Well, for being made of frogs and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails, they sure do come in handy. In a study that underscores the value of family, researchers found that girls with big brothers go through puberty later and those with little brothers wait longer before having a sexual relationship.

It should be noted that the study did not examine the effects that protective fathers with shotguns had on the same variables. Maybe next time.

And while the explanations for why this is so seem far fetched, the impact of brothers seems logical to me.

The researchers try unconvincingly to explain this in terms of drains on the mother’s resources. I think that other explanations may better suffice. We are social creatures. Not social in some sort of abstract sociological way, but social in the way God created us. He created to be part of a family and being part of a family, especially a larger family, teaches you something about how to be a good person. How to share. How to wait. How to fight. How not to fight. How to care and how to love and I think this makes all the difference.

No, I can’t back up my explanations any better than these researchers can, but I suspect I am right. Children develop better in larger families and brothers, when not fighting with them, love their sisters and protect their sisters.**

**If my sister is reading this, please note that none of this applies to you. You never shared and still Mom always liked you best. And you smell.