Who needs parents anyway?
“There are environmental effects,” he says. “But this is an important point that Harris makes: Environmental effects must not be equated with parenting effects. There is also the culture, and when we talk about kids, culture equals peer group, pretty much.” A social circle, in other words, helps shape a kid’s personality and developmental outcomes, but a parent for the most part does not. There is evidence that parenting can have some early effect, he says, but it gets “diluted over time, and whatever effects of the families there are tend to peter out as the children get older.” Difficult to believe? Pinker can point to exhaustive studies that confirm as much.
To what extent is this idea finally getting traction?