The Stepford Cuckoos episode allowed Anthony and I to discuss a smidgen of what sibling multiples may or may not go through in their lives. As usual, in no way was this a comprehensive discussion, so I figured a few written words could help flesh out the narrative. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I did a bit of reading on the subject, which led to watching something on the subject, which led to confusion, anger, and a willingness to make an apology for my field for something I didn’t do…
I’m a bit off course. Breathe, doc. Your wife always tells you to breathe.
I found out about the Dr. Peter Neubauer study involving the Triplets Pizza Brothers. If that sounds like the corny premise for an evening sitcom, it’s because I didn’t mention the intentional separation of families from infants to study their development into adulthood, keeping everyone in secrecy and the ultimate footnote being one of them committing suicide. But hey! At least they learned what type of women they liked and they all smoked the same cigarettes while opening up a restaurant before tons of skeletons fall out of the closet like their mom being schizophrenic, woohoo! Crucial psychiatric data!
“Twin studies” are common in the social sciences. The premise is that genetic similarities are close enough so that any differences are attributed to environment only. As our understanding of genetics has improved, and technology has allowed us to understand more than we thought possible, this premise is faulty. But we didn’t know that decades ago. Mea culpa if all of our research were based on twin studies alone (thankfully the results are not, hooray Randomized Controlled Trials, yadda yadda). This is different. We know this particular study was wrong…IS wrong. ALWAYS wrong. It’s no big deal if you split kids up for an hour of play and make observations with the knowing consent of the parents. It’s okay to conduct interviews with teenagers in separate rooms and ask the same questions then parse out data in aggregate. What about a day? A month? Years?
Whole childhoods? Really? Who approved that? Who designed it? Oversaw the results? Maintained communications, answered angry queries, celebrated when they kept up the lies (I am not exaggerating?) Turns out it was an adoption agency colluding with this doctor’s research team to potentially destroy lives, all in the name of science. This is what my field has done. If I submitted the reality of these events to Marvel, just ask them to switch the gender, and submit it as a new story arc for the cuckoos, I’m certain I would be laughed out of the room. Thankfully (painfully?) there is no need, because it’s already in documentary form (Three Identical Strangers, released this year). There’s plenty of old press about the three guys and a general media circus, and the current click-bait online press about the whole story with a quick google search. Somehow, the rigorous scientific data is lacking. They broke the eggs in a trash bin and lied when people asked for the omelet.
What have we learned? Research for the sake of research at the expense of others is a crime against existence itself. Also, If you combine enough psychological, biological, and medical atrocity studies into one meta-analytical tome I bet it is more powerful than the Necronomicon.
~ Dr. Issues