20/09/2012 07:42 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Will Giving Your Boy A Dummy Leave Him 'Emotionally Backward'?

Dummy use could leave boys 'emotionally backward' claims study. PA

The question of whether or not you should give your baby a dummy is back on the agenda as new research supposedly shows using a dummy can lead to emotional problems - but only in BOYS!

In a study undertaken by professors at the University of Wisconsin, evidence was found that baby boys could be left 'emotionally backward' and robbed of the opportunity to mimic adults' expressions and body language if they spend too much time with a dummy in their mouth.

They claim the effect is similar to those experienced by users of Botox who are left unable to reflect their emotions via their facial expressions!

The researchers say their findings suggested that boys aged six and seven who had spent more time using a dummy were less likely to mimic faces. Young boys who could remember using a dummy during infanthood were also found to score lower in emotional intelligence tests.

The study is the first to link dummies with psychological consequences. Its author, Professor Paula Niedenthal, of the University of Wisconsin, said that by 'reflecting what another person is doing, you create some part of the feeling. That's one way we understand what someone is feeling.'

The research team now want to find out why girls who have dummies do not seem to suffer the same effects.

Other research into dummy use has suggested that giving one to a baby as it goes off to sleep is associated with a reduction in the risk of cot death, although the Department of Health and the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths advises avoiding using them for the first month of your baby's life if you're breastfeeding.

HOW bizarre! Do you have a little boy who uses or has used a dummy?
Does this research worry you at all?

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Should toddlers have dummies?