This chapter examines how people's birth order (older, younger) in relation to their opposite-sex sibling affects their initial interactions as young adults with members of the opposite sex (that is, in mixed-sex dyads). Contrary to Walter Toman's family constellation theory, the best mixed-sex interactions are not those in which we interact with opposite-sex strangers who allow us to “replicate” the kind of relationship we previously had with our opposite-sex sibling. Instead, consistent with hypotheses proposed by Orville Brim, the best mixed-sex interactions involve participants who grew up with older, opposite-sex siblings (that is, men with older sisters and women with younger brothers).
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