STOP THE GLOBAL KILLING OF INFANTS AND CHILDREN
A CENTER FOR GLOBAL NONKILLING (CGNK) PROPOSAL
JAMES W. PRESCOTT, PH.D.
The CGNK Neuroscience Exploratory Colloquium held in Philadelphia, PA on 27-28 July 2009 made clear the vastness of the killings perpetrated by homo sapiens on members of its own species. No other life form on this planet perpetrates such violence against members of its own species than does Homo sapiens. http://www.nonkilling.org
It is transparent that of all the killings on this planet the killings of infants and children “Are The Greatest Indictments Against Civilization”, as noted by Herbert Marcuse (1962), above. Masaru Ibuka (1977) in Kindergarten Is Too Late! is a prescient book written by the co-founder of SONY and is relevant today as it was in 1977 and will be further commented upon below.
It is proposed that the CENTER FOR GLOBAL NONKILLING (CGNK) establish a global program to eliminate the killing of infants and children throughout the world by promoting high affectional bonding in the maternal-infant/child relationship. It is well documented that high affectional bonding in the maternal-infant/child relationship is highly predictive of cultures being peaceful or violent (homicidal and suicidal behaviors). A high homicide component in infant/child mortality is well established which can be substantially prevented by high maternal-infant/child affectional bonding (breastfeeding bonding and baby-carrying) during the formative periods of brain-behavioral development. (Supporting data reviewed below).
Such a CGNK program would have worldwide support; provide for the critical foundation of family development—the fulcrum of any human society—and is applicable to rich and poor nations alike. This program can be expected to receive support from WHO and UNICEF, although high maternal-infant/child affectional bonding has not been recognized as core to the prevention of violence worldwide.
John Bowlby (1953) in Child Care and The Growth of Love based upon his World Health Organization (WHO) Report Maternal Care and Mental Health (1951) stated:
Among the most significant developments of psychiatry during the past quarter of a century (written in 1951) has been the steady growth of evidence that the quality of the parental care, which a child receives in his earliest years, is of vital importance for his future mental health. (p.11)....
Deprived children, whether in their homes or out of them, are the source of social infection as real and serious as are carriers of diphtheria and typhoid. And, just as preventive measures have reduced these diseases to negligible proportions, so can determined actions greatly reduce the number of deprived children in our midst and the growth of adults liable to produce more of them" (p.181)…
Yet, so far, no country has tackled this problem seriously. Even in so-called advanced countries there is a tolerance for conditions of bad mental hygiene in nurseries, institutions, and hospitals to a degree which, if it were found in the field of physical hygiene, would long since have led to public outcry (p.181)…
The second factor still at work is a lack of conviction on the part of governments, social agencies, and the public that mother-love in infancy and childhood is as important for mental health as are vitamins and proteins for physical health (p. 182)...
One must be beware of a vested interest in the institutional care of children! (p. 182, emphasis added).
Let it be hoped, then, that all over the world men and women in public life will recognize the relation of mental health to maternal care, and will seize their opportunities for promoting courageous and far-reaching reforms. (p.182).
Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner, Scientific Chairman, 1970 White House Conference on Children and Chairman, Forum 15, stated:
America’s families, and their children, are in trouble, trouble so deep and pervasive as to threaten the future of our nation. The source of the trouble is nothing less than a national neglect of children and those primarily engaged in their care— America’s parents. The Editorial Committee objected to this statement on the grounds that it applied only to a minority of the nation’s children and that, therefore, no note of urgency was justified. I strongly disagree (p. 252) (Bronfenbrenner, 1970).
Peter S. Cook (1996) in. Early Child Care: Infants & Nations At Risk-- half of a century after Bowlby-- warned the nations of the world that they are at risk for the abuse and neglect of their children. http://www.violence.de/BOOKS_OF_THE_CENTURY.html scroll to #23
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (1999), in Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection, stated:
Great Ape mothers carry their infants wherever they go. Fathers, by comparison, are rarely in direct contact with babies" (p.205). And "It was the mother who continuously carried the infant in skin-to-skin contact-stomach to stomach, chest to breast. Soothed by her heartbeat, nestled in the heat of her body, rocked by her movements, the infant's entire world was its mother. (p. 98).
"…no wild monkey or ape mother has ever been observed to deliberately harm her own baby"(p.179). Emphasis added.
What has happened along the evolutionary trail where human maternal violence against her offspring has suddenly emerged without any history of such behavior in the primate evolutionary record? How this great-unanswered question is answered will determine the future of humanity. Evolutionary psychology has much to explain here.
