Chapter

Perspective 6: Nurturant Versus Nonnurturant Environments and the Failure of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness

James W. Prescott

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755059.003.0030
Perspective 6: Nurturant Versus Nonnurturant Environments and the Failure of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness

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Sarah Blaffer Hrdy in Mother Nature (1999) noted that “… no wild monkey or ape mother has ever been observed to deliberately harm her own baby” (p. 179). What has been lost along the evolutionary trail that accounts for maternal violence against her offspring by Homo sapiens? Tragically, there is no evolutionary adaptedness to violent environments except species extinction. The environment shapes the developing brain for peaceful or violent behaviors and the cultures of peace or violence are determined by these two cultural brains (neurodissociative and neurointegrative). The biological, social, psychological, and anthropological structures that determine our morality for pain and pleasure, which shape peaceful or violent cultures, are summarized.

Keywords: mothers; children; breastfeeding; violence; morality; neuropsychology

Chapter.  3973 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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