Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly frequently make headlines for the unusual choices they’ve made during their relationship. Fox raised eyebrows yet again when she revealed to an E! reporter at the red carpet for the premiere of MGK’s documentary Life in Pink that while they were dating she asked him whether or not he was breastfed as an infant.
While not quite as commonly used as, “What’s your sign?” Fox explains that her reasons for asking were similar, calling “Were you breastfed by your mother?” a “great question.”
“It has a lot to do with your psychology and your temperament,” she continued. “So I ask things like that.”
When getting to know her suitors, she said, she likes to “go deep right away.”
“If you know me and I know you, it’s impossible for me to not know almost everything about you,” she told E!.
While some people might be scared away by this promise, MGK seems to have responded positively. The pair announced their engagement in January via an Instagram post — in which they claimed to drink each other’s blood to mark the occasion.
Fox shares sons Noah, 10, Bodhi, 8, and Journey, 5, with ex Brian Austin Green, and has spoken about breastfeeding her own children.
But is there evidence to support Fox’s theory? Do our parents’ feeding choices influence our adult personalities?
There is an abundance of research about the benefits of breastfeeding for the physical health of both the baby and the person doing the nursing, but less regarding its psychological impact over the long term. How to feed the baby is but one of the hundreds of decisions that parents make, and each of these choices impacts a child to some degree, making it a challenge to determine which cause leads to a particular effect.
To Fox’s credit, there is some research showing a correlation between infant breastfeeding and adult personality. A study whose results were published in the European Journal of Personality in 2016 found that adults who had been breastfed as infants scored lower on measures of “neuroticism, anxiety, and hostility and higher in openness and optimism than those not breastfed.” The authors also reference earlier studies that found lower psychological distress and hostility-related traits in adults who were breastfed as infants.
Interestingly, when researchers looked at the duration of breastfeeding, the highest levels of neuroticism were found in people who were never breastfed, but also in those who were breastfed for more than 2 years. In other words, you can blame your mother for your neuroses whether she didn’t breastfeed you enough, or if she breastfed you too much.
Of course, it’s possible to lovingly and attentively respond to a baby’s cries with a bottle, and for breastfeeding parents to be unresponsive to other needs that their child has. Then there is the small matter of how everything that has happens to us in the years following shapes the person we become.
At the end of the day, this might be one of those questions that says more about the person doing the asking than the person being asked.