Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in Games, Life

August 31, 2011 -

According to a study that will be printed in the September issue of Psychological Science, breast-feeding moms are more aggressive than moms who use formula. You may be wondering why a study about breast feeding moms might matter to you, and the reason it does is because of what researchers used to test these aggression levels. The researchers' hypothesis was that mothers display a higher level of aggressiveness while breast feeding. This theory is rooted in previous research in non-human mammals that shows that lactation seems to trigger heightened defensive aggression because it apparently decreases an animal's fear response.

To test this theory researchers found 18 mothers who were nursing their children, 17 who were using formula, and 20 women who did not have kids. All of the participants were asked to play a video game against a research assistant who pretended to be an overly aggressive and competitive player. When a participant won a round of the competition, she was allowed to press a button that delivered a "punitive sound burst" to their opponent.

When all was said and done, researchers found that the breast-feeding mothers inflicted the loudest and longest punitive sound bursts on the research assistant than the other two groups. Mothers who breast-fed their infants were almost twice as aggressive as formula-feeding women and non-mothers, according to researchers. Formula-using moms and non-mothers were equal in their levels of aggression - which wasn't all that high, apparently. Oddly enough, researchers also found that while breast-feeding moms were highly aggressive as they played and won their compeititos, their blood pressure remained normal.

"Breast-feeding mothers aren't going to go out and get into bar fights," said UCLA's Dr. Jennifer Hahn-Holebrook, lead author of the study. "But if someone is threatening them or their infant, our research suggests they may be more likely to defend themselves in an aggressive manner."

The Hahn-Holebrook research, "Maternal Defense: Breast Feeding Increases Aggression by Reducing Stress" can be found in the September issue of Psychological Science. More details can be found here.

Source: io9

 


Comments

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

There might be "science" going on here but the scientists have clearly misunderstood the cause. The knowledge that a pregnant woman with a HEAVY kid in her uterus, straining her back and bladder, is more easily annoyed/aggravated by a loud noise should be obvious to anyone (ESPECIALLY men) who has ever been physically/verbally accosted by a pregnant woman just for getting in their way.

If there was ever a need for the axiom "causation does not equal correlation" this would be it.

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

If there was ever a need for the axiom "causation does not equal correlation" this would be it.

 

​Lactation does not equal aggravation?

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

You sir win the internets for today. yes

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

I thought psychology wasn't considered a real science?


Seriously... stop trying to prove this ridiculously specific causalities with a "science" who's sole purpose is a first order high level approximation of complex topics like human behaviour.

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

Since when is psychology not considered a 'real' science?

It is one of the more difficult and complex ones, but you can still apply the same scientific method to psychology as you can to other fields.

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

The field of psychology is one where they often fail to or neglect to prove causality, in fact much of the field, from the public perspective, doesn't care to show causality as it does simply trying to show correlation. I think the issue here is simply the nature of there work and until biology gives us a much clearer understanding of the brain this situation will remain.

ANY field whose goal is correlation over causality is not a real science; that is all this study, and many others like it, will ever hope to prove. There is no way to reasonably show causality for the complex human behaviors by simply assessing environment.


This doesn't mean that psychology has no place or value, I just think too many people, mostly psychologists, have long forgotten what that means.

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

I though the air-horn test was not considered a valid methodology?

Re: Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in ...

My understanding also.

I can't say I'm surprised at the findings though.  Mother's are known to be fiercely protective of their young.  It makes sense that the hormones associated with breastfeeding would increase aggression.

===============

Chris Kimberley

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Which group is more ethically challenged?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
Goth_SkunkAnd it's a trend I don't mind seeing continue. Same-sex marriage was at long-last made definitively legal by SCOTUS, and it's about time. I'm glad it's finally happened, as it was desperately needed.07/07/2015 - 5:25am
Infophile(cont'd) It started long before that. Perhaps the American Civil War comes to mind?)07/07/2015 - 3:59am
InfophileOn Goth's linked article: Historically speaking, there may have been cycles, but remember that the left has steadily gained ground. Is there a good reason to expect that to be different this time? (Oh, and no, Culture War 1.0 wasn't with the Baby Boomers.07/07/2015 - 3:59am
Goth_Skunk"THIS VIDEO IS PROBLEMATIC:" About Social Justice Warriors, by J.T. Sexkik. Excellent video. http://ow.ly/PgGnD07/07/2015 - 3:22am
Goth_Skunkand repeats the cycle, over and over. Presently, the far left culture is overreaching, and is about to lose their stranglehold on power.07/06/2015 - 10:01pm
Goth_SkunkAs far back as the 60's, according to the writers. The culture war moves in cycles from one generation to the next. The left rebels against the right, takes over, overreaches to the point where the right rebels right back, takes over, overreaches ->07/06/2015 - 9:58pm
MattsworknameGoth, what "Comming overreach" , the media and goverment have been overreaching for years07/06/2015 - 9:34pm
MattsworknameJim sterling is awesome ,dont always agree with him, but when it came to those guys, he was dead on. Thank god for jim.07/06/2015 - 9:33pm
Goth_Skunk"Welcome to Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach" an excellent opinion piece by The Federalist. http://ow.ly/Pggw507/06/2015 - 9:32pm
Wymorencehttp://goo.gl/snN00H Okay, this is hysterical if you've followed the Digital Homicide Vs. Jim "Mother****ing" Sterling stuff. A podcast of the two groups talking it out with one being eviscerated07/06/2015 - 9:12pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.engadget.com/2015/07/06/kuratas-versus-megabot-robot-duel/ ok I want to see this. not gamming related but still cool. us giant robot vs Japanese giant robot.07/06/2015 - 8:39pm
Goth_SkunkFair point.07/06/2015 - 7:56pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician