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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nonmember avatar Liz

I think this is a load of bs. Please explain to me why baby girls are exempt from this and why it's directed towards baby boys? Seems to me that the lady who wrote this had a lot of bad relationships with guys who act like that and she's trying to make an excuse for it!

Mary Breitrick

who thinks of this shit i know some boys that grew up to be men that didnt use that are complet assholes so what does that say its not the pacifiers 

Kyla Wootton

The research is a dirty diaper load......

nonmember avatar Denae

Hey I know everyone is in an uproar here and I know our little boys are sweet and stuff HOWEVER, The study was given to GROWN men who were given pacifiers as babies. Not to children. Girls are immune because we are seen to be "emotional creatures" so that is nutured in us our entire lives. Boys are seen as "rough and roudy" and the emotional part is left aside or pushed aside to "toughen" them up. So those with sweet boys, keep nurturing emotions in them and they always will be. =)

Taran Niedermeier-Mitchell

Ok I will probably get scorned for this but my son had his binky until he was 7... I still sleep with my baby blanket , so I didn't want to take his binky from him. Anyway he is the sweetest little boy ever. He always puts others before himself, then again so do I. Maybe its just genetic and the binky has no influence?!?

Kaytlynne Weigold

i think what the study is trying to say is "parents who don't pay attention to their children end up with heartless children" I think claiming its the pacifiers fault is bogus, although i see the point of boys self soothing with objects have a harder time figuring out their feelings and expressing them appropriately. Your kids learn by example, and compassion is something that is taught. If my son turns out to be a heartless jerk, i have no one or NOTHING to blame but myself.

Candy500 Candy500

Some people are against pacifiers for this reason, but what they don't realize is that it much easier to throw out the pacifier when it's time to break the habit than it is to rid them of their thumb or fingers!!

Lucy Wikeley

I have 2 boys and 1 girl! the eldest (boy) is nearly 13 and would still use a dummy if available he chews everything including the joysticks on a ps2 controller and his mobile charger!!  It's not the dummies fault it's the personality. My eldest is very sensitive but suffers with social aspects (we think he has aspergers but cos he good at school they say he's fine.) Neither of my other 2 EVER needed a dummy they were happy from birth without!

Kayla Drew

Other studies have shown that children basically develop their habits and personalities by the age of 5.  So this Binky thing I believe is taking it a bit far.  I'm not a screaming mother saying BS.  Interaction is the most important thing to a child being able to show emotion.  Why don't people realize ( and I am not saying this to be ignorant or rude) that we have only been a civilized species for a few thousand years, when some of the worlds animals still have natural wild instincts that take over from time to time and yet they have been domesticated for thousands of years, i.e. cats, dogs etc.  So if we look at that, what then have boys been trained to do, from birth for thousands of years?  Retain their emotional qualities.  They have been programmed for this because of early on centuries that warfare was a way of life and if you should show any type of empathy on the battlefield, you were basically done for.  Only until very recently has it started to be "socially" acceptable for a man to show more emotions.  So lets take into account thousands of years that boys show absolutely no emotion = a few years it's starting to say "It's Ok, let it out, you will still be a man." How do you break up thousands of years of evolving and think it should be easy to disregard that in a matter of, lets say, even a decade? I may not be the brightest in math, but that doesn't add up to me.


KEmery08 KEmery08

Personally? I'm baffled at the things people choose to study.

Here's my 'anecdotal' note on my son: Hilarity. His pacifier is more of a comedian prop than an actual tool for calming. His throwing skills are spot-on, his ability to walk around with multiple pacifiers in his mouth while make 'monster' sounds cracks me up every time, and if I take his pacifier away he smiles and waves, "Buh-bye binky!"

Is he going to grow up to be heartless and cold? No. Is there something a person who spends extensive time researching things should focus on more? Uh, yes.

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