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Although the Kelloggs claimed they treated Donald and Gua the same, the parenting wasn’t always loving. They tapped Donald’s and Gua’s heads with spoons to hear the difference in the sound of their skulls; they made loud noises to see who would react faster; they tried to convince Gua not to eat soap bubbles by shoving a bar of soap into her mouth; and they spun Donald around in a high chair until he started crying — all in the name of science.

Today, the experiment would never pass an ethics board. “Experimenting on your own children is highly problematic,” says Jeffrey Kahn of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. “Anytime you do an experiment with your own family and your own life, it’s not scientific in the same way as a laboratory study.”

This was only one of the problems with the premise. “N=1 [a trial with one participant] can only give you so much information,” says Kahn. “How much can you generalize from one case? And how do you do that experiment? You can’t raise the same chimp in two different scenarios.”

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