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 this site’s search engine.

But some of my parenting articles are hard to find. That’s because they’re about quirky subjects, like 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

• Sexy dads

• Partible paternity in the Amazon

• Snobby monkeys and mean moms

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

• What can the capuchin monkey teach us about kids?

• Fear of snakes: An evolutionary perspective on the way kids learn


• 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?


• How child labor made a “race” of pymgies

• 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

• Why do you want to eat your baby?

• Can too much tidiness inhibit creativity?

• Is the Easter Bunny a fraud? Does Santa make kids gullible? 

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

Health topics

• 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? 

• Obese kids and AD-36: Is obesity caused by a virus?

• Low vitamin D levels trigger early puberty in girls? 

• Health benefits of religion: Are nonreligious parents shortchanging their kids?

• Chlorinated swimming pools, asthma, and DNA damage: A guide for the science-minded parent

Mistakes in the media

• The sexualization of girls: Is the popular culture harming our kids? 

• Adolescence doesn’t end until you’re 28?! 

• Sperm, promiscuity, and bad blogs

• Claims about “inborn” math ability are bogus