Your mom didn't love you because you're ugly.

Posted at 1:00 PM Jun 24, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

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OHMYGOD. Some. Ladies. Don't. Love. Every. Single. Baby. On. The. Planet.

I'd suggest we alert the presses, but news of "scientific research" that supposedly shows women don't like, let alone love, ugly babies has taken off faster than Speidi searching out a photo op.

Like the Jezebel ladies, I am calling bullshit. Unlike the Jezebel ladies, I'm not sure this ridiculous bullshittery actually warrants several hundred words explaining why and how. Anyway, here's the AP nut:

"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."
Get it, it's puzzling because women LOVE babies! Something is weird about women who don't LOVE all babies! Nobody wonders why dudes might not want to look at a kid with a wonky eye, but man, there sure must be something wrong if a lady doesn't.

This very scientific study was done on 27 people who were shown pictures of ugly/abnormal (because apparently Down Syndrome is "ugly") babies. The time they spent looking at each picture was measured. 

Waitwaitwaitwaitgobackforasecond. Twenty-seven-people. Did I read that right?

Sure did. A survey of 27 people says nothing. No-thing. Nothing about men, nothing about women, nothing other than somebody's really good at getting grants for crappy projects. How this thing came out of a Harvard-affiliated hospital, I don't know, but Jesus H., even I know better than to call a study of 27 people "science."

Comments

BorgQueen said:

Motherfucker. I hate these people. There are so many things wrong with this "study"... I did 7th grade lab experiments that have more scientific merit than this.

Orangutan said:

Well, the fact that studies like this actually get grants does give me some hope that I might be able to get my hands on some grant money of my own to go back and get my degree completed...

LPhill said:

I mean there's a reason why the study only had 27 participants and that's because it wasn't worthwhile to investigate more. I've worked in a psycholinguistics laboratory for 2 years and 27 people is enough that whatever finding they got is probably valid. The real problem isn't the actual study which you can find here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0006042

The real problem is the way the media spins stories like this. The media says women hate ugly babies, the researches say maybe it's an "evolutionary-derived need for diversion of limited resources to the nurturance of healthy offspring." Then again, how did this get funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Apparently having pictures of babies with fetal alcohol syndrome qualifies you for a NIDA grant.

Andrea said:

LPhill -- I'm a social scientist, not a "real" one, but even I find it hard to believe a study of 27 individuals is particularly telling. In the actual study, the scientists acknowledge that their study was limited at best, and needed to be expanded.

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