). “Silent Birth (Scientology)”. In Sange, Mary Zeiss; Oyster, Carol K. The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today’s World. SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:10.4135/9781452270388.n385. 
  • ^ a b c Shaw, Gina (2006). “Doctors Sound Off About TomKat ‘Silent Birth’ Plan”. WebMD. Retrieved 2006-05-01. 
  • ^ Cooper, Todd (Dec. 21, 2004). “Blood test for newborns faces religious challenge”. Omaha World-Herald
  • ^ Reuters (2006). “Giddy romance leading Holmes to silent birth: Scientologists believe baby can remember traumatic experiences”. Retrieved 2006-05-01. 
  • ^ MSNBC (2006). “Silent Scientology birth for Tom and Katie?: Group’s birth principles call for no music or talking during labor”. Retrieved 2006-05-07. 
  • ^ a b c Church of Scientology International (2006). “All About Silent Birth”. Retrieved 2006-05-01. 
  • External links[edit]

    • “Silent Birth Questions & Answers”. Scientology Parent. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
    • “‘Silent Birth’: Separating Reality From Myth” (Press release). Church of Scientology. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2006-09-26.  Made available on the web by Medical News Today.
    • “Scientology Silent Birth: ‘It’s A Natural Thing'”. An interview with Rev. John Carmichael from the Church of Scientology. Beliefnet. 
    • “‘What is Silent Birth?'”. Article by Thorsten Overgaard, father to twins delivered by Silent Birth. 

    BABY (short film)!.?.!A young lady is adhered to house by

    a complete stranger. BIFA winning brief movie starring European Academy Award Nominee Arta Dobroshi and American Academy Award Nominee Daniel Kaluuya. BFI AND


    Lotus birth

    Extended-delayed cord severance care: intact umbilicus one hour postpartum. 2006

    Lotus birth (or umbilical nonseverance) is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after childbirth so that the baby is left attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates at the umbilicus,[1] usually 3-10 days after birth.[2]

    No studies have been done on lotus births and therefore no evidence exists to support any medical benefits for the baby.[3] The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has warned about the risks of infection of this leaving the placenta attached.[3] The practice is performed mainly for spiritual purposes, including for the perceived spiritual connection between placenta and newborn.[4]


    • 1 History
      • 1.1 Modern practice
    • 2 Spiritual
      • 2.1 Relation to nature
      • 2.2 Energy
    • 3 Medicine
      • 3.1 Risks
    • 4 References
    • 5 Further reading


    Although recently arisen as an alternative birth phenomenon in the West, super-delayed (1+ hours post-birth) umbilical severance is common in home births, and umbilical nonseverance has been recorded in a number of cultures including that of the Balinese [5] and of some aboriginal peoples such as the !Kung.

    Early American pioneers, in written diaries and letters, reported practicing nonseverance of the umbilicus as a preventative measure to protect the infant from an open wound infection.[6]

    Modern practice[edit]

    In the 1980s, yoga practitioners brought the idea to the United States and Australia, with the “lotus birth moniker, creating a link between the preciousness of the placenta and the high esteem in which the lotus is held in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths”.[7] Yoga master and midwife Jeannine Parvati Baker being the main advocate for the practice in the United States.[2]

    Jeannine Parvati Baker, yoga master.

    The practice spread to Australia by a midwife, Shivam Rachana, founder of the International College of Spiritual Midwifery and author of the book Lotus Birth.[8]

    In the full lotus birth clinical protocol, the umbilical cord which is attached to the baby’s navel and placenta, is not clamped nor cut, and the baby is immediately placed on the mother’s belly/chest (depending on the length of the cord) or kept in close proximity to the mother in cases when medically necessary procedures such as resuscitation may be needed. In lotus birth, after the placenta is born vaginally (often with the maternal informed choice for passive management of third stage allowing for natural detachment of the placenta within appropriate time allowed for it, with no hormonal injections such as oxytocin) or via cesarean section (the most common operating room procedure in the U.S.).[9]

    Following birth, the placenta is simply put in a bowl or quickly wrapped in absorbent towelling and placed near the mother-baby caregivers step back to allow for undisturbed maternal-child bonding to occur as the primary event for an hour or more. It is only after this initial intense bonding period that the placenta is managed by rinsing, drying, applying preservatives, and positioning it in a way that allows for plentiful air circulation and proximity to the baby. Organs that are separated from their blood supply begin to rot within minutes and the placenta is prone to infection[10]. After several days, the cord dries and detaches from the baby’s belly, generally 3–10 days postpartum.[11][2]. This practice requires the mother to be home bound as she waits for the decomposing flesh of the placenta and umbilical cord to dry and separate from the baby[12].


