Microbiomes and Temperament

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Gut microbiomes help explain temperament in young children:

From 2011 to 2012, researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus recruited 77 pairs of mothers and toddlers, age 18 to 27 months. Mothers rated their children’s temperament on questionnaires and provided information about breast-feeding and timing of solid foods. Gut bacteria were analyzed from stool samples on diapers.

Boys were more active and extroverted, and had less self-control compared with girls. More physical movement and higher sociability were significantly associated with a particular composition of gut bacteria in boys. In girls, higher self-control and fear of potentially unpleasant or threatening situations were associated with specific clusters of gut bacteria.

No association was found between diet, gut bacteria and temperament differences in boys or girls, though consuming less meat and vegetables was linked to a greater need for stimulation in boys. It isn’t clear if the findings reflect the effects of temperament on the gut or the effects of the gut on temperament, or a combination of the two, researchers said.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    This research is long overdue. There are any number of parasites that can control their host’s behavior.

    Greg Cochrane thinks homosexuality, at least in men, is the result of an intrauterine infection. How many other weird human behaviors are parasite or infection driven? Feminism? Progressivism?

Leave a Reply