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The Emotional Life of Nations
by Lloyd deMause

Chapter 7----Childhood and Cultural Evolution

"The child feels the drive of the Life Force... you cannot feel it for him."
----George Bernard Shaw

Since nearly all of the cultural evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens has taken place during the past 100,000 years-only about 5,000 generations-and since this time span is too short to allow the human gene pool to mutate very much, epigenetic evolution of the psyche-the evolution of the architecture of the brain occurring during development in the womb and during early childhood-must be the central source of cultural change, rather than genetic evolution. Just as one can lift a newborn out of a contemporary cannibal culture and bring it up in one's own culture without noticing any personality difference, one could also, presumably, raise a Cro-Magnon baby in a modern family without noticing any differences. After decades of sociobiologists' claims that "social structures and culture are but more elaborate vessels or survivor machines for ensuring that genes can maximize their fitness,"1 there still is not a shred of evidence that any cultural change is due to natural selection of random variations affecting human gene pools during the past 100,000 years. The short stature of Pygmies may have been selected for during millions of years of biological evolution as an adaptation to the heat of the tropics,2 but even the most ardent sociobiologists have not claimed to show that beliefs in witches or divine leaders found in every environment have been selected for by any environmental condition,3 since these cultural traits are solutions to emotional, not environmental, problems. One recent study of approximately 100 major genetic human traits concluded that "no absolute differences between populations of primitive and civilized humans are known..."4 Unfortunately, this means that the laws of the psychological and cultural evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens remain a total mystery.

Since neo-Darwinian theory of differential genetic replication requires massive extinctions for the robust selection and retention of random mutations, the lack of evidence for many mass extinctions during the past 100,000 years means neo-Darwinian theory of differential reproductive rates has little value in explaining the relatively rapid evolution of the psyche and culture of Homo sapiens sapiens. In addition, the trillions of neural connections in the brain are simply far too numerous to be determined by the limited number of genes in the gamete, so most brain structure must be determined by epigenetic events. As Ernst Mayr puts it, "The brain of 100,000 years ago is the same brain that is now able to design computers....All the achievements of the human intellect were reached with brains not specifically selected for these tasks by the neo-Darwinian process."5 Since environmental selection of random genetic variations is not the central mechanism for evolution in modern human neural networks, the question is what non-Darwinian processes have been responsible for the enormous evolution of brain networks and cultures in modern humans?

That so many social scientists remain environmental determinists is puzzling. It certainly is not because the method has any empirical verification environment is simply assumed causal in culture change because historical advances in human nature are so often a priori assumed impossible. As Leslie White once put it, since it is assumed that human nature cannot change, "we see no reason why cultural systems of 50,000 B.C....could not have been capable of originating agriculture as well as systems in 8,000 B.C....We must look, then, to environmental [factors] for the answers to these questions."6 For instance, most social scientists agree with Johnson and Earle that "the primary motor for cultural evolution is population growth" determined by environmental conditions,7 overlooking that population growth relies upon the reduction of infanticide (both from murder at birth and from later neglect) and the growth of the ability to cooperate and devise ways to produce more food, both psychological traits dependent upon childrearing practices. In fact, recent empirical studies have rejected simple population growth as the mainspring of evolution, pointing out, for instance, that many advanced chiefdoms form in areas of quite low population density.8 As Hallpike put it, "there are many societies with sufficient population density but which have nevertheless not developed the state...population density is merely an index of the abundance of a vital raw material people and has by itself no power to determine how that raw material will be used."9 Hayden summarized recent empirical studies testing environmental factors in evolution by saying "neither population pressure nor circumscription appears to have played a significant role in creating inequality or complexity."10 Hallpike rightly concluded his survey of supposed environmental causes of cultural evolution by stating, "The materialist belief that the environment simply causes social adaptation is therefore quite unfounded...there are many different ways of accommodating to the environment...."11 Environments are also opportunities, not just straightjackets. As Kirch and Yen conclude, "men reach out to embrace and create their ecosystems, rather than the reverse proposition."12 It is when early childrearing experiences are impaired that children are forced to reduce their behavioral flexibility and are therefore as adults unable to improve their environments and experience cultural stagnation.

The psychogenic theory sees environments as presenting both the constraints and the opportunities for cultural evolution, while the evolution of psychological development during the fetal and childhood period determines how these challenges are met. Since humans far more than other species construct their environments,13 their creative use to fulfill human needs is crucially determined by the degree of innovation that is allowed by the level of childhood evolution attained.

