Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian, and Abraham Lincoln. They all have something surprising in common.
No, it's not a bizarre time-shifting reality show (which I'd totally watch, by the way).
They're all middle children.
Not so fast, Jan! If Oreo cookies and the "Star Wars" films have taught us anything, it's that the middle is where you can find some of the best stuff.
In honor of Middle Child Day, here are five surprising facts about growing up a middle child.
1. Middle children stand for truth, justice, and even more justice.
According to Katrin Schumann, co-author of "The Secret Power of Middle Children," middles are justice-seekers. She said in Psychology Today that middle children "are focused on fairness; they perceive injustice in their family and are attuned to the needs of others as they grow up."
Middles also tend to be fiercely loyal and stick up for the underdog. No surprise, then, that Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela were all in-betweeners.
2. Middleborns tend to be more sex-positive.
Yes, your birth order can shed some light on your attitude toward sex. While firstborns tend to have the most sexual partners, middles are less judgmental of other people's sex lives. According to a recent study, they're more likely to try new things in the bedroom.
3. Need to strike a deal? Call a middle child.
Middle children grow up having to navigate complex family and sibling dynamics, which makes them top-notch negotiators. Dr. Frank Sulloway, author of "Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives," told Parents magazine: "Middle-borns are the most willing to wheel and deal. They are agreeable, diplomatic, and compromising."
It's no wonder 52% of U.S. presidents since 1787 were middle children.
4. Yes, middle children get less attention from their parents, but it comes with a hidden benefit.
Parents tend to place a lot of expectations on the firstborn, especially when it comes to academic and professional achievement. When parental attention gets divided among multiple children, middles tend to lose out. But that's not always a bad thing.
Catherine Salmon, Schumann's co-author, told NPR "In a certain way, they're free to find out what they really are good at on their own time and in their own way, and then excel at that."
5. And now, middle children are the subject of cutting-edge research.
But that's because experts are finally taking notice. In a 2010 review of over 200 birth-order studies, researchers found that "second-born children are largely ignored in the research literature." Ouch. Adding insult to injury, the research gap may have a lot to do with the fact that many of the researchers themselves are first-born.
But any group that includes Chris Hemsworth, Warren Buffett, Barbara Walters, and Britney Spears has a lot to be happy about.
Rise up, middle children! Today is your day, you justice-seeking, sexually adventurous free spirits. Continue to make the world a wild and wonderful place.