    Umbilical nonseverance, postpartum water immersion shortly after homebirth. 2005

    Relation to nature[edit]

    Significantly delayed cord cutting as well as nonseverance is found in birth anthropology along with the universality of reverence for the cord & placenta (as found in the Tree of Life beliefs of tribal cultures around the world and reported to the world by scholar & professor Joseph Campbell).

    Primatologist Jane Goodall, who was the first person to conduct long-term studies of chimpanzees in the wild, reported that they did not chew or cut their offspring’s cords, instead leaving the umbilicus intact, like many other monkeys.[13] Though other mammals may sever their offspring’s cords, they only do so after initial maternal sensory reception, unwinding of the cord, massage/cleaning (through touch), and initiation of nursing [14] phase which has been observed to involve at least one hour, if left undisturbed.


    Proponents of lotus births view the baby and the placenta as one on a cellular level, as they are from the same source, the egg and sperm conceptus. They also assert that the newborn and the placenta exist within the same quantum field, thus influencing various expressions of quantum mechanics that influence health[15] Transfers of energy & cellular information continue to take place, moving gradually from the tissue of the placenta to the baby during the drying process. Scientists challenge this claim of a metaphysical dimension related to quantum mechanics. [16]


    A graphic showing the relationship of a developing baby and the placenta.

    Lotus births are an extremely rare practice in hospitals.[4] Lotus birth is a routine practice found in the culture of present-day Bali, a recently established practice in Australian hospitals (including for cases of prematurity and cesarean)[17] and is occasionally practiced in clinical birth centers and home births worldwide.


    We are aware that a number of women are choosing umbilical non-severance, known as lotus birth, and this is something we would discourage. … If you wanted to pick an environment that encourages bacteria to grow you probably could not do better than to leave the placenta attached after birth. … Soon after the baby is born there is no longer any circulation in the placenta, so it’s dead tissue and full of blood, making it the perfect culture medium for bacteria.

    Pat O’Brien, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists[7]

    The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has stated, “If left for a period of time after the birth, there is a risk of infection in the placenta which can consequently spread to the baby. The placenta is particularly prone to infection as it contains blood. At the post-delivery stage, it has no circulation and is essentially dead tissue,” and the RCOG strongly recommends that any baby that undergoes lotus birthing be monitored closely for infection.[3]

    Other risks include Jaundice caused by abnormally high bilirubin and Polycythemia an abnormally high percentage of red blood cells in circulation [18]


  • ^ 1955-, Walsh, Denis, (2007-01-01). Evidence-based care for normal labour and birth : a guide for midwives. Routledge. ISBN 0415418909. OCLC 156908214. 
  • ^ a b c Bindley, Katherine (12 April 2013). “Lotus Birth: Does Not Cutting The Umbilical Cord Benefit Baby?”. Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  • ^ a b c “RCOG statement on umbilical non-severance or “lotus birth””. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  • ^ a b Burns, Emily (Winter 2014). “More Than Clinical Waste? Placenta Rituals Among Australian Home-Birthing Women”. The Journal of Perinatal Education. 23 (1): 41–49.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  • ^ see Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, pp. 252-252
  • ^ Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750 to 1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986 pp.21-37
  • ^ a b Carroll, Helen (3 October 2013). “Is this the craziest (and most reckless) birthing fad EVER?: In lotus birthing, babies can be left with their placenta attached for TEN days… and doctors are horrified”. Daily Mail.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  • ^ Hansen, Jane (23 June 2013). “Risky new trend of lotus birth”. The Sunday Telegraph.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  • ^ stats
  • ^ Gunter, Jennifer. “A lotus birth is leaving a newborn attached to a decomposing placenta”. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  • ^ Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli. Integral Books, 2008. ISBN 1590304675
  • ^ Senapathy, Kavin. “Lotus Birth”. Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  • ^ See In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall.
  • ^ Human Birth: An Evolutionary Perspective. Wenda Trevathan PhD, Univ of New Mexco Press, 2011. ISBN 1412815029
  • ^ The New Physics of Healing lecture, Harvard Medical School, Deepak Chopra MD, Cambridge, Mass.  ISBN 156455919X , Audio recording.
  • ^ Stenger, Victor. “Quantum Quackery”. Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  • ^ Rachana, Shivam (2000). Lotus Birth: Leaving the Umbilical Cord Intact. Greenwood. 
  • ^ “Lotus births are trending….and they’re probably a terrible idea”. Pure Wow. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  • Further reading[edit]