This of course does not mean that environment counts for nothing. Jared Diamond has convincingly shown how environmental differences have raised and lowered the steepness of the ladder of cultural evolution, demonstrating that the availability of a few good plant and animal domesticates crucially determines the rates of evolution of cultures in different parts of the world, with those areas which have domesticable grains and cattle being able to evolve faster than those that did not.14 But the evolutionary problem isn't only about the availability of environmental resources. Obviously one cannot develop much agriculture in the Arctic, and obviously tropical regions have too many insects and parasites and too severe floods and droughts that hinder their economic development.15 But environment is only part of the answer to evolutionary differences. Environmental change cannot explain cultural evolution since culture has often evolved while the ecology has devolved because of soil exhaustion. The point is that the degree of steepness of the environmental ladder doesn't determine whether people chose to climb it you still must want to climb and you must be innovative enough to invent or adopt ways to conquer each rung, whether the base of the ladder is planted in the snow, in a rain forest or in the milder climate of Western Europe. The secret as to why England and not France or Germany spawned the Industrial Revolution first goes back to England's advanced childrearing in its smaller medieval households, not to any ecological advantage.16 English political freedom, religious tolerance, industry and innovation were all psychoclass achievements, dependent upon childrearing evolution. The most important unsolved question in cultural evolution is therefore to explain the rate of innovation and adoption of new techniques of exploiting what resources exist-factors that depend crucially upon the local rate of evolution of childrearing.

Despite their advocacy of unicausal environmental determinism, anthropologists have regularly demonstrated that similar environments have produced quite different psyches and cultures. Even though most follow Whiting's paradigm that environment determines childhood, personality and culture,17 others take great delight in describing quite different personalities and cultures coming out of identical environments-one tribe that is gentle, loving and peaceful and the other composed of fierce headhunting cannibals-but then leave the cause of their stark differences as unexplained as if the two groups were dropped down on earth from two different planets.18 Obversely, others describe quite similar cultures developing in wholly different environments. In Polynesia, for instance, Goldman concludes that "societies can be similar in basic culture whether they occupy atolls or high islands, relatively rich habitats or barren islands; they cannot be regarded as having been molded by their different material environments."19 But then he is puzzled that he cannot explain how people in such different environments could have evolved such similar cultures. Deprived by their evidence of their theories of environmental determinism, anthropologists discover that the sources of cultural evolution are simply inexplicable.

Archeologists used to accept anthropologists' theories of environmental determinism, but now most admit that their best evidence has turned out to be solidly against it. Social complexity and inequality used to be thought caused by the invention or adoption of farming and herding; but the evidence turns out to show that complexity and inequality preceded agriculture rather than followed it: "Permanently settled communities of more complex hunter-gatherers appear to be the norm in many areas in the late Pleistocene..."20 Apparently first people changed, then they managed to change their cultures and technologies. Price asks: "what caused the adoption of agriculture?" His answer is the one more and more archeologists are beginning to agree with: "questions about the transition to agriculture clearly have more to do with internal social relations than with external events involving climate and the growth of human population."21 The "driving force behind food production," Price says, is the appearance of new kinds of people, ones he calls "accumulators," who "emerge" and engage in competitive feasts that require more food production.22 Johnson and Earle agree, speaking of "a new attitude toward change" that appears in history, "though the reason for it remains obscure."23 Discovering what causes these new kinds of people and new attitudes toward change to mysteriously "emerge" throughout history (or, as often, not to "emerge") is therefore a central task of the psychogenic theory of evolution.

Problems of explaining evolution are central to all sciences, including the social sciences. Just as nothing in biology makes complete sense except in the light of [genetic] evolution, nothing in human history makes complete sense except in the light of epigenetic (psychogenic) evolution. Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution explains all behavioral change in animals as resulting from the accretion of random variations produced by mutation, recombination and genetic drift selected as better adaptations to changing environments. But what is usually overlooked is that genetic evolution only provides the capacity for adult behavioral variations assuming a specific developmental environment.24 The road from genotype to phenotype is a long one. What trait actually appears in the mature individual depends upon the actual course of epigentic development, beginning in the womb and continuing throughout childhood an extraordinarily complex and variable journey for each individual. The most important environments are the mother's body and behavior, and the most important competition for survival not in the sperm or ovum but at the neural level, in the brain, with the mother acting as the "agent of natural selection."25

What is little recognized is that recent revolutionary discoveries in molecular biology by Gottlieb, Lipton and others have begun to show that early environments actually change genetic structure.26 Maternal prenatal environment and even early parental care can actually be passed down to succeeding generations through the genes, contrary to traditional biological theory. Genes cannot turn themselves on or off, they need a signal from their environment, so genetic structure is wide open to environmental changes, rather than being wholly immune from environmental input as has been thought to date. This isn't Lamarckianism; Lamarck didn't know about gene behavior. What has changed is the discovery that cells contain receptors that respond and adapt to environmental signals-the mother being the main controller of genetic accessing.27 In addition, it has been discovered that only 10 percent of nuclear genes are used to code human expression, while the remaining 90 percent-previously thought of as useless baggage and referred to as "junk DNA"-contains extra DNA that can rewrite genetic messages, create new gene expression and new behavior.28 Even maternal emotions can be passed to fetal genes and then to the next generation. Gottlieb has prenatally stressed mice, who are as adults found to be more aggressive, and then taken the male mice and mated them with other females and found that their grandsons were also more aggressive than non-stressed males-thus showing how environmental stress can be passed down genetically. Perry and others have shown dramatically how stressed children "change from being victims to being victimizers" because of imbalanced noradrenaline and serotonin levels, which then can be passed down through both genetic and epigenetic changes.29 Indeed, the ability of the genome to respond to its environment means evolutionary change takes place both by environmental selection of random variations and by epigenetic inheritance systems.30 Thus a drought that starves mothers and their fetuses or an increase in wife-beating in a society can effect not only the first but succeeding generations' psyches and behavior through changes in genetic structure and gene accessing.

