Given that parental supervision is fundamentally correlated to incidences of unintentional childhood injury as shown by Wadsworth et al.
He argues that evolutionary psychology (EP) mistakenly attempts to discover human psychological adaptations rather than "the evolutionary causes of psychological traits."
 Their overall findings demonstrate that children residing with stepparents have a higher risk of abuse even when other factors are considered.. You only have to dip into the Disney archive, take a glimpse at Cinderella's evil stepfamily and catch a few frames of Snow White's stepmum, the Queen, to realise that stepmothers traditionally get a poor press.  This paper of Giles-Sims and Finkelhor predates however practically all empirical studies on the Cinderella effect. ", • Lisa Doodson's book, How to be a Happy Stepmum, is published by Vermilion on 6 May, £10.99. The most abundant data on stepchild mistreatment has been collected and interpreted by psychologists Martin Daly and Margo Wilson, who study with an emphasis in Neuroscience and Behavior at McMaster University.  Inclusive fitness theory proposes a selective criterion for the evolution of social traits, where social behavior that is costly to an individual organism can nevertheless emerge when there is a statistical likelihood that significant benefits of that social behavior accrue to (the survival and reproduction of) other organisms whom also carry the social trait (most straightforwardly, accrue to close genetic relatives).  Although these statistics seem to provide evidence of bias against stepparents, further review of the data undermines this conclusion.
follow the argument of Daly and Wilson to extend the Cinderella effect from cases of abuse to incidences of unintentional fatalities.
 Although these statistics seem to provide evidence of bias against stepparents, further review of the data undermines this conclusion.
The stress theory proposes that increased stressors, which are inherently more common among stepfamilies, cause an increased risk of abuse.  They point to a study comparing natural father and stepfather families as support for the notion that stepparents do not view their stepchildren the same as their biological children, and likewise, children do not view their stepparents the same as their biological parents.
 These observations indicate that in the animal world, males employ certain measures in order to ensure that parental investment is geared specifically toward their own offspring. Their first measure of the validity of the Cinderella effect was based on data from the American Humane Association (AHA), an archive of child abuse reports in the United States holding over twenty thousand reports. ", Doodson's interest kicked off when she first met her partner, now husband, and they both took on step-parent roles. When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable …
Doodson asked the mums to fill in detailed questionnaires about their wellbeing, their relationship with their partners, how much support they received from family and friends, and their relationship with their stepchildren. , Unlike the lion, however, humans in a stepparenting situation face a more complicated tradeoff since they cannot completely disown their partner's offspring from a previous relationship, as they would risk losing sexual access to their partner and any chance of producing potential offspring. This evidence of child abuse and homicide comes from a variety of sources including official reports of child abuse, clinical data, victim reports, and official homicide data.  According to them, "research concerning animal social behaviour provide a rationale for expecting parents to be discriminative in their care and affection, and more specifically, to discriminate in favour of their own young".
, Furthermore, a study of parental investment behaviors among American men living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, reveals a trend of increasing financial expenditures on genetic offspring in comparison to step-offspring, which also suggests that parents are less inclined to preserve the well-being of stepchildren.  Research into the high adoption rates of Oceania shows that childlessness is the most common reason for adopting, and that in the eleven populations for which data was available, a large majority of adoptions involved a relative with a coefficient of relatedness greater than or equal to 0.125 (e.g., genetic cousins).
, Buller also argues that Daly and Wilson's findings are inherently biased since they use data from official documents, and the officials collecting that data are trained to take special notice of stepparents versus biological parents.  These records led Wilson and Daly to conclude that "a child under three years of age who lived with one genetic parent and one stepparent in the United States in 1976 was about seven times more likely to become a validated child-abuse case in the records than one who dwelt with two genetic parents". Daly and Wilson report that this parental love can explain why genetic offspring are more immune to lashing out by parents.  This discrimination against stepchildren is unusual compared with abuse statistics involving the overall population given "the following additional facts: (1) when child abuse is detected, it is often found that all the children in the home have been victimized; and (2) stepchildren are almost always the eldest children in the home, whereas the general ... tendency in families of uniform parentage is for the youngest to be most frequent victims.". Children are not only vulnerable to abuse by their parents, but they are also dependent on their parents for supervision and protection from a variety of other harms. The selection factors theory proposes that individuals who are likely to be stepparents (divorcees) are likely to be inherently more violent due to emotional disturbances, aggressive impulses, and self-esteem issues. In the early 1970s, a theory arose on the connection between stepparents and child maltreatment. "There's an assumption that all of their issues and experiences are the same.
"I looked around for advice about things like how to deal with disciplining, and how to define the relationship, but I couldn't find any. , Powerful evidence in support of the Cinderella effect comes from the finding that when abusive parents have both step and genetic children, they generally spare their genetic children. For over 30 years, data has been collected regarding the validity of the Cinderella effect, with a wealth of evidence indicating a direct relationship between step-relationships and abuse. The duration of the relationship between genetic fathers and children shows a positive correlation with both relative proportion of interaction time and antagonistic interaction. In evolutionary psychology, the Cinderella effect is the phenomenon of higher incidences of different forms of child abuse and mistreatment by stepparents than by biological parents.  Additionally, this study finds that the duration of the relationship between the stepfather and stepchildren is negatively correlated with the relative proportion of interaction time and positively correlated with the relative proportion of antagonistic interactions between the two.  This theory cannot be a whole explanation for the Cinderella effect, as psychological research has shown that secure attachment bonds can be developed between a parent and adopted child, and the quality of the relationship between parent and child will more often depend on the child's pre-adoption experiences, such as length of time in social care and previous trauma, more than characteristics of the parents. , In their 1985 Canadian sample, Daly and Wilson classify the frequencies of different living arrangements (two natural parents, one natural parent, one natural parent with one stepparent, or other) according to child age. , Philosopher of science David Buller, as a part of his general critique of evolutionary psychology  has reviewed Daly and Wilson's data. For example, on average, stepparents invest less in education, play with stepchildren less, take stepchildren to the doctor less, etc.  For example, the authors point out that stepparenting is a self-selective process, and that when all else is equal, men who bond with unrelated children are more likely to become stepfathers, a factor that is likely to be a confounding variable in efforts to study the Cinderella effect.  This difference suggests that removing one biological parent from the home does not significantly increase risk to the children, but that adding a nonbiological parent to the home results in a drastic increase in the risk of unintentional fatal injury. , Strong support for the Cinderella effect as described by Daly and Wilson comes from a study of unintentional childhood fatal injuries in Australia. Is the "Cinderella Effect" controversial? "An assessment of some proposed exceptions to the phenomenon of nepotistic discrimination against stepchildren", "Attachment, Cognitive, and Motor Development in Adopted Children: Short-term Outcomes after International Adoption", "Family type and accidents in preschool children", "Book Review: Buller does to Evolutionary Psychology what Kitcher did to Sociobiology", "Evolutionary psychology: The emperor's new paradigm", "Step-parents and infanticide: New data contradict evolutionary predictions".
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