    • Buckley MD., Sarah. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, Australia, 2006
    • Davies RN, Leap RN, McDonald. Examination of the Newborn & Neonatal Health: A Multidimensional Approach, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008. ISBN 0-443-10339-9
    • Lim CPM, Robin. After the Baby’s Birth: A Complete Guide for Postpartum Women, Ten Speed Press, U.S. 2001
    • Parvati Baker, Jeannine. Prenatal Yoga & Natural Childbirth, North Atlantic Books, U.S., 2001
    • Trevathan, Wenda. Human Birth: An Evolutionary Perspective, Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2011
    • World Health Organization (WHO). Care in normal birth: A practical guide, report of a technical working group, Geneva, Switzerland, 1997

    Tracing Nelson Mandela's Footsteps 100 Years After His Birth

    Tracing Nelson Mandela’s Footsteps 100 Years After His Birth

    July 18 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013.

    New Zealand Leader Leaves Hospital 3 Days After Giving Birth

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner have named their baby daughter Neve and say they want her to grow up in a world in which she can make choices about her family and career based on what she wants.

    Katos Birth

    Katos Birth

    Dis is a b-day icon for KatoQuest so wish her a happy b-day! 

    Linky9s birth

    Luna: My baby bro! Lori: As sweet as little angel. Luan: No one can feel baby blue around him. Lynn: I wanna play with him. Leni: I wanna be a mama one day. Request by Characters belong to Chris Savino and Nickelodeon.

    Hewuzi9s birth

    King Nuavie and queen Nwazi had a cub named Hewuzi. The mandril Hakiu  shows Hewuzi to the animals and they cheer over the new cub at the pride lands. 

    Skeeze’s birth

    “Yep, there’s me, rising from the Royal blood pools of hell… To the left is my mother, who’s angry at my father for being late. My father not wanting to be there what so ever” Drawn by MegaboatmaN

    horny birth

    Air Pollution Near Power Plants Tied to Premature Births

    Air Pollution Near Power Plants Tied to Premature Births

    Closing coal- and oil-fired power plants is associated with a reduction in preterm births in the surrounding region, researchers report.

    Notre Dame Students Sue School, White House Over Birth Control Policy

    Students at the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday sued the Indiana school and the Trump administration over a move this year to drop coverage for some forms of birth control from the university’s health insurance plan, citing religious objection…

    Astral Birth

    Astral Birth

    Birth Pangs

    Birth Pangs In his latest film, Los Angeles-based director Eliot Rausch, who recently finished working on a documentary alongside Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu, turns his lens on historic injustices in a haunting portrait that continues his work …

    birth card

    Birth Control

    Today’s episode is an important one; birth control! Garance chats up Tori, Natalie and Emily about the variety of options out there, the side effects of taking it, some very funny mishaps and how lucky we are to have access to it and talk about it so openly.

    .: Day-birth :.

    I decided to draw myself a lil gift for a special day <3

    Birth order

    “Younger brother” redirects here. For other uses, see Younger brother (disambiguation).

    Claims that birth order affects human psychology are prevalent in family literature, but studies find such effects to be vanishingly small.

    Birth order refers to the order a child is born in their family; first-born and second-born are examples. Birth order is often believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development. This assertion has been repeatedly challenged.[1] Recent research has consistently found that earlier born children score slightly higher on average on measures of intelligence, but has found zero, or almost zero, robust effect of birth order on personality.[2] Nevertheless, the notion that birth-order significantly influences personality continues to have a strong presence in pop psychology and popular culture.[3][4]


    • 1 Theory
    • 2 Personality
    • 3 Intelligence
    • 4 Sexual orientation
    • 5 See also
    • 6 References
    • 7 External links


    Alfred Adler (1870–1937), an Austrian psychiatrist, and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, was one of the first theorists to suggest that birth order influences personality. He argued that birth order can leave an indelible impression on an individual’s style of life, which is one’s habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love, and work. According to Adler, firstborns are “dethroned” when a second child comes along, and this may have a lasting influence on them, causing them to develop a Middle child syndrome. Younger and only children may be pampered and spoiled, which was suggested to affect their later personalities.[5]

    Since Adler’s time, the influence of birth order on the development of personality has become a controversial issue in psychology. Among the general public, it is widely believed that personality is strongly influenced by birth order, but many psychologists dispute this. One modern theory of personality states that the Big Five personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism represent most of the important elements of personality that can be measured. Contemporary empirical research shows that birth order does not influence the Big Five personality traits.[6]

    In his book Born to Rebel, Frank Sulloway suggested that birth order had powerful effects on the Big Five personality traits. He argued that firstborns were much more conscientious and socially dominant, less agreeable, and less open to new ideas compared to laterborns.[7] However, critics such as Fred Townsend, Toni Falbo, and Judith Rich Harris, argue against Sulloway’s theories. A full issue of Politics and the Life Sciences, dated September, 2000 but not published until 2004[8] due to legal threats from Sulloway, contains carefully and rigorously researched criticisms of Sulloway’s theories and data. Subsequent large independent multi-cohort studies have revealed approximately zero-effect of birth order on personality.[9]

    In their book Sibling Relationships: Their Nature and Significance across the Lifespan, Michael E. Lamb and Brian Sutton-Smith argue that as individuals continually adjust to competing demands of socialization agents and biological tendencies, any effects of birth order may be eliminated, reinforced, or altered by later experiences.[10]


    The Marx Brothers.

    Claims about birth order effects on personality have received much attention in scientific research, with the conclusion from the largest, best-designed research being that effects are zero [6] or near zero.[11] Such research is a challenge because of the difficulty of controlling all the variables that are statistically related to birth order. Family size, and a number of social and demographic variables are associated with birth order and serve as potential confounds. For example, large families are generally lower in socioeconomic status than small families. Hence third-born children are not only third in birth order, but they are also more likely to come from larger, poorer families than firstborn children. If third-born children have a particular trait, it may be due to birth order, or it may be due to family size, or to any number of other variables. Consequently, there are a large number of published studies on birth order that are confounded.

    Literature reviews that have examined many studies and attempted to control for confounding variables tend to find minimal effects for birth order. Ernst and Angst reviewed all of the research published between 1946 and 1980. They also did their own study on a representative sample of 6,315 young men from Switzerland. They found no substantial effects of birth order and concluded that birth order research was a “waste of time.”[12] More recent research analyzed data from a national sample of 9,664 subjects on the Big Five personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Contrary to Sulloway’s predictions, they found no significant correlation between birth order and self-reported personality. There was, however, some tendency for people to perceive birth order effects when they were aware of the birth order of an individual.[13]

    Smaller studies have partially supported Sulloway’s claims. Paulhus and colleagues reported that first borns scored higher on conservatism, conscientiousness and achievement orientation, and later borns higher on rebelliousness, openness, and agreeableness. The authors argued that the effect emerges most clearly from studies within families. Results are weak at best, when individuals from different families are compared. The reason is that genetic effects are stronger than birth order effects.[14] Recent studies also support the claim that only children are not markedly different from their peers with siblings. Scientists have found that they share many characteristics with firstborn children including being conscientious as well as parent-oriented.[15]

    In her review of the research, Judith Rich Harris suggests that birth order effects may exist within the context of the family of origin, but that they are not enduring aspects of personality. When people are with their parents and siblings, firstborns behave differently from laterborns, even during adulthood. However, most people don’t spend their adult lives in their childhood home. Harris provides evidence that the patterns of behavior acquired in the childhood home don’t affect the way people behave outside the home, even during childhood. Harris concludes that birth order effects keep turning up because people keep looking for them, and keep analyzing and reanalyzing their data until they find them.[16]


    Several studies have found that first borns have slightly higher IQ than later borns.[17][2] Such data are, however, confounded with family size,[11] which is in turn correlated with IQ confounds, such as social status.

    Robert Zajonc argued for a “confluence” model in which the lack of siblings experienced by first borns exposes them to the more intellectual adult family environment. This predicts similar increases in IQ for siblings who next-oldest sibling is at least five years senior. These children are considered to be “functional firstborns”. The theory further predicts that firstborns will be more intelligent than only children, because the latter will not benefit from the “tutor effect” (i.e. teaching younger siblings).