The laws of historical evolution are quite different from the laws of neo-Darwinism. The central hypothesis of the psychogenic theory of historical evolution is that epigenetic neuronal variations originating in changing interpersonal relationships with caretakers rather than only through genetic variations originating through natural selections are the primary source of the evolution of the psyche and society. "The more evolved the species is...the greater the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the structure of the nervous system."31 The fundamental evolutionary direction in Homo sapiens sapiens is towards better interpersonal relationships, not just the satisfaction of biological instincts. While adaptation to the natural environment is the key to genetic evolution, relationship to the human environment is the key to psychological evolution, to the evolution of "human nature." Psychogenesis is also the key to cultural evolution, since the range of evolution of childrearing in every society puts inevitable limits upon what it can accomplish-politically, economically and socially.

Developmental changes in the three-pound, trillion-celled human brain have completely overwhelmed purely genetic changes as causes of psychological and cultural evolution in the past 100,000 years. The causal mechanisms for the evolution of human psyche and culture have more and more decoupled from the neo-Darwinian causal mechanisms that depend solely upon outbreeding success.32 The psychogenic theory of evolution is based not upon Spencer and Darwin's "survival of the fittest" products of the most ruthless parents but upon the "survival of the most innovative and cooperative" products of the most loving parents. The processes of historical evolution, based upon the very slow growth of love and cooperation, are therefore the exact opposite from those of neo-Darwinian natural selection, based overwhelmingly upon conflict and competition. They include:

(1) The production of variations through psychogenesis is by creating through more love different early epigenetic environments-more advanced fetal and early childhood developmental paths-not through random genetic mutations and recombinations-i.e., through variations in the structures of neuronal groups achieved during post-genetic development after inception, not through mutations in DNA prior to inception;

(2) the vehicles of transmission include neuronal groups in the brains of individual parents and children, not solely genes in the sexual organs of parents;

(3) the selection of variations is accomplished through changes in a very narrow part of the human environment-the family, the main organizer of emotional symbols, particularly the mother-rather than simply through changes in the ecology;

(4) the preservation of emergent variations in some individuals is often prevented from being swamped by the less developed childrearing practices of the rest of the culture via the psychogenic pump effects of migration;

(5) the limitations to emergent variations (psychogenic devolution) occurs either because of conditions adverse to childrearing-such as wars, plagues or droughts-or because sudden increased social freedom for adults creates excessive growth panic, anxieties which are turned against children as poison containers, thereby producing devolution in childrearing in a portion of a given society;

(6) the main locus of epigenetic variations is the slow evolution of the individual conscious self that looks forward to its future and creates its own extended present, a self that evolves mainly through the growth of love in the parent-child relationship;

(7) the rate of innovation in cultural evolution is determined by the conditions for parental love and therefore increase in individual self-assertion in each society, all cultural evolutions being preceded by a childrearing evolution; and

(8) the locus of psychogenic evolution has historically been affected far more by maternal than paternal influence-indeed, entirely maternal in the crucial first nine months of life-rather than males and females each contributing half of the genetic information as occurs in neo-Darwinian evolution.

This last point will only become fully evident in the next chapter, where it will be documented that the task of "fathering"-of playing a real role in forming a child's psyche-is in fact a very late historical invention. Most fathers among our closest ape relatives don't have much to do with their children,33 and a nurturing role during early childhood for the human father turns out to be a far more recent historical innovation than has heretofore been assumed. The major epigenetic changes in the structures of the brain, therefore, have mainly been evolved by females, not males. Fathers until recently have affected their children's psyches mainly through family provisioning and by establishing some of the conditions for mothering, but it has mainly been the mothers who have produced epigenetic novelty; so to discover the laws of cultural evolution one must "follow the mothers" through history. This is why only the psychogenic theory posits that for most of history women and children are the ultimate source of historical change.

Since for most of history mothers raise boys who then go off and hunt, farm, build things and fight wars rather than directly contributing much new to the psyche of the next generation, the course of evolution of the psyche has overwhelmingly been dependent upon the way mothers have treated their daughters, who become the next generation of mothers. Since early emotional relationships organize the entire range of human behavior, all cultural traits do not equally affect the evolution of the psyche-those that affect the daughter's psyche represent the main narrow bottleneck through which all other cultural traits must pass. The study of the evolution of the psyche depends more on developing a maternal ecology than on studying variations in the physical environment.

The evolution of the psyche and culture has been crucially dependent upon turning the weak bonds between mother and daughter of apes and early humans34 into genuine love for daughters (and sons). This means that historical societies that create optimal conditions for improving the crucial mother-daughter relationship by surrounding the mother with support and love soon begin to show psychological innovation and cultural advances in the next generations-so that history begins to move in progressive new directions. In contrast, societies that cripple the mother-daughter emotional relationship experience psychogenic arrest and even psychogenic devolution. Only in modern times have fathers, too, begun to contribute to the evolutionary task of growing the young child's mind.

