Violence is Failed Bonding/Attachment - Continued
Violence is Failed Bonding/Attachment - Continued
Two key points: violence, along with a long list of other maladies; depression, ADHD, addiction, chronic stress related diseases, child abuse, domestic violence and rape are expressions of failed or impaired attachment AND the biological fact that males are more vulnerable than females focus our attention sharply. At least it should, but often doesn’t, which is indeed curious. For some strange reason the closer we tread to the heart of violence the more our attention is distracted, rendering us less capable of embracing and embodying the truth.
Culture, as Joseph Chilton Pearce describes, is a strange loop. Culture emerges from semantic imagination and memory. Culture gathers strength and force by manipulating the fundamental need for acceptance and its twin, rejection; punishments and rewards that resonate each moment as an inner phantom, a self-image that we falsely believe ourselves to be. Having gathered for centuries this invisible force, this meta-ego we call culture, shapes the developing brain causing it to betray a much deeper intelligence and this betrayal is the heart of violence.
No one has addressed the roots of violence more deeply than James W. Prescott, PhD. Like other rare and insightful researchers Jim sees ever-so-clearly absolute facts that most others don’t. For fifty years Jim has researched, written and published scientific papers, addressed state and federal offices, professional institutions, and has done so for years. He sees little change in the social and biological roots of violence.
Clearly, Jim is correct, his research and his insights. We are not going to change culture but we can create a new culture by ‘being’ different, each of us, one at a time. This begins by appreciating that ‘we are the enemy.’ We represent nature’s best shot at real transformation – right now. We are the problem and we are are only hope. No more waiting for culture to change for us. What follows is the best summary on the issue of bonding and violence you will find.
Highlights: The Origins of Love & Violence: An Overview
The human primate is, without question, the most violent primate on the planet who directs more violence against the female and offspring of its species than by any other primate species on the planet.
It is the impaired development of the pleasure systems of the brain that results from failed affectional bonding in the mother-infant/child relationship and in the failed sexual affectional bonding during the juvenile/adolescent stages of development, which have placed the human primate on a life path for depression, social alienation and violence. Tragically, the moral traditions of the monotheistic religions have contributed significantly to this life path of self-destruction in homo sapiens where pain and suffering (biological avoidance) has become a virtue; and pleasure (biological attraction) has become a sin that must be avoided. This moral theology has wrecked havoc with the natural and normal integrative bio-psychological development of homo sapiens, which has resulted in the development of the neurodissociative brain that mediates the neurodissociative behaviors of depression, alienation and violence.
The basic reciprocal inhibitory relationship in the brain between pain and pleasure, between peace and violence must be recognized as fundamental neurobiological and neuropsychological processes that have been developed through millions of years of mammalian evolutionary biology that regulate peaceful and violent behaviors.
It is well known that early life experiences have a profound effect upon brain-behavioral development, which has been demonstrated from a rich variety of both animal and human studies. The studies of Salk, et al (1985) found prenatal and perinatal stress factors in 81% of teen suicides and the Jacobson group in Sweden (Jacobson, et al, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1998/2000) found increased risks for homicide, suicide and drug addictions in adulthood-- as a consequence of obstetrical medication (and other perinatal traumas)-which were as high as 500% compared to control groups with no obstetrical medications. These studies illustrate how critical early life experiences effect life-long developmental consequences upon the brain and behavior and that true prevention must begin before birth and during the formative postnatal periods of brain-behavioral development.
No mammal on this planet, except the human mammal, separates the newborn from its mother at birth and during the crucial and formative postnatal period of brain-behavioral development.
No mammal on this planet, except the human mammal, refuses to breastfeed its newborn and during the crucial and formative periods of breastfeeding for brain-behavioral development that varies with mammalian species. The violation of these two mammalian universals by the human primate-homo sapiens-has brought devastating consequences upon itself in terms of damaged biological and emotional-social health that threatens the very existence of the species.
