Boys Who Use Pacifiers Grow Up to Be Heartless Creeps (Sort Of)

Say What!? 88

pacifierWhen my kids were newborns, I hid all the pacifiers we received as gifts in fear that using them would cause nipple confusion. Plus, I really didn't need another thing to clean. Then my mom bought us some fancy ones most like a woman's nipples and whispered to me, "Just in case." We had one of those "just in case" moments and used them for half a second before my son decided he liked to suck on his foot better and my daughter found her thumb. Thank goodness for that because researchers just revealed that baby boys who use pacifiers turn out to be emotionless jerks who seem to have Botox faces without any expression or empathy for others. 

I wonder if that explains some of the guys I've dated.

Girls come out unscathed. And there hasn't been a study on baby boys who suck their own toes yet, so the verdict is out on my son. But no one wants their precious little boy to turn out to be an apathetic dolt. What the heck is this study anyway?

More from The Stir: Bottles, Sippy Cups & Pacifiers Can Be Hazardous to Your Kid's Health

Before all pacifier users start freaking out, I will let you know that the researchers say nighttime use seems to be okay. It can be damaging however when we plug our boys' mouths up in the daytime when they should be mimicking our facial expressions. We can shut girls up with the thing any time and we will still turn out to be emotional and heartfelt. I think I find this girls exempt part most fascinating. We're essentially bulletproof here. Perhaps that makes us sup -- okay, I'll stop. Back to the boys ... our poor indifferent men ...

The study was published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology and there were three experiments that yielded these findings -- so they checked them thrice! Those researchers tied "heavy pacifier use as a young child to poor results on various measures of emotional maturity."

Wow. Way to make moms who used pacifiers on their sons who turned out to be callous creeps feel even worse. As if no cards on birthdays, no smiles in the mornings, and years of enduring the cold stares weren't enough.

Paula Niedenthal is the lead author of the bad news that basically says boys who use pacis turn into Neanderthal-types (odd how those names are so similar). She said that mimicking another is an important learning tool for babies. "We can talk to infants, but at least initially they aren't going to understand what the words mean. So the way we communicate with infants at first is by using the tone of our voice and our facial expressions." A pacifier in a baby's mouth is going to inhibit that child's ability to mirror these expressions.

Niedenthal -- whose work is supported by the French, who of course know more than everyone else about raising babies -- put it simply: "What if you always had something in your mouth that prevented you from mimicking and resonating with the facial expression of somebody?"

C'est vrai. It would turn a guy into a robot. Quick! Get those pacifiers out now!

This whole thing just sucks. But parents, instead of feeling awful that you let your little guy pacify himself with a binky, let him watch some Charlie Chaplin movies or sing to any My Chemical Romance record on repeat -- mouth unobstructed -- and I bet he'll end up nurturing lost puppies, letting spiders out of the house instead of killing them, not breaking young girls' hearts, and truly showing love for his mother.

What do you think of this study? Does it worry you or make you want to help your son kick the pacifier habit?


Image via edenpictures/Flickr

baby development, in the news, pacifiers


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Albond86 Albond86

I think parents don't play with babies enough and THAT is why babies aren't learning the thing they need to... More parents are sticking their kids in some fancy contraption to entertain them rather then laying with them and having that one on one time! Stuffing pacifiers in their faces to keep them quiet...

Betwe... BetweenCourses

What does that say to people that want a completely gender neutral society? As young as babes with pacifiers, nature has a plan for female v male..... Just saying.....

Mona Osh Sam

Nonsense. I know at least 1 heartless rude insolent jerk who didn't use pacifier when he was young. so pacifier or not doesn't determine a guy's character! Duuh...

Stephanie Caldwell

Id like to read the study to see how they controlled for the influence of parenting styles/techniques- such as how the parens respond when their son is upset etc

Bradl... Bradleysmami

Ummm...then explain all the heartless creeps that didn't have a pacifier as a baby, researchers!!!!

missm... missmaesmommy10

Lol what a crock. My little brother was a binky boy, he loved the damn thing; so much so that when his favorite binky went missing in the middle of the night my aunt had to go get one that looked exactly like it so that my parents could get some sleep. Now at 21 he is one of te kindest, most compassionate people I know. ALSO girls are not expemt from anything because I happen to know quite a few women who are cold, heartless b*tches. Basically this is a load of garbage.

Donna L. Barksdale

What a "Crock"  My Grandson who is now 14 loved his binky and he took it until he was almost 3...Not because he was allowed to have it, because he use to hide them and get one out when he wanted He is the most loving, caring and very smart boy that I know....he is a 3.89 average student in school and, was reading high school readers in grade 4.....So who ever comes up with this garbage....needs to give up their day job and take up something more intelligent....  To be honest this really offends me, My Own son used a pacifier also and he was no way emotionless jerk.... and My Grandson is an outstanding Athletic as well he plays football and basketball and track for his school..... a jerk?  Not a Chance!!

corri... corrinacs

I don't agree with this at all!  My now 5yo was an avid paci user....HAD to have that thing every where he went!  And he's the sweetest kid in teh universe now.  There's a lot more to it than paci use.  I didn't use it to "shut him up" becuase I am cruel.....but most times that's what he wanted.  i still cared for his needs.

So, no it doesnt' change my mind.  Some babies have a higher need to suck than others.....and parents take care of baby's needs :P

nonmember avatar CapnRita now 22 year-old son was the only one of my 3 kids who used a "suckie". He was a goofy, funny kid and is a very loving young man with a son of his own. Maybe a child's personality dictates which ones are more likely to use a pacifier in the first place-not the other way around.

pupuk... pupukeawahine

This is silly.  My son didn't like pacifiers, rarely sucked his fingers.  He's loving and affectionate, but I really don't think this has anything to do with how boys turn out.  Maybe researchers could look at what kind of parents are out there--those who want their kids to be quiet and leave them alone probably have kids who interact with others less and turn inward.  Also, what is the pacifier being used for?  If it's used to calm the kid down when he's upset, great.  If it's used to shut him up, not so great.

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