AFP/File – Around a quarter of a million babies are
born each year through in-vitro and other assisted
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer
Wed Jun 24, 3:48 am ET
WASHINGTON – Puzzling new research suggests women have a harder time than men looking at babies with facial birth defects. It's a surprise finding. Psychiatrists from the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital,
who were studying perceptions of beauty, had expected women to spend
more time than men cooing over pictures of extra-cute babies. Nope.
Instead, the small study being published Wednesday raises more questions than it can answer.
First the background: The McLean team already had studied men and women looking
at photos of adults' faces on a computer screen. They rated facial
beauty, and could do various keystrokes to watch the photos longer. A
keystroke count showed men put three times more effort into watching
beautiful women as women put into watching handsome men.
Lead researcher Dr. Igor Elman wondered what else might motivate women. Enter the new baby study.
This time 13 men and 14 women were shown 80 photos of babies, 30 of whom had abnormal facial features such as a cleft palate, Down syndrome
or crossed eyes. Participants rated each baby's attractiveness on a
scale of zero to 100, and used keystrokes to make the photo stay on the
screen longer or disappear faster.
pressed the keys 2.5 times more than men to make photos of babies with
the facial abnormalities disappear, researchers reported in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science. That's even though they rated those babies no less attractive than the men had.
had this subliminal motivation to get rid of the faces," said Elman,
who questions whether "we're designed by nature to invest all the
resources into healthy-looking kids."
Both genders spent equal time and effort looking at photos of the normal babies.
The study couldn't explain the gender disparity. Elman noted that previous work has linked child abandonment and neglect to abnormal appearance, and even asked if the finding might challenge the concept of unconditional maternal love.
That's too far-reaching a conclusion, cautioned Dr. Steven Grant of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the study.
work is part of broader research into how we normally form attachments
and what can make those attachments go awry, work that tests if what
people say matches what they do.
"Common sense would tell you one thing," Grant said. "This doesn't fit with common sense. It raises a question."
Women More Likely Than Men to Reject Unattractive Babies
06.24.09, 09:00 AM EDT
Study casts doubt on notion of moms' unconditional love
WEDNESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News)
Women More Likely Than Men to Reject Unattractive Babies
WEDNESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women are more likely than
men to look away from less-than-cute babies, according to a study that
challenges the idea of a mother's unconditional love.
The findings might reflect an evolutionary-based need to provide
limited resources only to healthy offspring, suggest the researchers, from
Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.
"Our study shows how beauty can affect parental attitudes," study
senior author Dr. Igor Elman, director of the hospital's clinical
psychopathology laboratory and an associate professor of psychiatry at
Harvard Medical School, said in a news release from the hospital. "It
shows women are more invested in raising healthy babies and that they are
more prone to reject unattractive kids."
The study included 13 men and 14 women who were shown photos of 80
infants, including 50 normal ones and 30 with abnormal facial features,
and asked to score them on attractiveness.
The men's attractiveness ratings for normal babies were much lower than
those given by women, whereas women and men gave abnormal faces similar
unattractive ratings. However, women made a greater effort to avoid
looking at the unattractive faces.
The findings suggest that a woman's parental love may be "determined by
facial attractiveness," study first author Rinah Yamamoto said in the news
release. "Women may be more sensitized to aesthetic defects and may be
more prone to reject unattractive kids. Men do not appear to be as
motivated. They didn't expend the same effort."
The study appears online June 24 in the journal PLoS One.
A former immigration enforcement agent says he is seeing an "epidemic"
of fraudulent marriages where foreign women marry American men, then
claim domestic violence to escape the marriage and legally remain in
"What happens is they enter into a one-sided sham marriage to defraud
an American citizen into believing they love him. And once they get in,
they allege domestic violence to get themselves out of the sham
marriage and to throw off suspicion this was a sham marriage to begin
with," said John Sampson.
After 27 years as a U.S. Immigrations investigator, Sampson retired
then started up a business in Aurora in January of this year to
investigate suspected sham marriages. He says in less than six months,
he has heard from 200 men in Colorado and across the country who are
convinced they were used by foreign women then accused of being
batterers. Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), foreign
women who file abuse claims against their American spouses can obtain
permanent resident status.
ANGELES — Octuplets mother Nadya Suleman says she
didn't tell her sperm donor she was having more children after the
first six, and fears his resentment for the betrayal.
In a video shot in a fondue restaurant
and posted to the RadarOnline Web site Thursday, Suleman says she used
frozen fertilized embryos left over from her first conceptions to
become pregnant with eight additional children. The donor didn't know
she had the leftover embryos, she said.
"I went behind his back and used them all," she says. "He didn't want me to. I feel so much guilt for that."
The videographer, identified by Radar as Suleman's best friend, says at one point that the sperm donor has a wife and family.
But Suleman warns her away from giving away too much about the man,
adding that "he'd lose everything he's created in his own life" if his
identity was revealed.
Suleman says her
older children are increasingly curious about who their biological
father is. She refuses to identify him, saying she wants to protect his
privacy, but also wants him "to somehow, privately, secretly know (the
children) in a controlled manner."
I screwed myself. I screwed
up my life, I screwed up my kids' lives," she says. "I have to put on
this strong facade and I have to pretend like I don't regret it."
Suleman gave birth to the world's longest-surviving set of octuplets on Jan. 26.
Apply by June 30 to cash in on scholarship for working mothers
(ARA) - With a full-time job (or several part-time jobs) and children
to raise, working mothers often have very little time to pursue an
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single working moms lack the education they need to get ahead. But going back to school is worth it according to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics. Earning an associate's degree can add an extra $6,500
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to $19,000 every year to your paycheCk.
But working mothers wanting to pursue a degree often find a financial
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fall, however, working moms can get back to school with a free $10,000
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Working moms, register today at Scholarships4Moms.net for your chance to win a $10,000 scholarship to continue your education. Get started with the next phase of your life today.