Roundup: Media’s role in over-anxious parenting? GOP writing own anti-domestic violence bill; studies question food deserts’ link to obesity

Erika Christakis, a Harvard College administrator who blogs at, posted a fascinating op-ed on — “Did Etan Patz Mark the End of Carefree Parenting?” She’s referring to Etan Patz, the six-year-old boy who disappeared in New York City in 1979, and was the first missing child to appear on milk cartons. She points out that of the 800,000 reported annual cases of missing or kidnapped children, most are found within hours.

The stereotypical kidnapping of parental nightmares and blaring headlines (with a child held overnight by a stranger, involving ransom, harm or intent to keep the child) occurs approximately 115 times per year, with a nearly 60% survival rate (and just 4% unsolved).

The number has not increased since the 1980s, she says, and though it’s still 115 too many, “the disproportionate fear generated by these cases has altered the landscape of childhood in complex ways that obscure the fact that this is probably the safest

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