My husband's only sibling is a sister who he doesn't get along with very well. Without getting into an entirely different issue, we don't really have much of a relationship with his parents and haven't for a number of years. As we have had children and made attempts to involve them, only to be ignored and rebuffed, I have often thought about how things might have been easier for my husband had he had a brother. I have thought so much about it that possibly being able to give our son a brother is making me seriously consider having another child. I love having a boy and a girl. I would not have wanted it any other way and honestly, I'd probably be content if we stopped right now. However, there is a part of me that truly believes in the importance of boys having brothers. (I realize that if we decide to have a third child I have no guarantee it would be a boy). This next statement will probably garner some opposition, but I think it is more important than girls having sisters.
Here's my reasoning. Girls who do not have sisters or who do not have especially close relationships with their sisters fill that void with their relationships with other women. Women are social beings. We make friends. That is not to say that men don't, but as a general rule they are more reserved, they play things closer to the vest. They are not as likely to create the type of brotherly bond with a friend like girls do when they create sisterly bonds with friends. With brothers it is different. Someone has their back, someone is automatically on their side. (The same argument could be made for sisters as well, I'll admit). I want that for my son.
I have two brothers that are six years apart. As they have gotten older they have become closer. They now live in two separate states, but they used to build and fix things together, they still talk and ask each other for advice, tease each other, and insult each other as only brothers do. While they don't like to acknowledge it or put it on display they love each other dearly. I have a close relationship with them both and would expect that my daughter would share a similarly close relationship with her brother when they are older and any future brother she may have.
I'm curious as to what you think? Is there a different bond that brothers share than sisters? Does it depend on the family and those dynamics? What has been your experience?