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"Kids Can Be So Cruel" Science: Squinting Kids Get Fewer Party Invites

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaAug 20, 2010 9:43 PM

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Whom would you invite to your birthday party? If you're a six-year-old, probably not the kid with an eye disorder. Shown pictures of other children and asked to pick birthday party attendees, six- to eight-year-olds did not care about gender or shirt color with any statistical significance. But they did care if a possible invitee had strabismus--a condition when a child's eyes don't line up while focusing, often resulting in crossed eyes or squinting. This heart-breaker brought to you by the British Journal of Ophthalmology. The photographs included identical twins: children in four pairs of pictures looked the same, except for their digitally altered shirt colors and eyes. Given four chances to pick children with strabismus, 18 of 48 children did not select any child with the disorder. None picked the child with the eye disorder on all four opportunities. The researchers say the study indicates that parents may want to consider corrective surgery before children with strabismus turn six--apparently the age when kids take a turn for the shallow. Younger birthday boys and girls appear to care less about what their invitees eyes looked like: Of 31 children between the ages of four and six, the researchers found that 9 children picked kids with strabismus three or four times. Only one meanie didn't pick any children with an eye disorder. Related content: Discoblog: Eugenics Today: Do Ugly People Deserve Beautiful Children? Discoblog: You Think You (And Your Parents) Are Hot Discoblog: Dentists Organize A Cash-For-Candy Program on Halloween Discoblog: New Villain in the Obesity Epidemic: Mean Gym Teachers

Image: flickr / Spojeni

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