May 13, 2006

THE SELFISH GENE IS NO MATCH FOR A JEWISH MOTHER

A Mother's Touch (Victor Limjoco, Discover, May 12th, 2006)

Be grateful to your mom. Not only did she carry you around for nine months, but now new research suggests that her mothering style may have triggered genes that help determine your parenting style.

Columbia University neurobiologist Frances Champagne says that previous research across species showed that maternal behaviors are passed down from mother to daughter.

"So if your mother held you a lot, you will hold your infants a lot," Champagne says.

But she wanted to know whether mothering tendencies are passed on through genetics or experience. Her team studied mother rats that spent time licking and grooming their babies, and others that didn't.

As she wrote in the journal "Endocrinology," without enough licking and grooming, female rats had certain genes turn off, preventing the production of certain hormones key to future mothering behaviors, including estrogen and oxytocin, also known as the love hormone.

Licked rats had a higher production of those hormones, which, in turn, affected behavior when these baby rats became mothers themselves. Champagne says that this combination, genes and environment, pass maternal behaviors from generation to generation.

Random mutation, natural selection and chicken soup? Now, that’s our idea of a modern synthesis. Over to you, Mr. Dawkins.

Posted by Peter Burnet at May 13, 2006 3:13 PM
Comments

We're all Lamarkists now.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 13, 2006 3:23 PM

I rarely watched Supernanny, but I always wonder where the grandparents were. Did they give advice but their kids tuned them out cos they didn't like the way they were raised?

I can't believe the 60s boomer gen was raised w/disinterested moms, quite the contrary, and it's passed on down.

Posted by: Sandy P at May 13, 2006 4:04 PM

Sandy, I watched it a couple of times too and I couldn't believe the situations were real. How could those kids have survived in the situations portrayed on TV for months, nevermind years.

Posted by: erp at May 13, 2006 5:00 PM

Crap, I never licked my kids at all....

Posted by: oj at May 13, 2006 6:53 PM

This is silly. My mother was the quintessential "don't hold the babies too much or they'll get spoiled" 1950s-type but I certainly haven't been that way. I loved cuddling all my kidlets when they were babies. Maybe it is genetic, but you can't prove it by me.

Posted by: sharon at May 13, 2006 7:37 PM
« CAN'T ANYBODY PLAY THIS GAME? | Main | WATER CARRIERS FOR THE FASCISTS (via Pepys): »