No one is more susceptible to an expert’s fearmongering than a parent. Fear is in fact a major component of the act of parenting. A parent, after all, is the steward of another creature’s life, a creature who in the beginning is more helpless than the newborn of nearly any other species. This leads a lot of parents to spend a lot of their parenting energy simply being scared.
The problem is that they are often scared of the wrong things. It’s not their fault, really. Separating facts from rumors is always hard work, especially for a busy parent. And the white noise generated by the experts—to say nothing of the pressure exerted by fellow parents— is so overwhelming that they can barely think for themselves. The facts they do manage to glean have usually been varnished or exaggerated or otherwise taken out of context to serve an agenda that isn’t their own.
~Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubne (page 135)