Like the emperor’s new clothes, DNA kits are a tailored illusion

A DNA test promises to reveal your hidden history — but is it all smoke and mirrors?

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Most people remember the emperor: a vain ruler, swindled into paying for a nonexistent magical garment, parades in public, only to be embarrassed by a little boy. To me, the story is really about the swindling tailors.

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Surprising Science

The biggest change to manhood? Equal parenting.

Being a successful caregiver is part of today's definition of manhood.

  • The biggest example of a change in men's gendered behavior in recent years is the transformation of fatherhood. Nowadays, the definition of manhood has increasingly included being a present, and good caregiver.
  • Women have historically been burdened with childcare and housework. So much so that they usually longer off time off for parental leave. Also, they're the ones tending to take off work if their kid is sick. Because of this heavy role in parenting, many women have not been able to advance far in the workforce.
  • By men doing half of the care work, it's boosted women's empowerment. It's also great for children's emotional development and well-being. It's also great for men, too, because, as a result of being a successful caregiver, men are more likely to build up a sense of empathy, which can help them in leadership positions.
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Videos

Chores cause conflict. Try managing them like this instead.

Here's how to set clear expectations about household management.

  • When managing household tasks, its best to set clear expectations about whose job it is to take care of what.
  • Often we do things we feel are important, and put less value on other tasks others may be doing — it's important to show appreciation to keep home maintenance a well-oiled machine.
  • Often people feel it's not their responsibility to keep things maintained when others are acting similarly in a shared space.
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Videos

7 best board games to help children think big

Like sneaking veggies into dessert, these board games teach STEM, strategy, and executive functions through the joys of play.

(Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Many popular board games offer little more than colorful distractions, lacking both thoughtful design or quality learning principles.
  • However, the recent board game renaissance has resulted in a host of new games that teach children a range of hard and soft skills through play.
  • We look at some of the best new board games and offer tips to find even more.
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Personal Growth

Why do we treat old people like babies? That’s ageism.

The older we are, the less our chronological age may say about us.

  • Elder speak is the condescending language — "Dearie" "Honey" "Sweetie" — many people revert to when talking with people advanced in age.
  • People spoken to in this condescending way, Yale researchers have found, begin to think, act, and even move differently.
  • Ageism is based on stereotypes — the assumption that all members of a group are alike. This bias is particularly ironic when it comes to older individuals because they tend to be more dissimilar from one another — due to increasingly divergent life experiences — than younger people.
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