Blame the parents? Child tragedies reveal empathy decline

Recent tragedies like the death of a 2-year-old attacked by an alligator in Florida reveal a rise in “parenting shame”


Empathy and judgment

Empathy is the ability to put oneself in another person’s emotional shoes. This ability is baked into people’s moral reasoning, even at the level of brain anatomy, science shows. Researchers reporting in 2013 in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience examined the brains of psychopaths (who have stunted empathy for others) and found multiple brain regions involved, including the anterior insula, the anterior cingulate cortex, the supplementary motor area, the inferior frontal gyrus, the somatosensory cortex and the right amygdala. (Specifically, these areas are linked to empathy for pain.)