Frans De Waal and Frans Lanting (1997) in Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape stated:
Had bonobos been known earlier, reconstruction of human evolution might have emphasized sexual relations, equality between males and females, and the origin of the family, instead of war, hunting, tool technology, and other masculine fortes. Bonobo society seems ruled by the "Make Love, Not War" slogan of the 1960s rather than the myth of a bloodthirsty killer ape that has dominated textbooks for at least three decades (p.2).
The primary maternal behaviors that contribute substantially to the Bonobos peaceful behavior are breastfeeding of its young to about four years of age and carrying of its offspring (particularly, the male) on her back until early adolescence.
The Bonobo is the most peaceful, non-violent primate on this planet whereas homo sapiens is the most pathologically violent primate on this planet where there is a 99% communality of DNA between these two primate species. How does evolutionary psychology explain this?
In a letter to Dr. Collins, then Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, I raised the question whether he planned to evaluate the Bonobo genome given its status as the most peaceful and non-violent primate on this planet and how the 1% difference in DNA was distributed among the chromosomes that might give clues to a genetic source of its peaceful behaviors. I received no reply to these questions from Dr. Collins. http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/COLLINS.html
The failure of the NIH to address the most significant developmental and mental health problems of this nation, specifically, violence, is affirmed by its failure to implement the recommendations of the NIH sponsored conferences on violence in 1994 and 2004; and its poor support (0.5%) of the total NIH budget, as noted below
The April 1994 NIH Report of the Panel Findings and Recommendations, stated:
1. “NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and Their Consequences”, stated: “With the exception of the National Institute on Mental Health (NMH), violence research has not been a major priority at NIH (25)” (p.75);
http://www.violence.de/history/coverup.html#19790615 Scroll to bottom of page
2. Appendix F: “devoting as much money to peace studies as to studies of violence (46)”. This is the only reference to Dr. Prescott’s extensive testimony. No mention of the history of NICHD research on child abuse and neglect nor the developmental origins of violence (p.121) was found; http://www.violence.de/prescott/report/part1.html
3. 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%) (p.138). (See attachment)
Concerning the NIH Conference: "Preventing Violence and Related Health-Risking Social Behaviors in Adolescents: An NIH State-of-The Science Conference." (October 13-15, 2004). My submitted statement: "NIH Violence Research: Is Past Prologue? Lessons Learned From 1994-2004", attention was drawn to the critical role of breastfeeding bonding for the prevention of violence, particularly suicide, which deprives the developing brain of critical nutrients (physical and emotional) for brain neurotransmitter development (Tables 2 and 7); and supporting cross-cultural data on weaning age 2.5 years or greater with low or absent suicide. (Table 3).
My call to implement the WHO/UNICEF recommendations to breastfeed for “two years of age or beyond” was ignored (1990 Innocenti Declaration).
None of the Fifteen recommendations have been implemented in this NIH Conference on Violence 2004; nor the recommendations of the prior April 1994 published conference were acknowledged.
The NIH Conference on Violence 2004 failed to recognize the pioneering study of Raine, Brennan, and Mednick (1994) that birth complications combined with early maternal rejection at Age 1 year predisposes to violent crime at age 18 years. Another lost opportunity to emphasize birth complications (along with Salk, et al, 1985; Jacobson, et. al, 1987,1988,1990) with maternal rejection, which leads to adult violent crime and drug abuse.
Prescott (1980, 1989) has documented how maternal-infant/child separation alters brain structures that predispose to drug abuse and addiction.
The magnitude of violence in human societies, particularly sexual violence, calls out for the confirmation of the impaired brain-behavioral development outlined in my testimony by the NIIH. PREVENTION is the only certain path to correcting our pathologically violent cultures.
From the experimental primate laboratories of Harlow (1958), Mason (1968), Mason and Berkson (1975), Prescott (1971,1975,1979, 1996), Saltzberg, Lustick, and Heath, (1971), Heath (1972, 1975), Coleman (1971). Berman, Berman and Prescott, 1974), Riesen, Dickerson and Struble, (1977), Struble and Riesen (1978), Bryan and Riesen (1989), Floeeter and Greenough (1979); Higley, Suomi and Linnoila (1990); and many others we have learned that rearing infant primates apart from their mothers leads to a variety of brain-behavioral disorders that includes the limbic-cerebellar-frontal lobe complex. The neocortical brain has less to do with these brain-behavioral disorders than those mediated by the subcortical emotional social- sexual-brain.
The pioneering studies of Robert G. Heath, M.D., D.Sc. Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, for many years until his death, clarified the neurobiological foundations of schizophrenia and the pathologies from maternal-infant/child separation, particularly, the role of the cerebellar-limbic-frontal lobe connections in these disorders. His life’s work is summarized in “Exploring the Mind-Brain Relationship” (Heath, 1996). Selected published articles on the brain mechanisms on the role of pleasure deficits in violent behaviors—central to the thesis developed in this proposal-- are listed in the references,
The following URLs illustrate the damage inflicted before the first five years of life and a schema of how Pain and Pleasure are the governing principles of life.
Neural Pathways and Structures in SSAD Theory
The neural pathways and structures of SSAD theory are outlined in this section. Excerpts from the basic paper by Prescott (1970) are presented. The pioneering studies of Heath (1971) with his graphic model of neural pathways and brain structures are illustrated.
The comparative anatomy of frontal cortex and thalamofrontal connections provided by Akert (1964) document connections between Medialis Dorsalis (MD) and frontal cortex, specifically, the tri-partite structure of MD where Pars Magnocellularis thalamic projections defines the frontal orbital cortex. Cerebellar projections to Medialis Dorsalis need extensive study.
Berman, Berman and Prescott (1974) documented that paleocerebellar decortication but not neocerebellar decortication transformed an adult pathologically violent mother deprived monkey into a peaceful, social and inquisitive monkey. The paleocerebellum has primary connections with the brain stem and limbic system; the neocerebellum with the cerebral neocortex.
Schwarz, Dietrich W.F. and Frederickson, John M. (1970) documented that there are minimal vestibular projection fields in the cerebral neocortex of the rhesus monkey. Science, 14 October 1970, Volume 172, p. 280f. http://www.violence.de/others/sci71ac.html
Saltzberg, Lustick. and Heath, R.G. (1971), Heath (1975) and Saltzberg (1977) identified abnormal subcortical septal and cerebellar spiking in the maternally deprived adult rhesus monkey in scalp EEG recordings that were clinically normal, which were not observed in feral reared monkeys. The signal-processing laboratory of Saltzberg permitted the detection of pathological neuronal spiking (electrical storms) hypothesized in dangerous violent offenders utilizing special computer detection algorithms applied to scalp EEG, developed under NICHD contract but not pursued by the NICHD. See Government Documents #63-68 on the DVD: The Origins of Love & Violence: Sensory Deprivation and The Developing Brain.
Mark and Ervin (1970) discuss Violence and The Brain and the role of temporal lobe spiking activity in violent individuals.
Heath (1972) identified the role of subcortical brain structures including the cerebellum in sexual orgasm in an article titled: “Pleasure and Brain Activity in Man. Deep and Surface Electroencephalograms During Orgasm”, published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. http://www.violence.de/heath/jnmd/1972paper.pdf
Heath (1979) identified “Gross Pathology of the Cerebellum in Patients Diagnosed and Treated as Functional Psychiatric Disorders” published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
Heath, Llewellyn and Rouchell (1980) published a paper in Biological Psychiatry with the title "The Cerebellar Pacemaker for Intractable Behavioral Disorders and Epilepsy: Follow-Up Report" that confirmed the role of the cerebellum in the control and regulation of emotional behaviors. http://www.violence.de/heath/bps/Heath1980.pdf
Heath, et al (1982) identified “Cerebellar Vermal Atrophy in Psychiatric Patients” published in Biological Psychiatry.http://www.violence.de/heath/bps/1982paper.pdf
Prescott (1992) presents data that support sexual dimorphism in the developing human brain, which shows differential frontal-cerebellar connectivity in male and female brains. These data are based upon NICHD supported research on cranial-facial growth and development, through lateral-skull X- rays, by the Krogman Growth Center, Children's Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. (Solomon Katz, PI and Geoffrey F. Walker, Biometrics Laboratory, University of Michigan). http://www.violence.de/prescott/ssss/paper.pdf
There are statistically significant differences between males and females where females show a
greater neuronal interconnectivity between the cerebellum and frontal cortical areas throughout
development. Males show no brain maturational frontal-cerebellar connectivity. These findings suggest a more neurointegrative brain in the female than the male; a greater neural integration between cortical and subcortical brain structures; and the observed greater nurturance and peaceful behaviors in the female than the male. The environment plays a major role in the structuring of these relationships and their underlying biology.
Modern MRI and fMRI are needed to confirm these growth pattern differences, their sexual dimorphism and the implications that these findings have for the emotional-social-sexual and mental development of the human male and female and the future of Homo sapiens.
Panksepp (2009) reported on primary process affects and brain oxytocin. The increased bonding due to oxytocin and reduction of “primary-process feelings of separation anxiety and aggressive irritability while promoting feelings of maternal nurturance and confidence” were noted. The rich olfactory simulation from mother’s breast in promoting bonding and intimacy has not been well studied. Sexual intimacy has clearly been a casualty of failed breastfeeding.
INFANT HOMICIDES AND PARENTAL CARE
The recently published study by Fujiwara, et al (2009) online in Pediatrics “Characteristics of Infant Homicides: Findings From a U.S. Multisite Reporting System” documented that 56.3 per cent of 72 infants under two years of age showed signs of prior abuse were killed by their parents (33.8% Fathers; 22.5% Mothers; 22.5% Mothers boyfriend) for a total of 78.8% were killed by caretakers. Data were obtained from the National Violent Injury Statistics System and from five States and seven cities.
More than 2,400 children under 2 years were murdered in the USA from 2001 to 2005, almost twice the number killed in car accidents and accounts for about half of all homicides of children under 14, reported by USA Today (7.27.09).
It is not new that homicide is recognized as a leading factor in infant/child deaths.
The New England Journal of Medicine -- October 22, 1998 -- Volume 339, Number 17 reported in an article: "Risk Factors for Infant Homicide in the United States" by Mary D. Overpeck, Ruth A. Brenner, Ann C. Trumble, Lara B. Trifiletti, Heinz W. Berendes the following:
"Homicide is the leading cause of infant deaths due to injury. More than 80 percent of infant homicides are considered to be fatal child abuse. This study assessed the timing of deaths and risk factors for infant homicide."
The researchers uncovered a disturbing trend: the number of homicides increased from 7.2 to 8.8 for every 100,000 births from 1983 to 1991. In fact, from 1988 through 1991, an average of 351 infant homicides were committed each year--almost one each day. Because of underreporting, the real numbers may be about twice this amount. From 7 to 27% of deaths attributed to unintentional injuries actually may have been due to child abuse or neglect. One reason mentioned for the increasing infant homicide is the increasing need for mothers to enter the work force.
A second study by these NICHD staff scientists was published in PEDIATRICS Vol. 103 No. 5 May 1999, pp. 968-974, entitled "Deaths Attributable to Injuries in Infants, United States, 1983-1991" by Ruth A. Brenner, Mary D. Overpeck, DrPh; Ann C. Trumble, Rebecca DerSimonian, and Heinz Berendes. These investigators reported: "A total of 10370 injury deaths were identified over the 9-year study period (29.72/100,0000 live births). The leading causes of death were homicide, suffocations, motor vehicle crashes, and choking (inhalation of food or objects)”.
As far as this writer is aware these studies were not replicated nor was neither any public alert given nor any public health policy instituted to cope with this killing of infants and children.
It is of interest that no reference was made to the epidemiology of infant and child mortality rates in the U.S. and its relationship to homicide rates conducted by this author and published in “Child Abuse and Violence”, 1979 (David Gil, Ed). The title of this article was “ Deprivation of Human Affection As A Primary Process In The Development of Physical Violence”.
The infant and child mortality rates for each State were evaluated for the years 1940-1967 and related to the homicide rates for each State where it was found that every correlation was significant, which ranged from .38 to .86 but were found to be uncorrelated with suicide rates. Some 19 years transpired between the publication of this data (1979) and that by Overton, et al (1998). Again these national profiles inspired no change in public health policy to cope with the challenge that infant /child mortality contains a large and substantial factor of homicide.
Recognizing that many factors contribute to infant/child mortality rate, particularly those occurring in the 1930s, 1940s and mid-1950s, where uncontrolled infectious diseases played a significant role in these deaths, it was clear that the psychosocial factors of neglect and indifference that lead to homicide were permitted to manifest themselves in the later years of the 1960s. This hypothesis was examined by evaluating how well infant mortality rates in the 1930s and 1940s vs. those in the 1950s and 1960s predicted the future homicide rates, particularly of the 1950s and 1960s.
These data are summarized below and it was found that each correlation was statistically significant and were much larger for the 1950s and 1960s than for the 1930s and 1940s, which were presented on May 10, 1983 to the Congress, U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services, 98th Congress, William Natcher, Chair The psychosocial deprivation hypothesis includes maternal-infant separation that is known to produce homicidal and self-destructive behaviors.
BREASTFEEDING BONDING AND THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE
The American Academy of Pediatrics (1997,2005) in its two policy statements on breastfeeding make no reference to the role of breastfeeding in emotional behaviors nor the prevention of violence. The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) (2009) in its section on “Benefits of Breastfeeding for Children” has no references to the role of breastfeeding in maternal-infant/child affectional bonding, although it recognizes its role in reducing infant mortality by 21% in the U.S, and reducing risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (specific studies not cited).
The CIMS statement “The infant’s immune system is not fully mature until about 2 years of age” is inconsistent with the statement of Dr. Jack Newman, a noted Canadian pediatrician, who stated:
And although it is not the norm in most industrial cultures, UNICEF and the World Health Organization both advise breast-feeding to "two Years and beyond." Indeed, a child's immune response does not reach its full strength until age five or so (Newman, 1995).
In its section on “Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mother”, they state “Breastfeeding may enhance feelings of attachment between mother and baby”. Breastfeeding bonding is a vital source of emotional health of baby and its mother—not just “may enhance”. The CIMS statement is, otherwise, an excellent review of the many biological benefits of breastfeeding to mother and infant.
WEANING AGE DISTRIBUTION IN THE U.S. AND INFANT MORTALITY.
WHO presented the distribution of weaning age by States for the year 2004 in four categories: 1) less than 15% breastfeeding at 12 months; 2) 15-19% breastfeeding at 12 months; 3) 20-24% breastfeeding at 12 months; and 4) greater than 25% breastfeeding at 12 months of age, (National Immunization Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS).
I examined the infant mortality rates for each State according to the groups identified by WHO. I found that 1) 100% (10/10) of States who have the lowest breastfeeding rate has the highest infant mortality rate and 2) the States with the highest breastfeeding rate have the lowest infant mortality rates.
It should be noted that a <15% breastfeeding States at 12 months and >25% breastfeeding States represents a paucity of breastfeeding when only 10% of tribal cultures breastfeed for 12 months or less and only 6.8% of American Mothers are breastfeeding at one year of age (NHANES III data)--National Health and Nutrition Survey Examination 1988-1994. See attachment. http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/IM_BF_Homicide_Stats.pdf
The writer was surprised by the magnitude of relationship between breastfeeding and infant mortality given the paucity of breastfeeding in the United States.
BREASTFFEEING BONDING PREVENTS INFANT MORTALITY AND CHILD ABUSE
It is well known that breastfeeding reduces the incidence of infant mortality. In an article published in Pediatrics, 2009 Vol 123, No 3 March by Vennemann, et al, -- the German Study of Sudden Infant Death--they reported on 333 infants who died of SIDS: ”This study shows that breastfeeding reduced the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by ~50% at all ages throughout infancy. We recommend including the advice to breastfeed though 6 months of age in sudden infant death syndrome risk-reduction messages”.
Regrettably, the authors did not recognize the recommendation of WHO/UNICEF to breastfeed for “two years of age or beyond” in their 1990 Innocenti Declaration. http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/WHO_Innocenti_Declaration.pdf
In another article on breastfeeding published in Pediatrics 2005, V117, NO. 3, an article titled “Delayed Breastfeeding Initiation Increases Risk of Neonatal Mortality” by Edmond, et al. (2006) they conclude:
Promotion of early initiation of breastfeeding has the potential to make a major contribution to the achievement of the child survival millennium development goal; 16% of neonatal deaths could be saved if all infants were breastfed from day 1 and 22% of breastfeeding started within the first hour. Breastfeeding promotion programs should emphasize early initiation as well as excusive breastfeeding. This has particular relevance for sub-Saharan Africa, where neonatal and infant mortality rates are high but most women already exclusively or predominantly breastfeed their infants.
In a large sample study which documented the protective effects of breastfeeding against child abuse and neglect, Strathearn, et.al. (2009) reported on a total of 7,223 Australian mother-infant pairs that were monitored prospectively over 15 years. 5,890 cases were identified that controlled for confounding variables, which yielded 512 (8.7%) children with substantiated maltreatment reports. These authors found:
The odds ratio for maternal maltreatment increased as breastfeeding duration decreased, with the odds of maternal maltreatment for nonbreastfed children being 4.8 times the odds for children breastfed for >4 months. After adjustment for confounding, the odds for breastfed infants remained 2.6 times higher, with no association seen between breastfeeding and nonmaternal maltreatment. Maternal neglect was the only maltreatment subtype associated independently with breastfeeding duration.
Confounding variables included sociodemographic factors, pregnancy wantedness, substance abuse during pregnancy, postpartum employment, attitudes regarding infant caregiving, and symptoms of anxiety or depression.
The finding that “the odds of maternal maltreatment for nonbreastfed children being 4.8 times the odds for children breastfed for >4 months” is remarkable given the paucity of breastfeeding for >4 months. Unfortunately, the number of subjects who were breastfed for 12 months or for “two years of age or beyond”, as recommended by WHO/UNICEF, was not given. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/2/483
Kline, M.W. (2009) reports in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition “Notwithstanding the HIV/AIDS epidemic ravaging sub-Saharan Africa, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for at least the first 6 mo of life remains the cornerstone of child survival”. Breastfeeding bonding cannot be overemphasized as the foundation for survival of Homo sapiens.
AFFECTIONAL BONDING IN TRIBAL CULTURES PREVENTS HOMICIDE & SUICIDE
The 49 tribal culture study reported by Prescott (1975, 1977, 1979,1990, 1996, 2005) found that the peaceful and violent nature of the culture, defined as “torture, mutilation and killing of enemy captured in warfare” could be predicted with 80% accuracy. The remaining 20% could be accurately predicted from whether the culture supported or punished youth sexuality (Premarital sex). http://www.violence.de/prescott/bulletin/article.html
In a follow-up study on the relationship between breastfeeding bonding and suicide, Prescott (2001, 2005) found that 77% (20/26) cultures that had weaning age of 2.5 years or greater were low or non-suicidal cultures. This predictive value increased to 82% dependent upon whether the culture permitted or punished youth sexual expression (premarital sex) (Textor, 1967).
In a follow-up study utilizing the weaning age of cultures developed by Barry and Paxon (1971) on 186 cultures, which represented distinct cultural areas, it was found in 65 cultures, where information on weaning age and suicide were available, that 86% (31/36) of cultures with weaning age of 2.5 years or greater were rated as low or absent in suicide; and 66% (19/29) of cultures with weaning age of 24 months or less were rated as high suicide cultures. Clearly, weaning age of 2.5 years or greater is a necessary but insufficient condition for the prediction of suicide (Prescott, 2001, 2005).
The data from Textor (1967) and Barry and Paxon (1971) were combined for this analyses and the cultures studied are more fully reported in Prescott, (2001,2007) and the attachments. The weaning age in Barry and Paxon (1971) were reported as ranges of weaning age. These ranges were averaged by this author to obtain a Mean weaning age of the culture, a very crude measure of average breastfeeding.
Although, baby-carrying and weaning age of 2.5 years or greater were significantly related (63% communality), baby carrying was not predictive of suicidal behavior, only homicidal behavior.
The comparison group in Textor (1967) for the 2.5 weaning age group was weaning age less than 2.5 years, a not very effective comparison group and, thus, its failure to detect a linkage with homicide. A broader range of higher statistical differences in behavior could be expected with a comparison group of weaning age of 12 months or less. Only 10% of tribal cultures breastfed for less than 12 months.
For 2006, it should be noted that suicide is the 11th leading cause of death and homicide is the 15th leading cause of death in the U.S. The leading cause of infant deaths is “all other causes” (30.8%) followed by congenital malformations (20.4%) and short gestation and low birth weight (17.0%). (Heron, et al., 2009, p.5). No mention of failed maternal-infant/child bonding as a cause of infant mortality, homicide and suicide is mentioned. Accidents (unintentional injuries) is ranked as the fifth leading cause of death with 5% of total deaths, yet Overpeck, et al (1998) report that From 7 to 27% of deaths attributed to unintentional injuries actually may have been due to child abuse or neglect. Accidental deaths need to be reexamined.
Contemporary studies on breastfeeding for “two years of age or beyond” compared with a non-breastfeeding group and its consequences are vitally needed.
INFANT MORTALITY AND THE POLITICS OF INDIFFERENCE AND NEGLECT
The above data have been presented to the NICHD/NIH and to the Division of Public Health, Delaware Health and Social Services, Dr. James Rivera, Director on the occasion of the public report on March 14, 2006. This writer requested from Dr. Rivera for information on how many infants who died during the first year of life (N = 105) were being actively breastfed at the time of their death. Dr. Rivera could not answer this question and refused to obtain this information for the public record. He responded:
Currently, DPH does not have data on the number and or percentages of infants who were actively breastfed at the time of their deaths" (Letter 9 May 2006).
Dr. Rivera refused to make the effort to obtain this information; refused to take the effort to assure that the weaning age of every child be made a part of the immunological record; and concluded our correspondence with "It is my hope that this response concludes our correspondence related to this issue. I am sorry, but I have no further information to provide" (Lt May 19,2006). Other issues are addressed in the correspondence.
This record is brought to your attention to indicate the extraordinary difficulty of obtaining vital health statistics from governmental agencies. As far as I am aware, no State records how many infants who die during the first year of life are being actively breastfed, particularly those infants who may have died because of injury/homicide. It is predicted that breastfed infants are not victims of homicide and this reality presents the CGNK an opportunity to launch a national and global initiative to support mothers being nurturing mothers where a primary origin of this nurturance is breastfeeding.
VIOLENCE AGAINST INFANTS/CHILDREN: GENITAL MUTILATION OF CHILDREN
The act of genital mutilation of children (male and female) represents the first act of sexual violence against infants/children and is difficult to comprehend its occurrence in “civilized” countries (Prescott, 1975. 1976, 1989, 1997, 1999; Prescott and Milos, 1989; Milos, 1992; Montagu, 1995.
Prescott and Milos (1989) introduced the Universal Declaration on Circumcision, Excision and Incision at the First International Symposium on Circumcision, which was passed unanimously by the General Assembly, as a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. http://www.montagunocircpetition.org/univ_declaration.pg
Prescott (1997) introduced The Ashley Montagu Resolution to End the Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide: A Petition to the World Court, The Hague, which was published in: Sexual Mutilation: A Human Tragedy, Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilation. (Denniston, G.C. and Milos, M.F., Eds). New York: Plenum Press,
The Montagu Resolution has received the support and endorsement from Dr. Jonas Salk, Founder of the Salk Institute and Nobel Laureate, Dr. Francis Crick, other Nobel Laureates and outstanding citizens of the world. These endorsements can be seen at:
An extraordinary article on the violence of homicide and suicide instilled in a 6 -year old child who was genitally mutilated (circumcised) was described by Levy (1945).
David Levy in a 1945 study on the "Psychic Trauma of Operations In Children" reported on three cases of male circumcision at ages 12 months (2 cases) and at 6½ years. Psychological trauma included the development of night terrors, temper tantrums and rage. In the 6½-year-old suicidal impulses developed. Levy reports:
"... a circumcision at the age of 6 years 7 months, was preceded by a struggle of the patient with his father and the anesthetist before they overpowered him. Immediately after the anesthesia wore off, he said over and over, "They cut my penis. I wish I were dead." The rest of the day the patient never left his mother's side. Thereafter his previous temper tantrums [continued on] developed into destructive rages. During the treatment he played numerous killing games, in which his father was the principal victim. The operation represented a castration by his father." (p. 10).
Questions must be raised as to the extent to which rage and suicidal behaviors are engendered by the assaults of circumcision whether conducted during the newborn or child/pre-pubertal periods. (There are approximately a third more suicides than homicides in the U.S.). Is there a link between circumcision and the willingness to kill oneself or others for one's religious/national beliefs, particularly when circumcision occurs at the age of puberty, as it does in the Muslim cultures? (Prescott, 1989).
Milos (1992) has developed a NOCIRC Position Statement: The Effects of Circumcision on Breastfeeding, which has examined the role of pain in circumcision, as interfering with breastfeeding, and states: “Breastfeeding failure is a known and documented risk of circumcision.” http://www.nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php
Tragically, neurobiological and psychological studies have not been conducted or supported by the NICHD/NIH on the consequences of genital mutilation utilizing modern MRI and fMRI brain scan technologies to assess the impaired brain development and interconnectivity that is inherent in this perinatal trauma.
The CGNK should undertake the promotion of these studies, which have worldwide implications.
Profiles of Affectionate (Peaceful) v Non-Affectionate (Violent) Tribal Cultures.
The Social-Behavioral Characteristics Of Affectionate/Nurturant (Peaceful) And Non-Affectionate/Non-Nurturant (Violent) Primitive Cultures are listed for five categories of cultural functioning. These are all statistically significant correlates derived from Textor (1967).