Paralleling the term "hopeful monster" that biologists use to indicate speciating biological variations,35 the idea that the mother-daughter emotional relationship is the focal point of epigentic evolution and the main source of novelty in the psyche can be called the "hopeful daughter" concept. When mothers love and support particularly their daughters, a series of generations can develop new childrearing practices that grow completely new neural networks, hormonal systems and behavioral traits. If hopeful daughters are instead emotionally crippled by a society, a psychogenic cul-de-sac is created, generations of mothers cannot innovate, epigenetic arrest is experienced and meaningful cultural evolution ends.36

For instance, in China before the tenth century A.D. men began to footbind little girls'feet as a sexual perversion, making them into sexual fetishes, penis-substitutes which the men would suck on and masturbate against during sex play.37 Chinese literature reports the screaming cries of the five-year-old girl as she hobbles about the house for years to do her tasks while her feet are bound, because in order to make her foot tiny, her foot bones are broken and the flesh deteriorates. She loses several toes as they are bent under her foot, to emphasize the big toe as a female penis. This practice was added to the many brutal practices of what was perhaps the world's most anti-daughter culture, where over half the little girls were murdered at birth without remorse and special girl-drowning pools were legion, where beating little girls until bloody was a common parental practice, and where girl rape and sex slavery were rampant.38 This vicious anti-daughter emotional atmosphere extreme even for a time that was generally cruel and unfeeling towards daughters was obviously not conducive to mothers producing innovations in childrearing when the little girls grew up. Therefore China which was culturally ahead of the West in many ways at the time of the introduction of footbinding-became culturally and politically "frozen" until the twentieth century, when footbinding was stopped and boy-girl sex ratios in many areas dropped from 200/100 to near equality.39 The result was that whereas for much of its history China punished all novelty,40 during the twentieth century rapid cultural, political and economic evolution could resume. Japan, which shared much of Chinese culture but did not adopt footbinding of daughters, avoided the psychogenic arrest of China and could therefore share in the scientific and industrial revolution as it occurred in the West.

The same kind of epigenetic arrest can be seen in the damage caused by genital mutilation of girls among circum-Mediterranean peoples that began thousands of years ago and continues today. Since "hopeful daughters" do not thrive on the chopping off of their clitorises and labias, the present cultural and political problems of those groups who still mutilate their daughters' genitals are very much a direct result of this psychogenic arrest.41 Much of the remainder of this chapter will analyze the conditions for psychogenic arrest, when childrearing has failed to evolve and culture remains in a psychogenic cul-de-sac, static for millennia.

The historical evolution of the psyche is a process that mainly involves removing developmental distortions, so that each psyche can develop in its own way optimally. The evolution of childhood, as will be extensively documented, mainly consists of parents slowly giving up killing, abandoning, mutilating, battering, terrorizing, sexually abusing and using their children for their own emotional needs and instead creating loving conditions for growth of the self. The evolution of the psyche is first of all accomplished by removing terrible abuses of children and their resulting developmental distortions, allowing the psyche to produce historical novelty and achieve its own inherent human growth path. Civilization is not, as everyone including Freud has assumed, a historical "taming of the instincts." Nor does "the evolution of mankind proceed from bad to worse," as Roheim thought,42 with early societies being "indulgent" toward their children and modern societies more often abusive. It will be the burden of the remainder of this book to provide evidence that just the reverse is true, that culture evolves through the increase of love and freedom for children, so that when they grow up they can invent more adaptive and happier ways of living. Because we were all children before we were adults, childhood evolution must precede social evolution, psychogenesis must precede sociogenesis.

The measure of the evolution of psyche and culture is actually quite different from that assumed by most social theories. Social evolution is usually defined simply as the degree of complexity-as measured by population or social hierarchy or technology43 with such elements as the increasing amounts of knowledge causing cultures to grow more complex.44 But there is no evidence that modern brains contain more knowledge than those of foragers of 100,000 years ago. What has evolved is the self-located in the hippocampal-prefrontal networks-not simply the amount of knowledge stored in the cortex.45 Contemporary foragers, for instance, know an enormous amount of ecological information the forager who knows hundreds of species of plants and animals and their characteristics probably has as many neurons in his cortex storing knowledge as most Westerners. Similarly, their cultural system cannot be said to be less complex, since it usually contains some of the most complicated kinship, belief systems and languages extant. What is less evolved is their childhoods and the personality systems dependent upon this childrearing. Societies with poor childrearing produce historical personalities-psychoclasses-that have too much anxiety and conflict to maintain good object relations, so they tend to deny their real needs-for love, for freedom, for achievement-and their cultures oppose change and do not evolve.

