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Giving pacifiers to boys may decrease their emotional IQ

Three new studies suggest heavy pacifier use in boys can cause stunted emotional maturity. Photo via sxc photo.

Three recent studies published on Tuesday and conducted by the University of Wisconsin suggests that frequently giving baby boys pacifiers may lead to emotional delays and emotional development issues.

Several tests were used to compile the results which pointed to a boys inability to appropriately read other people’s feelings.

One such test was given to 6 and 7-year-olds, which showed the children facial images on a video screen and observed the results. Researchers found that the boys in that age group who relied heavily on binky use as babies, were less likely to mimic the facial expressions, happy or sad.

College students were also studied. The college kids were given two kinds of tests, one typically given to autistic children to determine if they could appreciate another persons point of view and another which measured the student’s emotional intelligence. Both tests required the students to understand other people’s feelings.

According to The Seattle Times, pacifier or binky usage was gauged on the parents testimony and accounts.

The findings suggests that boys who were given often given pacifiers to soothe irritable behavior as babies scored lower on the emotional IQ tests, sympathy scores and ability to determine people’s emotional reactions.

However, some experts are calling for further studies because the study relied so heavily on parents memories and subjective use of pacifiers. Furthermore, babies who need a greater level of soothing may have used pacifiers more than others, indicating that the higher use of pacifier may suggest a connection to boys born with sensory issues.

The study also showed that girl’s emotional IQs  were unaffected by pacifier use.