Why hasn’t evolution made human childbirth easier?

The answer seems to be a series of evolutionary trade-offs that help protect organs in women, according to a recent study.

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  • Human childbirth is a relatively painful and dangerous process, due largely to the "obstetrical dilemma."
  • The obstetrical dilemma describes how human infants have big heads, but their mothers have relatively small birth canals and pelvic floors.
  • The new study found that having a smaller pelvic floor helps maintain the integrity of women's organs, even though it makes childbirth difficult.
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  • The market for smart toys is rapidly expanding and could grow to $18 billion by 2023.
  • Smart toys can help with learning but pose risks if they are not designed to protect children's data and safety.
  • Many companies are developing smart toys ethically and responsibly, with makers of AI-powered smart toys encouraged to apply to the Smart Toy Awards.
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Stressed-out mothers are twice as likely to give birth to a girl

New research from the University of Granada found that stress could help determine sex.

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  • A new study found that women with elevated stress before, during, and after conception are twice as likely to deliver a girl.
  • One factor could be that sperm carrying an X chromosome are better equipped to reach the egg under adverse conditions.
  • Another factor could be miscarriage of male fetuses during times of stress.
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Despite social pressure, boys and girls still prefer gender-typical toys

Fifty years of research on children's toy preferences shows that kids generally prefer toys oriented toward their own gender.

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  • A recent meta-analysis overviewed 75 studies on children's gender-related toy preferences.
  • The results found that "gender-related toy preferences may be considered a well-established finding."
  • It's a controversial topic: Some people argue that these preferences stem from social pressure, while others say they're at least partly rooted in biology.
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Help your kids, but not too much, says new Stanford study

Flying that helicopter too low is counterproductive.

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  • A new study at Stanford finds that giving too much direction to children can be counterproductive.
  • Children that are given too much advice display more difficulty regulating their behavior and emotions at other times.
  • The researchers suggest a balance between being involved while allowing children to figure things out on their own.
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