The psychogenic theory defines progress in evolution as increases in self awareness, freedom, human potential, empathy, love, trust, self control and a preponderance of conscious decisions-rather than as an increase in technological, economic or political complexity. This means that some cultures on low technological levels46 could actually be further evolved in human terms than others that are more complex technologically and politically. Because the psychogenic theory makes the individual psyche both the source of variation and the unit of selection, it posits that childhood is the central focal point of social evolution. The amount of time and resources any society devotes to its children's needs is far more likely to be an accurate index of its level of civilization than any of the anthropological indices of complexity or energy utilization.

The central direction of evolutionary progress, therefore, of Homo sapiens sapiens is from personal neediness to personal independence, from family enmeshment to family caregiving, from social dependency and violence to social dependability and empathy. Although this progress is extraordinarily uneven in different contemporary cultures and even in different family lines, the general progressive direction is evident. It will be the task of the remainder of this book to document the hypothesis that the evolution of childhood has been from incest to love and from abuse to empathy, and that progress in childrearing has regularly preceded social, political and technological progress. The main thrust of the psychogenic theory of cultural evolution is simple: The evolution of culture is ultimately determined by the amount of love, understanding and freedom experienced by its children, because only love produces the individuation needed for cultural innovation. Every abandonment, every betrayal, every hateful act towards children returns tenfold a few decades later upon the historical stage, while every empathic act that helps a child become what he or she wants to become, every expression of love toward children heals society and moves it in unexpected, wondrous new directions.

Psychogenesis is the process of forming historically new brain networks that develop the self and produce innovation. It is a "bootstrapping" evolutionary process47 that occurs in the interpersonal relationships between generations. Babies begin with the need to form intensely personal relationships with their caretakers, who in turn respond with ambivalent needs to (a) use the baby as a poison container for their projections, and (b) go beyond their own childrearing and give the child what it actually needs rather than what is being projected into it. The ability of successive generations of parents to work through their own childhood anxieties the second time around is a process much like that of psychotherapy, which also involves a return to childhood anxieties and, if successful, a reworking of them with support of the therapist into new ways of looking at others and at one's self. It is in this sense of the psychogenic process that history can be said to be a "psychotherapy of generations," producing new epigenetic, developmental variation and-because these early emotions organize the remainder of cognitive content48 cultural evolution.

Psychogenesis is not a very robust process in caretakers. Most of the time, parents simply reinflict upon their children what had been done to them in their own childhood. The production of developmental variations can occur only in the silent, mostly unrecorded decisions by parents to go beyond the traumas they themselves endured. It happens each time a mother decides not to use her child as an erotic object, not to tie it up so long in swaddling bands, not to hit it when it cries. It happens each time a mother encourages her child's explorations and independence, each time she overcomes her own despair and neediness and gives her child a bit more of the love and empathy she herself didn't get. These private moments are rarely recorded for historians, and social scientists have completely overlooked their role in the production of cultural variation, yet they are nonetheless the ultimate sources of the evolution of the psyche and culture.

The generational pressure for epigenetic, developmental evolution does not occur in a vacuum, of course. Every social condition that impinges upon the parent-child relationship-in particular that disturbs the mother's ability to go beyond her own childrearing and give her child more love than she received-affects psychogenesis. Yet the crucial study of what social conditions have been responsible for the evolution, arrest or devolution of childrearing is a separate empirical task. One cannot simply conclude that the more complex societies become, the better (or worse) the conditions for parenting. Particularly crucial are the conditions favoring the survival of nascent variations in parent-child relationship across generations without being swamped, paralleling the problem in neo-Darwinian theory of the swamping of mutations by a large gene pool. The effects of other conditions upon childrearing are not all that obvious. Material conditions are not the most important of these; more crucial is the attitude of the society towards women and the overcoming of maternal despair. The various ways that family conditions, emotional attitudes, material factors, demographic factors, culture contact and a whole range of historical conditions change the ability of parents to achieve developmental evolution for a series of generations will be examined in detail from the historical and ethnographic record in the remainder of this book.

Cultural and psychological evolution is neither spontaneous nor inevitable, as anthropologists and historians have so often assumed.49 One cannot simply posit a priori that "variation in individual cultural practices and perceptions exists in every community at all times, [forming] a pool of possibilities for what people will do in the immediate future."50 There exist today many cultures whose members' personalities have not evolved very far and whose cultures have remained extraordinarily resistant to change for millennia. Because their ability to give mature love to their children has barely evolved in thousands of generations, their systems of consciousness are developmentally arrested, and they have remained headhunters, cannibals and fierce warriors as were our own ancestors in the Paleolithic. In fact, as we will shortly see, even modern nations consist of groups of individuals who are on all levels of psychogenic evolution-that is, each nation contains all psychoclasses-because individuals are endpoints of unique family histories of childrearing evolution and devolution over thousands of generations. Your next-door neighbors are therefore nearly as likely to be psychological fossils-because their parents used brutal medieval childrearing practices-as they are to be the results of loving, helping parenting. Those who are lucky enough to have had really loving, helping mode parents stand on the shoulders of thousands of individual emotional decisions of parents about how to care for their children.

