Odds and ends:

Articles about the anthropology, psychology, and evolution of family life by Gwen Dewar

If you’re looking for evidence-based information about parenting, you can browse my site by selecting one of the topics on the menu bar on the far left. You can also try using opens in a new window this site’s search engine.

But some of my parenting articles are hard to find. That’s because they’re about quirky subjects, opens in a new windowlike Santa Claus, that don’t fit into any major category in my index, or because I simply haven’t had time to index them yet. There are also articles I’ve written for other websites.

Note: In July 2018, BabyCenter stopped hosting most of its old blog posts, including mine. As a result, many of the links below (to BabyCenter) have been removed. I may make the material available in another format.

So here is a sampler of these odds and ends–miscellaneous articles that you might otherwise overlook.

Biology and evolution

• Parents have always been subsidized

• Moms have always needed childcare help

• When “daycare” was run by kids

• Does morning sickness protect the fetus?

• Why don’t humans eat their placentas?

• Neanderthal tooth offers clues about breastfeeding

• The evolution of fatherhood

opens in a new window• Sexy dads

• Partible paternity in the Amazon

• Snobby monkeys and mean moms

• Happy faces trigger endocanniboids…if you have the right genes 

opens in a new window• What can the capuchin monkey teach us about kids?

opens in a new window• Fear of snakes: An evolutionary perspective on the way kids learn


opens in a new window• Can we raise a new generation of critical thinkers?

• Harry Potter makes you smarter: How magic unleashes creativity

• Be permissive, raise a scientist (editorial)

• Were kids smarter a century ago?


opens in a new window• How child labor made a “race” of pymgies

opens in a new window• Curse of the herd

Happiness and quality of life

• A chronic lack of awe

• Can meaningful happiness reprogram your child’s DNA?

• Money thoughts make parenting less meaningful

• Do kids need risky play?

Fun stuff

opens in a new window• Why do you want to eat your baby?

• Can too much tidiness inhibit creativity?

opens in a new window• Is the Easter Bunny a fraud? Does Santa make kids gullible? 

• Contagious yawning: Can little kids “catch” other people’s yawns?

Health topics

opens in a new window• Making fatter humans: Are social cues tricking us into overeating?

• Stressful, unsupportive mates can shorten your life

• Too young for high-intensity sports and injuries? 

opens in a new window• Obese kids and AD-36: Is obesity caused by a virus?

• Low vitamin D levels trigger early puberty in girls? 

opens in a new window• Health benefits of religion: Are nonreligious parents shortchanging their kids?

opens in a new window• Chlorinated swimming pools, asthma, and DNA damage: A guide for the science-minded parent

Mistakes in the media

opens in a new window• The sexualization of girls: Is the popular culture harming our kids? 

opens in a new window• Adolescence doesn’t end until you’re 28?! 

• Sperm, promiscuity, and bad blogs

• Claims about “inborn” math ability are bogus