Minority Report of Forum 15. Chairman, Urie Bronfenbrenner.
I take issue with the accompanying document on two major counts.
First, the report, in my judgement fails to convey the urgency and severity of the problem confronting the nation's families and their children. Second, the document underestimates and consequently fails to alert the reader to the critical role played by business and industry--both private and public--in determining the life style of the American family and the manner in which parent and children are treated in American society. I shall speak to each of these points in turn….(and) 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. (and) 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) (Hess, 1970)
It is transparent that the 1970 White House Conference on Children was a failure, as the prescient words of Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner attest. The children, youth and families of America are worse off today-- by any health statistic-- than they were in 1970-over thirty years ago. This massive failure of America can be laid at the doorsteps of the Congress and its political parties; The White House; the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, which over this past generation have failed to support mothers being nurturing mothers and which continues to this day. America has truly lost it's dream of "…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". The disintegration of America from within is well on its way.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. Society must support mothers being nurturing mothers that includes breastfeeding for 2.5 years or greater.
2. Society must support 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.
Implementation of the Ten Principles would provide a greater comprehensive structure for the assurance of peaceful individuals and cultures (Table 1). In light of the above and other evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that maternal-infant bonding is considered a fiction (Eyre, 1992) and that mother nurture is of lesser importance than peer groups for child and human development (Harris, 1998).
It is with some alarm to note than none of the above NICHD/NIH history of research studies and scientific breakthroughs made in the 1960s and 197Os have been referenced in the report of the National Research Council, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development (Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000). See also http://www.violence.de/prescott/report/part1.html
(Prescott, 1993) nor in the "Report of the Panel on NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and their Consequences", Panel Meetings in June and September 1993, published April 1994 at http://www.violence.de/history/coverup.html
It is inexplicable that the scientific reports from the offices of the DHHS Surgeon General; National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and National Academy of Sciences are silent on this rich NICHD developmental scientific data that are relevant to the prevention of the brain-behavioral disorders induced by child abuse and neglect (S-SAD) and which contribute to later suicidal and homicidal behaviors. (NIH, 1994; Overpeck, et al, 1998; Surgeon General Satcher, 1999ab, 2000; NRC, 1993ab).
Further, it is again emphasized that the failure of the American Academy of Pediatrics to note in its revised statement on breastfeeding (AAP, 1997) the many studies that document deficiencies of the essential amino acid tryptophan in infant formula milk that compromises normal brain serotonin development and which induces depression, impulse dyscontrol and violence is also inexplicable (Prescott, 1996, 2001).
See Table 2 and http://www.violence.de/prescott/ttf/article.html
It is also extremely doubtful, given the documented deficiencies of tryptophan in infant formula milk, that such a commercial preparation meets the magnitude of requirements of the other essential amino acids for infants that have been established by WHO. Table 2 lists the infant requirements for the essential amino acids compared to adult requirements (Merck Manual 1987). The damaging effects of such nutritional deficiencies in infant formula milk upon the developing brain, specifically brain neurotransmitters, have yet to be evaluated. The recent authorization by the FDA to provide the nutritional additives of two fatty acids, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and AA (Arachidonic Acid)-essential nutrients for brain development-to infant formula milk attests to the additional recognition that infant formula milk is malnutrition for normal brain development (Cunnane, et.at, 2000; Brody, 2001).
Clearly, life has deteriorated for America's children and youth since the 1970 White House Conference on Children. A radical reconstruction of American Society is needed that must give support to mothers being nurturing mothers which includes support of breastfeeding for 2.5 years or longer that is in accordance with the recommendations of WHO and UNICEF. Duration of breastfeeding for 2.5 years or greater appears to be necessary to optimize brain development and the health benefits of breastfeeding, if a life path of depression, alienation, drug abuse and the violence of suicidal and homicidal deaths of our children and youth are to be significantly reduced and prevented.
It is imperative that national legislation, which interferes with mother-infant/child bonding, is abolished and those nursing mothers are exempt from the 1996 Welfare Reform Act which prevents breastfeeding and bonding between mother and infant/child. Infant and early institutional child day care should be abolished where the public funds utilized to support these commercial enterprises are used to support mothers being nurturing mothers.
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.
John, Steinbeck--East of Eden, 1952THE CHILD IS THE FATHER OF THE MAN
THE CHILD IS THE MOTHER OF CULTURE
THE CHILD IS THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY
TEN PRINCIPLES OF MOTHER-INFANT BONDING FOR HEALTH, HAPPINESS
I. Every Pregnancy Is A Wanted Pregnancy. Every Child Is A Wanted Child.
Unwanted children are typically unloved, abused and neglected who become the next
generation of delinquents, violent offenders and alcohol/drug abusers and addicts.
II. Every Pregnancy Has Proper Nutrition & Prenatal Care--medical and psychological -- and is free from alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other harmful agents of stress.
III. Natural Birthing--avoid wherever possible obstetrical medications, forceps & induced labor with no episiotomy nor premature cutting of umbilical cord. Mother controls birthing position with no separation of newborn from mother. Newborn maintains intimate body contact with mother for breastfeeding and nurturance.
IV. No Circumcision of newborn. The traumatic pain of newborn circumcision adversely affects normal brain development, impairs affectional bonding with mother and has long lasting effects upon how pain and pleasure are experienced in life.
V. Breastfeeding On Demand by newborn/infant/child and for "two years or beyond", as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Failure to breastfeed results in positive harm to normal brain development & to the immunological health of the newborn, infant and child. Encoding the developing brain with the smell of mother's body through breastfeeding is essential for the later development of intimate sexuality.
VI. Intimate Body Contact is maintained between mother and newborn/infant by being carried continuously on the body of the mother for the first year of life. Such continuous gentle body movement stimulation of the newborn/infant promotes optimal brain development and "Basic Trust" for peaceful/happy behaviors. Mother-infant co-sleeping is encouraged for "two years or beyond". Mother-infant/child body contact can also be optimized with daily infant/child massage. The Father must also learn to affectionately bond with his infant and child by being an additional source of physical affection.
VII. Immediate Comforting is given to infants and children who are crying. No infant/child should ever be permitted to cry itself to sleep.
VIII. Infants and Children Are For Hugging and should never be physically hit for any reason. Merging childhood parental love with parental violent pain helps create adult violent love.
IX. Infants and Children Are Honored and should never be humiliated nor emotionally abused for any reason. The emerging sexuality of every child is respected.
X. Mothers Must Be Honored and not replaced by Institutional Day Care which emotionally harms children before three years of age. Mother-Infant/Child Community Development Centers must replace Institutionalized Day Care.