Because childrearing evolution determines the evolution of the psyche and society, the causal arrows of all other social theories are reversed by the psychogenic theory. Rather than personal and family life being seen as dragged along in the wake of social, cultural, technological and economic change, society is instead viewed as the outcome of evolutionary changes that first occur in the psyche. Because the structure of the psyche changes from generation to generation within the narrow funnel of childhood, childrearing practices are not just one item in a list of cultural traits-they are the very condition for the transmission and further development of all other cultural elements, placing limits on what can be achieved in all other social areas. Indeed our social, religious and political behavior, like our personal life, is very much a part of our human search for love, so necessary for the development of our self. Childhood must therefore always first evolve before major social, cultural and economic innovation can occur. Little by little, adults must refrain from routinely murdering, neglecting, tying up, abandoning, raping, battering and torturing generation after generation of infinitely precious children and begin instead to empathize with their quest to grow up into independent, productive individuals.

Most parents through most of history relate to their children most of the time as poison containers, receptacles into which they project disowned parts of their psyches. In good parenting, the child uses its caretaker as a poison container-as it earlier used its mother's placenta to cleanse its poisonous blood-the good mother reacting with calming behavior to the cries of her baby, helping it "detoxify" its anxieties. But when an immature mother's baby cries, she cannot stand it, and strikes out at the child. As one battering mother put it, "I have never felt loved all my life. When my baby was born, I thought it would love me. When it cried, it meant it didn't love me. So I hit him." The child is so full of the parent's projections that it must be tightly tied up (swaddled in bandages) for its first year to prevent it from "tearing its ears off, scratching its eyes out, breaking its legs, or touching its genitals"51 i.e., to prevent it from acting out the violent and sexual projections of the parents.

The child historically is usually either experienced as a persecutory parent ("When he screams he sounds just like my mother") or as a guilty self ("He keeps wanting things all the time"). Either way, the child must either be strictly controlled, hit or rejected, usually in ways that restage the childrearing methods of the grandparent. Since the grandmother is historically so often present in the home, strictly controlling the childrearing, it is doubly difficult to break old patterns.

Psychogenesis takes place when the parent experiences the needs of the child and, instead of restaging their own traumatic childhood, invents new ways of handling their anxieties so the child can grow and individuate in their own way. When a mother regresses to be able to experience her baby's discomfort and determine if it is hungry or wet or just wants to crawl, she reexperiences her own infancy and her own mother's fears of starving (for love) or wanting to explore and grow, and-given some support by her husband-the mother can take the enormous step of making a space for the child to crawl rather than tying it up in its swaddling bands. The process is much like the process of psychotherapy: a regression to early anxieties and a working through of them the second time around in a better manner. Psychogenesis occurs at the interface between caretaker and child. It is a private, joint process, a "psychotherapy of generations" that cures parental anxiety about growth and reduces childhood traumas...when it occurs. Psychogenesis isn't inevitable, so the psychogenic theory isn't teleological. There are in all modern nations many parents who have not evolved very much and who are still extremely abusive. In fact, there are whole cultures that did not evolve in parenting, for reasons which we will examine. But the "generational pressure" of psychogenesis-the ability of human parents to innovate better ways of childrearing and for children to strive for relationship and growth-is everywhere present, and is an independent source of change in historical personality, allowing humans to "bootstrap"52 new neural networks that are more evolved than those of our ancestors.

Because psychic structure must always be passed from generation to generation through the narrow funnel of childhood, a society's childrearing practices are not just one item in a list of cultural traits. They are the very condition for the transmission and development of all other traits, and place definite limits on what can be achieved in any culture. This is explicitly denied by other theories of culture change, which can be summed up in Steward's dicta: "Personality is shaped by culture, but it has never been shown that culture is affected by personality."53 It is the purpose of the remainder of this book to document that every political, religious and social trait is sustained by specific childhood experiences and that changes in personality through childrearing evolution determine the course of all cultural change.

Progress in childrearing evolution may be extremely uneven, but the trends are nonetheless unmistakable. The overall direction is from projection to empathy, from discipline to self-regulation, from hitting to explaining, from incest to love, from rejection to overcontrol and then to independence. The result is a series of closer approaches between adult and child, producing a healing of the splitting caused by extreme traumas-historical personalities slowly evolving from schizoid mechanisms54 and separate alters that are the results of earlier childrearing modes. Thus unity of personality and individuation is an achievement only attained at the end of history, after thousands of generations of parents have slowly evolved better ways of helping children grow.

