Developing Brain

Failure of Culture—James. W. Prescott



 VIOLENCE: THE Failure of Culture

James W. Prescott, Ph.D.

The failure of Women to become Nurturing Mothers is the failure of Culture. One cannot Nurture or Love if they have not been nurtured or loved. One cannot give to someone else what he or she does not possess. Nurturing and Love are learned behaviors not to be found in our genes. There are no genes for love or violence—they are learned behaviors. This learning process begins with MOTHER in the intimacy of breastfeeding bonding, which contains all the elements of nurturing and love—from the micro molecular biochemistry of breast milk to the macro chemistry of the sensory environment of touch, movement, taste, and smell of the body of MOTHER– all that is crucial for the development of the bran gestalt called LOVE where the Whole is greater than the sum of its Parts.

Two Stories of Love—American Style

The first story of Love comes from Vietnam, as told by Michael McCusker in The Winter Soldier Investigation: An Inquiry into American War Crimes. (1972), a Marine sergeant who witnessed a gang rape in Vietnam. McCusker [7] tells of a rifle squad of nine men who entered a small village: http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/Mantell2.pdf

“They were supposed to go after what they called a Viet Cong whore. They went into her village and instead of capturing her, they raped her-every man raped her. As a matter of fact, one man said to me later that it was the first time he had ever made love to a woman with his boots on. The man, who led the platoon, or the squad, was actually a private. The squad leader was a sergeant but he was a useless person and he let the private take over his squad. Later he said he took no part in the raid. It was against his morals. So instead of telling his squad not to do it, because they wouldn’t listen to him anyway, the sergeant went into another side of the village and just sat and stared bleakly at the ground, feeling sorry for himself. But at any rate, they raped the girl, and then, the last man to make love to her, shot her in the head.”

What is it in the American psyche that permits the use of the word ‘love’ to describe rape? And where the act of love is completed with a bullet in the head? From: Body Pleasure and The Origins of Violence. The Futurist. April 1975
The second story comes from Newtown, CT and the reports of the slaughter of some twenty innocent children and six adults at the Newtown Elementary School where the first murder committed was the MOTHER of Adam Lanza, who shot her six times in the head.

What did this MOTHER do or not do to be the victim of this outrageous rage and who is responsible for this murderous act? Adam Lanza? his MOTHER? Or the Violent Culture?, which shaped their lives—America!

Tragically, no mention was made of the Affectional Bond that did not exist betweem MOTHER and Child. No mention was made whether Adam Lanza was breastfed or not, let alone for “two years and beyond”, which would assure a different life path for Adam Lanza that ended in the violence of homicide and suicide.

The mental, emotional and behavioral health of the infant/child REQUIRES sensory stimulation of TOUCH and MOVEMENT, which are illustrated in the following video clips: https://vimeo.com/71761209 — 2 min https://vimeo.com/69200952 9 min
The failure of maternal-infant/child affectional bonding is transparent with the documented impaired brain development that drives the pychopathological behaviors consequent to maternal-infant separation.

John W. Travis, M.D. in an article published in Bryonchild March 2004 his theory on Why Men Leave: The Epidemic of Disappearing Dads

Assertion: Modern culture is in the midst of a hidden epidemic of fathers leaving their families–usually around the time when the first child is born….Most men in the “developed” nations today never bonded (or very poorly bonded) with their mothers. Most people don’t even notice how disconnected modern people are from each other, compared to cultures where the bond is still intact.

Tragically, many Fathers abandon their children throughout their dependent life and not primarily when they were infants, as court cases attest to Mothers attempting to obtain support for their children. Questions must also be raised about the Cultures “where the bond is intact”.

This writer, as Scientific Advisor to Time Life Films in their documentary Rock a Bye Baby, premiered at the 1970 White House Conference on Children,dramatized the brain-behavioral pathologies resulting from the sensory-emotional deprivation associated with loss of Maternal affectional bonding.

In 1975, this writer published his study of 49 tribal cultures that compared 29 Peaceful cultures with 20 Violent Cultures and found that MATERNAL affectional bonding (present or absent) significantly discriminated the presence or absence of violence in 80% of these 49 Cultures. The remaining 20 Cultures were correctly classified when youth sexual exoression was assessed: permitted or punished. The PLEASURE experienced in these two stages of development accurately predicted with 100% accuracy the Peaceful or Violent character of these 49 Cultures.

PAIN or PLEASURE encoded in our two cultural brains determines whether a Person or Culture becomes Peaceful or Violent. PLEASURE is the glue of Affectional Bonding
A breastfeeding infant/child (for “two years of age and beyond”) knows that he/she is LOVED– a” brain gestalt”– where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”, is firmly established in the neural networks of the developing brain. The child first learns LOVE at the breast of MOTHER—not the Father! The male child so loved by his MOTHER will not abandon his children!

In 1952 Ashley Montagu stated in The Natural Superiority Of Women,:
“Women are the mothers of humanity; do not let us ever forget that or underemphasize its importance. What mothers are to their children, so will man be to man” (pp. 247-248)

In 1952 John Steinbeck wrote in East of Eden:
“The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt–and there is the story of mankind.”

Unless we change our CULTURE by supporting Mothers and Fathers, particularly MOTHERS, in ways that allow her to nurture her infants/children that actually change the brain of the infant/child will the future of humanity be changed.

CULTURE needs to promote the neural networks of Pleasure that mediate peaceful, harmonious and egalitarian relationships with all of life. The lessons taught in 1971 from the documentary film Rock-a-bye Baby and in 1975 from the scientific study of 49 tribal cultures in Body Please and the Origins of Violence have tragically yet to be leaned.


James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
28 April 2014