[FOUNTAIN]Parasites in society?Parasites may be related to human mental abnormalities, according to a recent study conducted by a research team on infectious disease at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Toxoplasma gonddi, which an estimated 40 percent of people are infected with, may push people toward do antisocial behavior, the research team argues.
The lab conducted experiments on mice. After mice became infected with the parasites, their behavior changed significantly. The mice did dangerous things as if they were normal behavior, thus increasing the risk of being eaten by cats.
For humans, when they are infected with toxoplasma gondii, their intelligence quotients become lower, their school performance worsens and they become less focused.
In extreme cases, the chances of antisocial behavior become higher and those with the parasites become more suspicious and jealous. When women are infected with the worms, they become more extroverted and promiscuous.
The parasites make men become daredevils who do weird things and women more outgoing. That theory suggests a correlation between parasites and the mental pathology of human beings.
Parasites are nothing but harmful. They live in other creatures and take nutrients from them. There are certain types of environments that attract parasites. When a host creates an unhealthy environment that attracts parasites, the worms live inside the host, causing disease in the body.
In natural circumstances, parasites don’t live long in humans. Parasites live in animals, moving from one animal to another. But due to certain eating habits, lifestyles, customs and habits, humans have long served as hosts for parasites as well.
From a social and political point of view, Korea’s society seems to be suffering from parasites too ― the ones called strife and conflict. These factors do more harm than good, and they are intensified by the president’s extremely provocative words that leave people perplexed and confused.
Confrontation and chaos in our society seems to be going to extremes. The goal to make people better off has long been forgotten amid the bad economy.
Have we changed our environment so that it is suitable for parasites that damage human mentality? Like parasites, strife and division thrive in our society. We cannot help but blame the people who created the optimum environment for the worms. The main responsibility lies with the president and his aides at the Blue House.
*The writer is the Beijing correspondent
of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Yoo Kwang-jong