Here is further evidence of how people become socially conservative when in a social situation that causes fear and stress. I’ve brought this up before because it explains why social conservatives have motivation to fear-monger.
As the researchers concede, these experiments aren’t proof that thoughts of terrorism have a uniquely negative effect on parenting. Exposure to images of an attack might simply have increased the parents’ stress level, “which could then translate into harsher and more controlling social interactions with their children.”
But they note previous research has found a link between terror threats and authoritarian political beliefs. The notion that this mindset could slop over into domestic decision-making seems entirely plausible.
Either way, it’s one more example of how fear can inspire behavior one may later regret. So in turbulent times, perhaps it’s wise to avoid reading the newspaper before heading to the nursery. It’s never a beautiful day in Mr. bin Laden’s Neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean you and your children need to live there.