6 karmaJoined


There's been some interesting research done at Georgetown University that shows higher amygdala activity in the brains of extraordinarily altruistic individuals (in this case, anonymous kidney donors) compared to a control group in response to other people's fear (no similar increase in activity in response to pain or anger). Video for reference attached.

One reason for the increased activity is that "fearful expressions appear vulnerable and infantile" which triggers in mammals (humans, primates, dogs, lions) an alloparental care response. Dr. Abigail Marsh claims that the route of altruism is "the capacity, the desire, the skill, to care for other people's babies." 

Additionally, not only is the amygdala responsive to fearful stimuli, it's also said to be the "entry point to the parental care system," with a dense population of receptors for oxytocin.

EA is a hub of well-educated (less educated women = more children) altruistic individuals that are concerned with morality, not least including the moral weight of having biological or nonbiological children of their own. Pair these reasons with the evidence now supporting altruistic tendencies correlating to heightened amygdala activity, it could be that EAs are satisfying parental urges by simply participating in the EA movement. This participation could be enough for many EAs to forego parenthood of their own. 

All that said, birth control is sometimes fallible. I am 34 weeks pregnant with my second child and have found parenting extremely challenging and rewarding :).