Dads’ Brains React Differently To Sons And Daughters

Dads with toddler-age daughters interact differently with their kids than fathers with toddler-age sons, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that fathers with daughters use different language and show different levels of attentiveness to their daughters? needs, compared to fathers with sons. In addition, their brains? responses to their tots? pictures differed from those of dads with sons, according to the findings, which were published May 22 in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

The findings indicate that gender-based differences in fathers? behaviors appear to show up while children are very young, said lead study author Jennifer Mascaro, an assistant professor of family and preventive medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. The fathers in the study had kids between ages 1 and 3.

Previous research has shown that when parents complete questionnaires, they rarely report treating their sons and daughters differently. And psychology studies that observe how a parent and child interact in a laboratory setting may not always be representative of typical caregiving behavior. [8 Tried-and-True Tips for Talking to Preschoolers]

To observe real-world interactions between fathers and toddlers, the researchers recruited 52 men ages 21 to 55 who lived in Atlanta and had a 1- or 2-year-old son or daughter. Thirty of the dads had young daughters, and the rest had sons.

Each father was given a recording device that he wore on his belt during one typical weekday and one typical day over the weekend. The device was programmed to record 50-second snippets of sound every 9 minutes, but neither the father nor the child could tell when the device was actually recording.  

?People behave incredibly natural? when wearing the recording device, since they never know when it?s on or off, Mascaro said.

The researchers ended up with a total of 2 hours of sound from each father. They transcribed the recordings, and evaluated the fathers? attentiveness, behaviors and language used while interacting with their sons or daughters.

The study found that the fathers with daughters sang more to their little girls than the fathers with sons sang to the boys. When talking to their children, fathers of toddler daughters used more language related to sadness, using words such as ?cry,? ?sad,? ?tears? and ?lonely,? as well as more language referencing the body, such as ?belly,? ?foot? and ?tummy,? compared with fathers who had toddler sons. [25 Scientific Tips for Raising Happy Kids]

In addition, dads used more analytic words, such as ?more? and ?better,? with their daughters than dads with sons did. Such words can facilitate more complex language development, Mascaro said.

On the other hand, fathers with sons used more achievement-oriented words ? such as ?win,? ?proud? and ?top? ? and they engaged in more rough-and-tumble play, such as tickling or tossing around their sons, the findings revealed.

When it came to being attentive, the fathers with daughters were more responsive to their children?s needs than fathers with sons, according to the findings.

And when the fathers were shown pictures of their children with different facial expressions, brain scans showed that the fathers had a stronger neural response in areas of the brain important for reward and emotional regulation to happy faces on their daughters than they did when the girls made other expressions. The brains of dads of sons, by contrast, had a more robust response to the boys? neutral expressions than to other expressions.

It was surprising that the fathers responded more to a neutral expression on their sons, Mascaro said. Fathers may be more attentive to their sons? neutral expressions because it is less clear what the son is feeling, and so they may need to read between the lines more to understand it, Mascaro told Live Science. [9 Weird Ways Kids Can Get Hurt]

One possible explanation for why fathers had different emotional and behavioral responses to their young children is biologically based, meaning that men could be hardwired to respond differently to sons and daughters, Mascaro said.

But another possibility is that there are societal, cultural and gender norms about how dads should interact with girls and boys, she said. The study looked at fathers from just one area.

It could also be that the differences in behavior stem from both biological and cultural explanations. In other words, there could be small differences in the way young boys and girls actually behave, which then cause fathers to encourage more of this behavior in their children, thus enhancing these behaviors in kids, Mascaro suggested.

The researchers said they could not tie the findings to any long-term outcomes in children, such as youngsters? social, emotional or intellectual development. However, the fact that these differences in fathers? behavior toward their sons and daughters show up so early is important in helping researchers understand how gender roles are developed and reinforced, Mascaro said.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Trump’s Withdrawal Of The U.S. From The Paris Climate Agreement Is A Disaster

Since the end of World War II, the United States has proudly carried the mantle of global leader of the international community. American leadership brought us the United Nations, the World Bank, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild a continent decimated by war and secure a peace that has lasted for more than 70 years. As a senior member of Congress, a member of the Helsinki Commission, and member of the American delegation to the 80th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting of European Union and United States Legislators, one of my responsibilities is to work with the delegation?s European counterparts on cooperative efforts to address and resolve issues of mutual concern.

This is becoming increasingly difficult because in less than 150 days, President Trump has done more to damage relations with our allies and the standing of the United States in the world than all of his predecessors combined. On his maiden trip abroad as the leader of the United States, Trump embarrassed our country and alienated our allies by failing to affirm our commitment to Article 5 of the NATO charter which regards an attack on any NATO member as an attack on all of them. Driving a wedge between the United States and its European allies has been the long sought strategic objective of the Russians since the formation of NATO in 1949.

Compounding his disastrous performance at the NATO summit, the President has now renounced America?s commitment to the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, which encourages all nations to set and reach national climate goals every five years. The U.S. played the pivotal role in drafting the agreement, forging consensus, and securing the assent of 195 nations. In withdrawing from the agreement, Trump has elected to place the United States in the company of Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not to accept by the Paris Agreement. As U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham stated, by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, Trump is affirming that ?he believes climate change is a hoax.?

Climate change is not a hoax invented by the Chinese and the Paris Agreement is an example of America?s indispensable global leadership. Almost every credible scientific voice tells us human activity has and continues to have a dramatic impact on climate change. Moreover, scientists have warned that inaction by the major industrialized nations of the world could lead to global catastrophe.

According to NASA researchers, 16 of the 17 warmest years in the last 13 and a half decades have occurred since 2001. Evaporation patterns have shifted producing more frequent and powerful storms. The United States is the world?s second largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Experts say the resulting polluted runoff is degrading water quality.

As the founder of the Congressional Children?s Caucus, I believe we have a duty to leave the planet we inherited in better shape for the generations that follow. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), changing weather conditions is cited as one of the main causes of trauma to children. According to the AAP, between 2000 and 2009, there have been three times as many extreme weather events as occurred between 1980 and 1989 and that following climate-related natural disasters, high numbers of children are found to exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Children under one year of age are especially vulnerable to heat-related climate change and there is more than a 90 percent chance that by the end of the 21st century average summer temperatures will exceed the highest temperatures yet recorded in many regions. According to the World Health Organization, more than 88 percent of diseases attributable to climate change occur in children younger than five. By 2030, climate change is expected to lead to 48,000 more children under the age of 15 dying from diarrheal disease in 2030, primarily in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And in the world?s poorest regions, where the disease burden is disproportionately high, children will be the most affected by climate change influenced infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, diarrheal illness, amebic meningoencephalitis and coccidioidomycosis.

Trump has often questioned the value of the Paris Agreement but has yet to provide any scientific or empirical basis to reject the consensus of experts that human activity is a leading contributor to climate change. Indeed, if the President had any legitimate concerns regarding the efficacy of the Paris Agreement, he could and should work with America?s partners to address and resolve them. He has made no attempt to do so.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans believe that climate change is a serious problem. As a member of Congress, I have always acted on the basis of facts and promoted policies that are both aspirational and grounded in reality. I have endeavored to always seek the truth by discerning what is real from what is fake. And when it comes to the issue of climate change, I have listened to the scientists.

The President needs to recognize that he represents the entire country; not just the Trump Organization.

President Trump?s isolated and short-sighted view threatens to quash years of deliberation and work by corporate leaders, scientists, educators, social actors and others who work tirelessly to protect the planet. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would be disastrous, not only because it jeopardizes America?s status as a world leader, but also because such action will undermine our competitiveness in the emerging clean-environment global economy.

According to studies, China is the world leader in renewable energy investment, pouring more than $78 billion into renewable energy projects last year alone. In contrast, the United States invested less than $24 billion last year. Many jobs are at stake, and that means non-participation in the Paris Agreement could undermine American economic interests. We cannot afford to be left behind as the rest of the world moves toward a clean economy future.

A resounding bipartisan chorus has called for continued American observance of the Paris Agreement. From Republican and Democratic Governors to Members of Congress to our NATO allies, the chorus of voices counseling against withdrawal continues to grow. Americans want their country to lead the battle against climate change and for a healthy planet.