It should be possible to even measure quantitatively-in terms of hours per day, in terms of money, in terms of some more meaningful measure-the amount and even the quality of parenting effort a society devotes to its children. Just the sheer cost of raising a child in dollars has been going up so fast that it now costs a middle-class American family $1.5 million for each child over 22 years, up 20 percent in the past three decades.55 The families I know in my section of Manhattan easily devote over half of their spare time and half their income to their children. Compare this to the small fraction of parents' time and money given over to children in earlier centuries with children even spending most of their lives working for adults in various ways and one can begin to comprehend the overall direction of childrearing evolution. Even today, child abuse is highly correlated with income, with children in homes with incomes below $15,000 being 22 times more likely to be physically abused, 18 times more likely to be sexually abused, and 56 times more likely to be neglected than those with family incomes exceeding $30,000.56

Because psychogenesis is such a private process, it is rarely recorded in historical documents. Most of the documentation of what it feels like to go beyond one's own childrearing is found in mothers' letters and diaries beginning in the early modern period. It was the habit of most mothers who could afford it to send their children to wetnurse,57 where they were left for several years:

Parents of any position saw little of their children, who were taken from their mother at birth and given in charge of a foster-mother till the age of five, when they were sent to college or to a convent until marriage was arranged.58

It was in England and America where well-to-do mothers first began to experiment with nursing their own children, being well aware that most children died at nurse because of lack of care and poor conditions. These mothers wrote to each other letters about the joys of nursing themselves, how babies during breastfeeding "kisseth her, strokes her haire, nose and eares [causing] an affection" to grow between mother and infant.59 If the husband objects, saying his wife's breast belongs to him, he should be asked to hold the baby and he'll be delighted too. By contrast, in France, as late as 1780 the police chief of Paris estimated that only 700 out of the 21,000 children born each year in his city were nursed by their mothers,60 most being sent out to French wetnurses, termed "professional feeders and professional killers."61 Since England led the rest of Europe in ending swaddling, wetnursing and battering their children, it is no accident that soon after it also led the world in science, political democracy and industrialization.

In The History of Childhood,62 I proposed six modes of childrearing which societies unevenly evolve. As the graph below indicates, most modern nations today contain all six stages in varying proportions. Outside of moving the dates somewhat forward when I found first evidence of the mode in the West, I continue to feel that these modes are accurate. They have been empirically confirmed by five book-length historical studies63 in addition to the over 100 scholarly articles on the history of childhood during the past 26 years in The Journal of Psychohistory.64 The following chart summarizes the historical evidence on childrearing modes presented in this and the next four chapters of this book.

1a. Early Infanticidal Mode (small kinship groups): This mode is characterized by high infanticide rates, maternal incest, body mutilation, child rape, tortures and emotional abandonment by parents when the child is not useful as a an erotic object or as a poison container. The father is too immature to act as a real caretaker and is emotionally absent. Prepubertal marriage of little girls is common, similar to cults like The Children of God.65 The schizoid personality structure of the infanticidal mode is dominated by alters, in which adults spend much of their time in ritual and magical projects, so they are not able to evolve beyond foraging and early horticultural economic levels nor beyond Big Men political organization.66

1b. Late Infanticidal Mode (chiefdom to early states): Though infanticide rates remain high and child rape is still often routine-particularly royal and pedagogic pederasty67 the young child is not as much rejected by the mother, and the father begins to be involved with instruction of the older child. Child sacrifice as a guilt-reducing device for social progress is found in early states as the use of children as poison containers became more socially organized. Infant restrictions devices such as swaddling and cradle boards begin, sibling caretakers replace child gangs and sibling incest is widespread. Various institutionalized schemes for care by others become popular, such as adoption, wetnursing, fosterage, and the use of the children of others as servants.68 Beating is now less impulsive and used as discipline, and because the child is now closer emotionally and used more for farming chores, discipline becomes more controlling and brutal, leading to complex societies whose innovations are paid for by genocidal slaughter and the enslavement of women and children.69

2. Abandoning Mode (beginning with early Christianity): Once the child is thought as having a soul at birth, routine infanticide becomes emotionally difficult. Early Christians were considered odd in antiquity: "they marry like everybody else, they have children, but they do not practice the exposure of new-born babes."70 These Christians began Europe's two-millennia-long struggle against infanticide, replacing it with abandonment, from oblation of young children to monasteries, a more widespread use of swaddling, wetnurses if one could afford them, fosterage, wandering scholars and child servants. Child sacrifice was replaced by joining in the group-fantasy of the sacrifice of Christ, who was sent by his father as a poison container to be killed for the sins of others. Pederasty continued, especially in monasteries, and girl rape was widespread. The child was thought to be born full of evil, the parent's projections, so was beaten early and severely. Abusive child care was not mainly due to economics, since the rich as well as the poor during the middle ages had high infanticide, abandonment, sexual molestation and physical abuse rates.71 The borderline personality structure of Christianity stresses clinging to authority figures as defense against emotional abandonment and constant warfare against enemies to punish others for their own imagined sinfulness for deserving abandonment.72

3. Ambivalent Mode (beginning in the twelfth century): The twelfth century ended the oblation of children to monasteries, began child instruction manuals, began to punish child rape, expanded schooling, expanded pediatrics, saw child protection laws, and began to tolerate ambivalence-both love and hate-for the child, marking the beginnings of toleration of a child's independent rights. The child was seen less as a sinful poison container and more as soft wax or clay that could be beaten into whatever shape the parent wished. The reduction of splitting defenses of the late medieval narcissistic personality structure produced the advances in technology and the rise of cities associated with the period and eventually the rise of the early modern state.73

