Developing Brain

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Early Life Experiences and Failed Affectional Bonding.



VIOLENCE AND WOMEN’S HEALTH Science 16 October 2015


Distressingly, violence on campuses is part of a larger epidemic of sexual violence in the United States, making it a major women’s issue.

Tragically, we are again reminded of the Violence against Women and her Children that goes well beyond the U.S. borders.  Sexual violence is a world-wide problem that calls for world-wide solutions.

The failure of gender equality world-wide has its roots in the earliest pages of human history and requires a radical transformation of human cultures that has given birth to gender inequality.  From Ancient Greece to the Abrahamic Religions, violence reigned and triumphed over affectional relationships.  http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Gibbon2012.pdf

In December 1979, this writer published an essay Alienation of Affection in Psychology Today where I stated:

The possible lesson for modern countries is clear. We seem to be suffering from breakdowns in affectional bonds — reflected in everything from rates of divorce to sexual crimes, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

Culture is that handmaiden of our neurobiology, and without a proper environment for physical affection, a peaceful, harmonious society may not be possible.

In April 1975, I published an essay, Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence in The Futurist that was reprinted in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist, November,1975, where I stated:A neuropsychologist contends that the greatest threat to world peace comes from those nations which have the most depriving environments for their children and which are most repressive of sexual affection and female sexuality. The following commentary on the essay Violence and Women’s Health published in Science 16 October 2015 reviews the failure of the National Institutes of Health to address the epidemic of Violence in America, which PHS Surgeon GENERAL KOOP stated  “…violence, which is one of the most extensive and chronic epidemics in the Public Health of this country“; the failure of the expert witnesses to address early life experiences in forming cultures of violence and the failure of our culture to educate our children on the importance of  forming affectional bonds in the  SENATE HEARINGS of  July 29, 2015 on Combating Campus Sexual Assault provides a framework for corrective legislation to preventing sexual violence against Women and her Children.


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18 October 2015

Nancy E. Adler is the Lisa and John Pritzker Professor of Medical Psychology, vice-chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and director of the Center for Health and Community at the University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.


Paula A. Johnson is professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.


Dear Drs. Adler and Johnson,

Your article on Violence and Women’s Health in Science 16 October 2015 was read with more than passing interest where you noted:

Last month, the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey provided a disturbing picture of the extent of sexual assault on campuses in the United States. Almost a quarter of female graduates surveyed from 27 institutions indicated having experienced sexual assault during their undergraduate period. Distressingly, violence on campuses is part of a larger epidemic of sexual violence in the United States, making it a major women’s issue.


Tragically, sexual violence is more than a Women’s issue but a national and world issue with many agent co-conspirators.

The institutions of American Society and indeed of World Society are complicit in the epidemic of sexual violence against Women and Children.

Not the least is the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Heath that was created by the Congress on October 17,1962 with enactment of PL 87-838 to conduct and support of research and training relating to maternal health, child health, and human development, including research and training in the special health problems and requirements of mothers and children…”(Sec 441).

It is universally recognized that “child abuse and neglect” is a “special health problem of mothers and children” and is a precursor to violence against Women, her body and to her children.

Despite this act of Congress the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has betrayed and abandoned Mothers, Children and the Family—the future of HUMAN Civilization.

This betrayal of Mothers, Children and Humanity is revealed in the poverty of budget allocated by the NIH, affirmed in the April 1994: publication of the “Report of the Panel on NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and their Consequences: e) Summary September 22-24, 1993 meeting: 2nd paragraph: “To date, investment across all Institutes and ICDs in violence-related research has been minuscule relative to the total NIH budget (i.e.0.5%).” View Page 138.  http://www.violence.de/history/NIHR_1994.html

PHS Surgeon GENERAL KOOP stated in an address of October 26, 1982 On Violence and Public Health,“…violence, which is one of the most extensive and chronic epidemics in the Public Health of this country”; and “A family environment that is cruel and uncaring will send cruel and uncaring children into the world as aggressive, violent adults.”

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) http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Natsup.pdf (link is external)

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 to become nurturing rather than violent will the future of humanity be changed.

The failure of Culture to support Women, as Nurturing Mothers, is the principal cause of a Culture of Violence that threatens human survival.



The following letters to Senator Lemar Alexander and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan explore the many roots of gender violence that focuses on the early years; the role that the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health under PL87-838, enacted by the Congress and which created the NICHD to conduct research and training in the special health problems and requirements of mothers and children…”(Sec 441; the failure of the NICHD/NIH to comply with PL 87-838; and the NIH Conference on Violence (April 1994) that specified FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, where none of these Findings and Recommendations were implemented are detailed.

The failure of Federal Agencies to comply with the Public Laws enacted by the Congress requires that the Congress specify fiscal obligations upon the federal agencies in meeting the obligations set by the Congress, as did Republican Secretary Casper Weinberger in setting fiscal obligations for supporting child abuse and neglect research.

The Congress needs to set fiscal obligations for research program priorities, first acknowledged and enacted by Secretary Caspar Weinberger, see NICHD Chronology.

http://www.violence.de/archive.shtml#NICHD_Chronology (link is external)

1975. May 14, 1975

NIH Memo to Jehu C. Hunter from Joseph Bobbitt, Ph.D. which explicitly states that DHEW Secretary Weinberger is upset by the lack of response from various federal agencies to his directive to increase activity and research on child abuse and neglect. “He finally said that perhaps the Secretary would have to remind the agencies and set fiscal obligations as he did for FY [fiscal year] 74.” Bobbitt stated, “that specific requirements were never set for FY 75 (but that NICHD had maintained its FY 1974 mandate level) View Document


I fear that the NIH rejected history of child abuse and neglect research and intervention programs will be similarly followed by any proposed Congressionally mandated programs to combat violence against women. 

Combating Campus Sexual Assault:  SENATE HEARINGS July 29, 2015

Senator Lemar Alexander Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee On Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held public hearings on Combating Campus Sexual Assault

The testimony of the Witnesses, unfortunately, said little about true PREVENTION where the early years of socialization has been virtually ignored in contributing to a cultural climate of gender violence that begins in infancy and early childhood and becomes manifest in the adult years. Sexual violence has become a  “rite of passage” in cultures throughout the world, which has many roots and deserves national and international attention.

The following documents the role of early life experiences in shaping cultures for Peace or Violence, particularly sexual violence against Women and Children that was submitted as written testimony before Senator Alexander’s Committee.

The neglect of early life experiences by the expert witnesses for measures of PREVENTION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE and the failures of religious- political Institutional factors are inexplicable.

A radical transformation of human cultures and society is mandatory.


Ltr of 3 Sept 15 to Senator Lemar Alexander.


Lt of 3 Sept 15 To Secretary Duncan,

Kindergarten is too late

http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Ibuka5.html (link is external)

1970 White House Conference on Children

http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Nixon-1970-WHC.pdf (link is external)


http://www.violence.de/history/NIHR_1994.html (link is external)


http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/Alienation_of_Affection.pdf (link is external)


http://www.violence.de/prescott/ttf/cultbrain.pdf (link is external)




Combating Campus Sexual Assault