A new study recently published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology suggests that baby boys may have emotional damage from using pacifiers frequently as babies, Medical News Today reports.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have looked at three studies on pacifiers and found that pacifier use in boys is associated with a decrease in emotional maturity in boys. The researchers looked at boys age 6-7 and found that those who used pacifiers regularly were less likely to imitate facial expressions when watching a video. Furthermore, college-aged men who reported using pacifiers as babies were found to have lower scores on tests that evaluate perspective-taking, or the ability to relate to relate or empathize with others.
The study concluded that pacifiers may limit boys’ use of facial expressions because pacifiers may keep them from copying facial expressions. The study, however, did not find the same to be true for girls. They believe this may be because girls tend to develop emotionally more quickly than boys.
For more on this study see:
Pacifier Use Can Lead To Emotional Problems In Boys