    In a metanalysis, Polit and Falbo (1988) found that firstborns, only children, and children with one sibling all score higher on tests of verbal ability than later-borns and children with multiple siblings.[18] This supports the conclusion that parents who have smaller families also have children with higher IQs. Resource dilution theory (RDT) suggests that siblings divert resources from each other. The metanalysis, however, found no such effect. Additional claims have been made, for instance that siblings compete for parental affection and other resources via academic achievement balancing out confluence effects.

    Three siblings from the 1890s.

    The claim that firstborns have higher IQ scores has been disputed. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth show no relationship between birth order and intelligence.[1] Likewise, data from the National Child Development Study in the United Kingdom has failed to support the hypothesis.[19]

    Sexual orientation[edit]

    The fraternal birth order effect is the name given to the theory that the more older brothers a man has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual orientation. The fraternal birth order effect is said to be the strongest known predictor of sexual orientation, with each older brother increasing a man’s odds of being gay by approximately 33%.[20][21] (One of the largest studies to date, however, suggests a smaller effect, of 15% higher odds.[22][23]) Even so, the fraternal birth order effect only accounts for a maximum of one seventh of the prevalence of homosexuality in men. There seems to be no effect on sexual orientation in women, and no effect of the number of older sisters.

    In Homosexuality, Birth Order, and Evolution: Toward an Equilibrium Reproductive Economics of Homosexuality, Edward M. Miller suggests that the birth order effect on homosexuality may be a by-product of an evolved mechanism that shifts personality away from heterosexuality in laterborn sons.[24] According to Miller, this would have the consequence of reducing the probability of these sons engaging in unproductive competition with each other. Evolution may have favored biological mechanisms prompting human parents to exert affirmative pressure toward heterosexual behavior in earlier-born children: As more children in a family survive infancy and early childhood, the continued existence of the parents’ gene line becomes more assured (cf. the pressure on newly-wed European aristocrats, especially young brides, to produce “an heir and a spare”), and the benefits of encouraging heterosexuality weigh less strongly against the risk of psychological damage that a strongly heteronormative environment poses to a child predisposed toward homosexuality.

    More recently, this birth order effect on sexuality in males has been attributed to a very specific biological occurrence. As the mother gives birth to more sons, she is thought to develop an immunity to certain male-specific antigens. This immunity then leads to an effect in the brain that has to do with sexual preference. Yet this biological effect is seen only in right-handed males. If not right-handed, the number of older brothers has been found to have no prediction on the sexuality of a younger brother. This has led researchers to consider if the genes for sexuality and handedness are somehow related.[25]

    Not all studies, including some with large, nationally representative samples, have been able to replicate the fraternal birth order effect. Some did not find any statistically significant difference in the sibling composition of gay and straight men;[26][27] this includes the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health,[28] the largest U.S. study with relevant data on the subject. Furthermore, at least one study, on the familial correlates of joining a same-sex union or marriage in a sample of two million people in Denmark, found that the only sibling correlate of joining a same-sex union among men was having older sisters, not older brothers.[29]

    See also[edit]

    • Adlerian
    • Family
    • Firstborn (Judaism)
    • Individual psychology
    • Only child
    • Primogeniture
    • Sibling rivalry
    • The Birth Order Book


