Take an Empathy Pill and Call Me in the Morning

Do parents have to choose between tough love and empathy? What do children really need?

Szalavitz and Perry add their voices to Gordon’s and many others who see empathy slipping as the tone of modern culture becomes increasingly harsh.

To them, the indications of this change run the gamut “from calls for the legalization of torture to the actual practices uncovered at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and ‘torture porn’ movies like the Saw series.” They also cite reality shows that present the pain and misery of others for our ghoulish entertainment. 


But there are more subtle clues

to society’s “empathy crisis.”