The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Why siblings can be so different, according to science

By Elizabeth Chang

24 Jan 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Parents are often surprised at the vast differences between their offspring. The Washington Post explains the science behind siblings and why we shouldn't be surprised at how different they can be.

Laura Horwitz has three sons, ages 24, 21 and 17, who share the same parents and grew up in the same house attending the same K-12 schools. Still, they are "as different as can be," said their mother, a former teacher who now owns a service that places nannies and babysitters with families in the Chicago area.

The eldest was very studious and organized, is an out-each-night extrovert and has been pursuing a film and television career since he was a kid. Her middle child didn't care much about academic achievement or organization, is an introvert who mostly connects with friends online, and is a bodybuilder who changed his major several times in college. The youngest enjoys cooking and performing arts, falls in the middle of the extroversion spectrum, and eschewed the team sports his older brothers participated in.

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