In a series of subsequent cross-cultural tribal studies,Prescott found that 77% of 26 tribal cultures whose weaning age was 2.5 years or longer were rated low or absent in suicidal violence. Further, he found significant differences in suicidal behaviors between cultures with weaning age of 2.0 years or less v 2.5 years or greater. This finding suggests that a critical period of brain development exists at this age to mediate this effect. These and other data suggest that breastfeeding for 2.5 years or longer is required to optimize the health benefits of breastfeeding for child and mother (Zheng, 2000). These breastfeeding effects are undoubtedly mediated, in large part, by the rich presence of the amino acid tryptophan in breastmilk that is deficient in infant formula milk and which is necessary for normal brain serotonin development.
This issue of duration of breastfeeding for optimal biological and mental-social health is particularly urgent when it is recognized that only 6.8% of American mothers are breastfeeding at 12 months; 2.7% are breastfeeding at 24months; and only 1% at 30 months or more (Hediger, 2001; Prescott, 2001). These statistics on breastfeeding become even more alarming in the light of child and youth suicidal deaths which have doubled in the 5-14 year age group over this past generation and has been the third leading cause of death in the 15-24 year age group over this past generation. Further, for the 5-14 year age group the ratio of suicide rates to homicide rates have consistently increased over this past generation, as follows: 1979--36 %; 1994--60%; 1998--73%. It is also a sobering statistic to note that more children and youth (5-24 year age group) have died from suicidal death in the past ten years (est 55,000) than combat lives lost during the ten year Vietnam War (47, 355). Yet, no memorial has been established for these children of suicidal death.
Belsky (2001), a member of the research team of the NICHD-SECC, has published his most recent findings and conclusions regarding the damaging emotional-social effects of infant and early child day care.
Evidence indicating that early, extensive, and continuous nonmaternal care is associated with less harmonious parent-child relations and elevated levels of aggression and noncompliance suggest that concerns raised about early and extensive child care 15 years ago remain valid and that alternative explanations of Belsky's originally-controversial conclusion do not account for seemingly adverse effects of routine nonmaternal care that continue to be reported in the literature. (Abstract)… Ultimately, hard headed work is called for to gain insight into the developmental mechanisms that give rise to the aggressive and noncompliant behavior so often found to be related to early, extensive, and continuous nonmaternal child care. For sure the road does not end with the NICHD-SECC (p.35, ms, emphasis mine).
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
The realization of peaceful and harmonious behaviors at the individual and cultural level can only be obtained with a neurointegrative brain and not with a neurodissociative brain. These two brains are formed through the developmental sensory processes of pleasure stimulation or pleasure deprivation that is mediated first through the mother-infant/child pleasure bonding relationship or its absence. Sexual affectional bonding relationships during puberty/postpubertal development builds upon this first foundation of love in the mother-infant/child relationship that also promotes peaceful, harmonious and egalitarian relationships. Integrated pleasure but not dissociative pleasure inhibits depression and violence. Dissociative pleasure leads to sexual exploitation and violence, particularly child and teen sexual abuse. It would be a rare event to find any rapist or other sex offender, murderer or drug addict that has been breast fed for 2.5 years or longer in any culture and who have realized youth sexual affectional relationships.
A radical transformation is needed of the philosophical dualistic and theistic theologies of "Western Civilization" that have mandated and supported gender inequality with the subversion and violation of millions of years of mammalian evolutionary biology concerning the role of pain and pleasure in mammalian relationships, particularly human primate relationships.
The four primary life changes that are required to transform the individual and culture from one of authoritarianism and violence to one of egalitarian and peaceful relationships are:
1. Support of mothers being nurturing mothers that includes breastfeeding for 2.5 years or greater.
2. Support of mothers (and fathers) in being nurturing parents by supporting the continuous carrying of the infant on the body of mother/father throughout the day during the first year of life.
3. All forms of intentional infliction of physical/emotional pain and punishment must be eliminated from the life of the infant/child that begins in many infants with circumcision.
4. Society must support the emerging sexuality of children and youth and support them in the natural expression of their inherent sexuality that is free from exploitation and punishment.
James W. Prescott, PhD.