1) SOCIETAL CHARACTERISTICS;
2) INFANT/CHILD CHARACTERISTICS;
3) SEXUAL BEHAVIORAL CHARACTERISTICS;
4) WAR/VIOLENCE/CRIME CHARACTERISTICS;
5) JUSTICE/RELIGIOUS/SUPERNATURAL CHARACTERISTICS
Ashley Montagu (1952), in The Natural Superiority of Women, stated
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)
Women are the carriers of the true spirit of humanity--the love of the mother for her child. The preservation of that kind of love is the true function of women. And let me, at this point, endeavor to make it quite clear why I mean the love of a mother for her child and not the love of an equal for an equal or any other kind of love (p.248). http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Natsup.pdf
Masaru Ibuka (1977). Kindergarten Is Too Late! is a prescient book written by the co-founder of SONY and is relevant today as it was in 1977. In his Introduction, Masaru Ibuka states:
In contrast, a newborn baby brought up in an environment essentially hostile to his or her needs has no chance later in life of developing fully”; and “It Is Environment That Counts, Not Genes” (p.47); and “Holding the Baby Should Be Encouraged (p.68). and
However convenient and affluent our lives may be, we cannot possibly live in peace and happiness in a society that is lacking in trust” (p.180). “That is why it is all the more important to implant a firm basis of trust n a child before kindergarten and school age, so that he may grow up to trust others” (P.181); and “Children below the age of three have no ideas of racial prejudice and hatred for other races” (p.182); and “True world peace no longer depends on us, the adults of the present, but on the generation who are at present infants P.182).
Every educator of infants and children should read, “Kindergarten Is Too Late!’
The primary efforts of the CGNK that would bring a dramatic reduction of the killing of infants and children in this nation and worldwide are:
l. Promote Institutions of Culture supporting mothers being nurturing mothers, which means baby-carrying during the first year of life and supporting the WHO/UNiCEF 1990 INNOCENTI DECLARATION to support breastfeeding for “two years of age or beyond”.
2. Promote the recording of the weaning age of every child, as part of the immunological record. For the United States this means the reporting of the weaning age of every child in the National Vital Statistics Reports along with the infant mortality data.
3. Promote the recording of whether active breastfeeding is present and duration of breastfeeding for every infant that has died during the first year of life.
4. Promote the recording of weaning age of every child that is a victim of child mortality.
5. Record the weaning age of every person/caretaker of every infant/child that becomes a victim of mortality statistics.
6. Support The Ashley Montagu Resolution to End The Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide: A Petition To The World Court: The Hague.
7. Support the Gender Equality of Representation In The Congress. Fifty Percent of The Senate Are Women; Fifty Percent of The House of Representatives Are Women. It has taken 144 years for women to be granted the equal right to vote (19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), which did not translate into an equal right of representation, as the history of this nation attests. Women must be granted a full and equal voice in the affairs of this nation for the future of women, their families and the children of this nation. The voices of Abigail Smith Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony should not be forgotten in this quest.
WITH RARE EXCEPTION:
BREASTFED INFANTS AND CHILDREN DO NOT BECOME STATISTICS OF EARLY DEATH OR KILLING.
BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS DO NOT KILL THEIR INFANTS AND CHILDREN.
FATHERS WHO HAVE BEEN BREASTFED DO NOT KILL THEIR OR OTHERS’S INFANTS AND CHILDREN.
His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, stated in Ethics For The New Millennium (1999. p.237), as the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people:
Despite the body of opinion suggesting that human nature is basically aggressive and competitive, my own view is that our appreciation for affection and love is so profound that it begins even before our birth... A happy mother bears a happy child... Almost without exception, the mother's first act is to offer her baby her nourishing milk--an act which to me symbolizes unconditional love... What we see instead is a relationship based on love and mutual tenderness, which is totally spontaneous. It is not learned from others, no religion requires it, no laws impose it, no schools have taught it. It arises quite naturally." (pp 66-67)
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) stated in Nichomachean Ethics, Book 7:
Therefore, the highest good is some sort of pleasure, despite the fact that most pleasures are bad, and, if you like, bad in the unqualified sense of the word.
How human societies deal with the trilogy of these dualisms: 1) Pain and Pleasure; 2) Good and Evil; and 3) Man and Woman will determine the future of humanity.
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This project could not have been accomplished without the dedicated support of webmasters Erik Moeller and his associates at http://www.violence.de; and Michael Mendizza, Founder, Touch the Future at http://ttfuture.org/violence.