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A sister is the female offspring of one's parent.


Two child sisters
Three sisters

The term sister comes from Old Norse systir which itself derives from Proto-Germanic *swestēr, both of whom have the same meaning, i.e. sister. Some studies have found that sisters display more traits indicating jealousy around their siblings than their male counterparts, brothers.[1] In some cultures, sisters are afforded a role of being under the protection by male siblings, especially older brothers from issues ranging from bullies or sexual advances by womanizers.[2]


Various studies have shown that an older sister is likely to give a varied gender role to their younger siblings as well as being more likely to develop a close bond with their younger siblings.[3] Older sisters are more likely to play with their younger siblings.[4] Younger siblings display a more needy behavior when in close proximity to their older sister[5] and are more likely to be tolerant of an older sisters bad behavior.[6] Boys with only an older sister are more likely to display stereotypically male behavior, and such masculine boys increased their masculine behavior with the more sisters they have.[7] The reverse is true for young boys with several sisters, as they tend to be feminine, however they outgrow this by the time they approach pubescence.[8] Boys with older sisters were less likely to be delinquent or have Emotional and behavioral disorders.[9] A younger sister is less likely to be scolded by older siblings than a younger brother.[10] The most common recreational activity between older brother/younger sister pairs was art drawing.[3] Some studies also found a correlation between having an older sister and constructive discussions about safe sexual practises.[11]

Fictional works about sisters


  1. Volling, B. L.; McElwain, N.L.; Miller, A.L. (2002). "Emotion Regulation in Context: The Jealousy Complex between Young Siblings and its Relations with Child and Family Characteristics". Child Development 73 (2): 581–600.
  2. Handbook of Cultural Psychiatry - Page 67, Wen-Shing Tseng - 2001
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gender - Page 53, Leanne Franklin - 2012
  4. Play from Birth to Twelve: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings, , Doris Bergen 2015
  5. Sisters and Brothers - Page 78, Judy Dunn - 1985
  6. The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science, Volume 4, Charles B. Nemeroff, 2002 p 1524
  7. Gender Development - Page 300,Lynn S. Liben - 2009
  8. Gender Development, Sheri A. Berenbaum, 2013
  9. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Volume 26, p 161, 1996
  10. He & she: how children develop their sex role identity, Wendy Schempp Matthews - 1979 p 162
  11. Handbook of Adolescent Psychology, Contextual Influences on Adolescent Development, Laurence Steinberg, PhD - 2009 p 61

External links

  • The dictionary definition of sister at Wiktionary