  • ^ a b Rodgers, JL; Cleveland, HH; Van Den Oord, E; Rowe, DC (2000). “Resolving the debate over birth order, family size, and intelligence”. The American Psychologist. 55 (6): 599–612. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.6.599. PMID 10892201. 
  • ^ a b Rohrer, Julia M.; Egloff, Boris; Schmukle, Stefan C. (2015-11-17). “Examining the effects of birth order on personality”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (46): 14224–14229. doi:10.1073/pnas.1506451112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4655522 . PMID 26483461. 
  • ^ Isaacson, Clifford E (2002). The Birth Order Effect: How to Better Understand Yourself and Others. Adams Media Corporation. ISBN 1580625517. 
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  • ^ Sulloway, F.J. (2001). Birth Order, Sibling Competition, and Human Behavior. In Paul S. Davies and Harmon R. Holcomb, (Eds.), Conceptual Challenges in Evolutionary Psychology: Innovative Research Strategies. Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 39-83. “Full text” (PDF).  (325 KB)
  • ^ Harris, Judith Rich (2006), No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality (pp. 107-112)
  • ^ Rohrer, Julia M.; Egloff, Boris; Schmukle, Stefan C. (2015-11-17). “Examining the effects of birth order on personality”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (46): 14224–14229. doi:10.1073/pnas.1506451112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4655522 . PMID 26483461. 
  • ^ Lamb, M. E., Sutton-Smith, B. (1982).Sibling Relationships: Their Nature and Significance of the Lifespan. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • ^ a b Damian, Rodica Ioana; Roberts, Brent W. (2015-11-17). “Settling the debate on birth order and personality”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (46): 14119–14120. doi:10.1073/pnas.1519064112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4655556 . PMID 26518507. 
  • ^ Ernst, C. & Angst, J. (1983). Birth order: Its influence on personality. Springer.
  • ^ Jefferson T.; Herbst J. H.; McCrae R. R. (1998). “Associations between birth order and personality traits: Evidence from self-reports and observer ratings”. Journal of Research in Personality. 32 (4): 498–509. doi:10.1006/jrpe.1998.2233. 
  • ^ Paulhus D.L.; Trapnell P.D.; Chen D. (1998). “Birth order effects on personality and achievement within families”. Psychological Science. 10 (6): 482–488. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00193. JSTOR 40063474. 
  • ^ van der Leun, Justine (October 2009). “Does Birth Order Really Matter?”. AOL Health. Retrieved October 2009.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  • ^ Harris, J. R. (1998). The Nurture Assumption: Why children turn out the way they do. New York: Free Press.
  • ^ Belmont, M.; Marolla, F.A. (1973). “Birth order, family size, and intelligence”. Science. 182 (4117): 1096–1101. doi:10.1126/science.182.4117.1096. PMID 4750607. 
  • ^ Polit D. F.; Falbo T. (1988). “The intellectual achievement of only children”. Journal of Biosocial Science. 20 (3): 275–285. doi:10.1017/S0021932000006611. PMID 3063715. 
  • ^ Satoshi Kanazawa (2012). “Intelligence, Birth Order, and Family Size”. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 38 (9): 1157–64. doi:10.1177/0146167212445911. 
  • ^ Blanchard R (2001). “Fraternal birth order and the maternal immune hypothesis of male homosexuality”. Hormones and Behavior. 40 (2): 105–114. doi:10.1006/hbeh.2001.1681. PMID 11534970. 
  • ^ Puts, D. A.; Jordan, C. L.; Breedlove, S. M. (2006). “O brother, where art thou? The fraternal birth-order effect on male sexual orientation” (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (28): 10531–10532. doi:10.1073/pnas.0604102103. PMC 1502267 . PMID 16815969. 
  • ^ Ray Blanchard; Richard Lippa (2007). “Birth Order, Sibling Sex Ratio, Handedness, and Sexual Orientation of Male and Female Participants in a BBC Internet Research Project”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 36 (2): 163–76. doi:10.1007/s10508-006-9159-7. PMID 17345165. 
  • ^ “BBC – Science & Nature – Sex ID – Study Results”. 
  • ^ Miller EM (2000). “Homosexuality, Birth Order, and Evolution: Toward an Equilibrium Reproductive Economics of Homosexuality”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 29 (1): 1–34. doi:10.1023/A:1001836320541. PMID 10763427. 
  • ^ Blanchard, Ray. “Review and theory of handedness, birth order, and homosexuality in men.” Laterality, 2008, p. 51-70.
  • ^ B. P. Zietsch; et al. (2012). “Do shared etiological factors contribute to the relationship between sexual orientation and depression?”. Psychological Medicine. 42: 521–532. doi:10.1017/S0033291711001577. PMC 3594769 . PMID 21867592. 
  • ^ Mariana Kishida; Qazi Rahman (2015). “Fraternal Birth Order and Extreme Right-Handedness as Predictors of Sexual Orientation and Gender Nonconformity in Men”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 44: 1493–1501. doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0474-0. 
  • ^ Francis AM (2008). “Family and sexual orientation: the family-demographic correlates of homosexuality in men and women”. J. Sex Res. 45 (4): 371–7. doi:10.1080/00224490802398357. 
  • ^ Frisch M; Hviid A (2006). “Childhood family correlates of heterosexual and homosexual marriages: a national cohort study of two million Danes”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 35 (5): 533–47. doi:10.1007/s10508-006-9062-2. PMID 17039403. 
  • External links[edit]

    • Birth order and intelligence
    • Birth order and personality
    • CNN article
    • The Independent article
    • Time article
    • USA Today article on CEOs

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