The people of Mbuti

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Raising children with the use of violence in the modern day western world is a typical and overlooked issue that according to our textbook's author's research has been proven to positively correlate with a child's future aggressive tendencies. Whether this correlation is a causation relationship or not, it was found in a study by Sarah McElroy in 1981 that in a society with virtually no violence, physical or otherwise, children "grew out" of their unacceptable behaviors at an early age and began to take care of others some thereafter. 

Mbuti family.jpg

(The people of Mbuti)

The people of the Mbuti tribe start increasing an infant's physical activity with others the third day of life by passing the child around to others in the tribe so they can hold the child to their chest. However, if the infant shows discomfort the mother will take the child back until the child calms down. This allows the children to grow up knowing there are others who care about them and will take care of them if they are upset with their parents or family, which eliminates the opportunity to fight and show aggression because both children and parents are able to walk away.

Mbuti mother and child.jpg

(Mbuti Mother and Child) 

In addition, when children show aggression that isn't extremely physically harming to their parents they are simply ignored rather than reprimanded. If the child is upsetting another child the children are just separated, and the only time there is any sort of reprimanding is when a child is physically harming another child. A possible effect of this behavior as the child grows up is that the child becomes more nurturing at an early age, which is demonstrated in the study. A large influencing factor is also the adult model the children are to follow, which is non-aggressive. As a result this culture is virtually completely rid of hitting, kicking, killing and verbal "put-downs", as well as an almost non-existent population of psychotic behavior. It is necessary however, to take into account the lack of media influences on this culture. Therefore, it is difficult to say that with the application of these things in the western world a less aggressive culture will emerge. But even with those doubts aside, this research is an important element in the evidence that a complete absence of aggression is the determining factor of a child's perception of right and wrong. 


You can find the entire research article Here.

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This page contains a single entry by huss0256 published on November 20, 2011 11:09 PM.

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