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When I saw the headline— New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths —I assumed that social scientists were once again wasting taxpayer dollars doing research to confirm what we already know. But then I saw that it was from The Onion and realized that it was meant to be satirical:

A study published Monday in The Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry has concluded that an estimated 98 percent of children under the age of 10 are remorseless sociopaths with little regard for anything other than their own egocentric interests and pleasures. Data shows that many seemingly innocent children—such as this one—are not to be trusted.

According to Dr. Leonard Mateo, a developmental psychologist at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study, most adults are completely unaware that they could be living among callous monsters who would remorselessly exploit them to obtain something as insignificant as an ice cream cone or a new toy.

“The most disturbing facet of this ubiquitous childhood disorder is an utter lack of empathy,” Mateo said. “These people—if you can even call them that—deliberately violate every social norm without ever pausing to consider how their selfish behavior might affect others. It’s as if they have no concept of anyone but themselves.”

“The depths of depravity that these tiny psychopaths are capable of reaching are really quite chilling,” Mateo added.

As they say, it’s funny because its true . Stephen at The Guild Review agrees and wonders if the editors of The Onion have been reading Augustine:

[Y]ou might notice that the “study” sounds a lot like a modern, secularized version of St. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin, and of the doctrine of concupiscence. The gist of St. Augustine’s argument and of the “study” is the same. Even the cutest little kids have seriously twisted wills, are self-centered, and manipulative. Even the quote near the end of the article stating that “the disorder is considered untreatable” meshes fairly well with St. Augustine (indeed, orthodox Christian theology, in general) that sin cannot be treated like a simple disease.

Sadly, as The Onion article explains, most adults “refuse to believe they are sharing their homes with merciless predators.” This is generally why they are unprepared when these little monsters reach the next stage of advanced sociopathy and become—shudder— teenagers .

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