Narrator: This is Science Today. The emotional connection between sisters is very important, but it's a relationship that hasn't been explored in a serious way. That is until sociologist Marcia Millman of the University of California, Santa Cruz, interviewed nearly 100 women of diverse backgrounds from around the nation. Millman says the study was a reminder that even though sisters grew up in the same family, it didn't mean they had the same family experience.
Millman: This is one of the things that we forget and it's one of the things that I think gets people into trouble in relationships – that they assume that their sister had the same experience. And that if their sister doesn't see things they way that they do, that the sister is misperceiving events instead of really understanding that being different, coming at a different point in the family history, being treated differently by parents, occupying a different sibling position, all those things make your experience in the family very different.
Narrator: So Millman encourages adult sisters to step back and assess each other independently of how their parents did. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.