The President needs to recognize that he represents the entire country; not just the Trump Organization. He is the President of the United States of America. If the President truly wants to ensure this nation?s continuing greatness, then he will reverse his decision to renounce America?s continued participation in the Paris Climate Agreement.

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Margaret Court Is Back With More Homophobia, Says ‘Tennis Is Full Of Lesbians’

Tennis legend Margaret Court just made another unforced error.

The 74-year-old Australian said Wednesday that her sport is ?full of lesbians? and even referenced Adolf Hitler in discussing how how young minds are being influenced.

Court, who has won a record 24 Grand Slam single titles, made the remarks after recently declaring she refused to fly Qantas because the airline supports same-sex marriage.

Her latest anti-LGBTQ volley will raise plenty of eyebrows as well.

?I mean, tennis is full of lesbians, because even when I was playing there was only a couple there, but those couple that led took young ones into parties and things,? she said on Vision Christian Radio, per The Guardian. ?And because they liked to be around heroes and what you get at the top is often what you will get right through that sport.?

?We?re there to help them overcome,? she added. ?We?re not against the people.?

The interview got weirder when Court commented on transgender children. 

?God?s got so much in [the Bible] about the mind, how it affects us, affects our emotions, our feelings,? Court, now a Christian pastor, said, according to CNN. ?You can think ?Oh, I?m a boy? and it?ll affect your emotions and feelings, and everything else and so that?s all the devil. That?s what Hitler did. That?s what Communism did ? got the minds of the children. And it?s a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get the minds of the children.?

Tennis greats Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, who are both gay, have already called for Court?s name to be removed from the stadium that bears her name at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Current stars Andy Murray and Samantha Stosur, who is Australia?s top women?s player, have also spoken out against her remarks.

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The 5 Hot Takes You Need To Unpack Trump’s ‘Covfefe’ Tweet

Many people have have been doing their best code-cracking impression of ?The Imitation Game? ever since President Donald Trump tweeted about ?negative press covfefe? early Wednesday morning. Seriously, what does it mean?

Typo? Probably. Nuclear code?! Hopefully not.

Here?s how it all started:

Fortunately, commentators across the media sphere were ready to sort it out. Here are five hot ?covfefe? takes to help you through the confusion.

  • CNN?s Chris Cillizza quickly asserted that ??covfefe? tells you all you need to know about Donald Trump.? He says that the President?s ?lack of discipline reveals that there is simply no one who can tell Trump ?no.? Or at least no one whom he will listen to.?

  • The New York Times took a more cerebral approach, pondering with every passing moment just how long the tweet would avoid deletion. One does wonder: ?Had the president?s lawyers, so eager to curb his stream-of-consciousness missives, tackled the commander in chief under the cover of night??

  • Like many outlets, and bookish people generally, USA Today headed over to the old dictionary. Rookie mistake, of course. Merriam-Webster, although snarky as always, just doesn?t have the answer.

  • Naturally, folks on Twitter jumped on ?covfefe? like it was the last typo the internet would ever know. Here at HuffPost, we rounded up the finest quips from people just trying to make sense of it all.

  • And, finally, New York Magazine?s Daily Intelligencer blog found those loyal Trump supporters who know that ??Covfefe? Is Just Another Way He?s Making America Great Again.? Very impressive, if true.

In summary, nobody knows. Except for, just maybe, one man:

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United May Get Fined $435,000 For Operating Plane That Wasn’t ‘Airworthy’

United Airlines seriously can?t catch a break. 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday proposed fining United $435,000 for operating 23 flights in 2014 with a Boeing 787 that the government alleged was not in airworthy condition. The news comes about seven weeks after the fateful incident in which officers dragged a passenger off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a United employee.

The FAA alleged that back in June 2014, United mechanics replaced a fuel pump pressure switch on the Boeing aircraft but failed to perform a required inspection before returning the aircraft to service. A United spokesman said, ?The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority. We immediately took action after identifying the issue and are working closely with the FAA in their review.?

United has faced public backlash in the wake of April?s incident, which was followed by more public relations fiascos including the death of a large rabbit on a United flight. Last week, a gay dad said he planned to sue the airline after a flight attendant allegedly accused him of molesting his son.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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