4. Intrusive Mode (beginning in the sixteenth century): The intrusive parent began to unswaddle the child and even the wealthy began to bring up the infant themselves rather than sending it elsewhere or at least have the wetnurse come in to the home thus allowing closer emotional bonds with parents to form. The sixteenth century particularly in England represents a watershed in reduction of parental projections, when parents shifted from trying to stop childrens' growth to trying only to control it and make it "obedient." The freedom of being allowed to crawl around rather than being swaddled and hung on a peg and the individuation of separate child beds and separate child regimens meant parents approached closer to their children and could give them love as long as they controlled their minds, their insides, their anger, their lives. The child raised by intrusive parents was nursed by his or her mother, not swaddled, not given regular enemas but toilet trained early, prayed with but not played with, hit but not battered, punished for masturbation but not masturbated, taught and not sent out as servants to others and made to obey promptly with threats and guilt as often as physical means of punishment.74 True empathy begins with intrusive mode parents, producing a general improvement in the level of care and reduced child mortality, leading to the early modern demographic transition to later marraige, fewer births and more investment in each child. The end of arranged marriages, the growth of married love and the decline of domestic violence also contributed to the child's ability to achieve emotional growth.75 A healing of splitting and an increase in individuation produced the scientific, political and economic revolutions of the early modern period, so much so that some British and American parents were often called "strange" by visitors because they "pampered" their children so much and hit them so little.76 Men didn't cling to their hypermasculine social alters as much and discovered they had a "private self" that was emotionally involved with their family life.77

5. Socializing Mode (beginning in the eighteenth century): Obviously something new had entered the world when society could claim that "God planted this deep, this unquenchable love for her offspring in the mother's heart."78 During this period the number of children most women had dropped from seven or eight to three or four, long before any medical discoveries were made in limiting reproduction,79 because parents now wanted to be able to give more care to each child. Their aim, however, remained instilling their own goals into the child rather than producing individuation: "Is there not a strange fullness of joy in watching the reproduction of your traits, physical, mental and moral, in your child?"80 The use of mainly psychological manipulation, along with spanking of little children, remains the most popular model of "socialization" of parents in Western European nations and the Americas today, training the child to assume its role in the parents' society.81 The socializing mode built the modern world, and its values of nationalism and economic class-dominated representative democracy represent the social models of most people today.82

6. Helping Mode (beginning mid-twentieth century): The helping mode involves acknowledging that the parents' main role is to help the child reach at each stage of its life its own goals, rather than being socialized into adult goals. Parents for the first time consider raising children not a chore but a joy. Both mother and father are equally involved with the child from infancy helping him or her become a self-directed person. Children are given unconditional love, are not struck and are apologized to if yelled at under stress. The helping mode involves a lot of time and energy by parents and other helpers during the child's early years, taking their cues from the child itself as it pursues its developmental course. Birth rates tend to drop below replacement as each child is recognized as requiring a great deal of attention. The helping psychoclass, though few in number today, is far more empathic toward others and less driven by material success than earlier generations. Though Dr. Spock's child care book was late socializing mode,83 some of the "Spock generation" adolescents after the mid-century were actually products of helping mode parents and felt empowered to explore their own unique social roles and go beyond nationalism, war and economic inequality.

Parents from each of the six childrearing modes co-exist in modern nations today. Indeed, much of political conflict occurs because of the vastly different value systems and vastly different tolerance for freedom of the six psychoclasses. Cyclical swings between liberal and reactionary periods are an outcome of a process whereby more evolved psychoclasses introduce more innovation into the world than less evolved psychoclasses can tolerate. The latter try then to "turn the clock back" and reinstate less anxious social conditions to reduce their growth anxiety, and when this fails, the nation attempts to "cleanse the world of its sinfulness" through a war or depression.

The psychogenic pump effect is how evolving parents can avoid the swamping of variety in childrearing. A mother who wants to try to leave her child unswaddled after only a few months rather than after a full year finds her own mother and every other mother around her is vigorously opposed to her innovation. Sometimes opposition can actually be lethal. I once asked Arthur Hippler, the Editor of my Journal of Psychological Anthropology, if he had ever met a more evolved Athabascan mother than the generally infanticidal mothers he had been interviewing in Alaska. He said he had; she was far more empathic than the other mothers. He said the other mothers shunned her and shut her out of activities, which would in earlier times have been tantamount to death in such a severe environment. But most more evolved Athabascans migrated south, with the result that those who settled along the northeast coast of America had better childrearing and more advanced cultures than those that remained in Alaska.84

The effects of the psychogenic pump in preserving variety can be seen in a variety of similar historical migration patterns of parents practicing more advanced childrearing modes:

1. The migration of colonists into New England contained more advanced parents and more numerous hopeful daughters than those in families who stayed behind, since the most advanced childrearing -the intrusive mode-was being practiced by the Puritans who were chased out of England or who emigrated to escape "unreasonable authority."85 The result was, as Condorcet put it, Americans seemed to have "stepped out of history," because they had less infanticide, less wetnursing, shorter swaddling and better parent-child relations than European parents at the time. The psychogenic pump, however, mainly applied to New England parents those who migrated further south usually did not do so as intact families and contained far more bachelor latter-born sons, servants and others who were not escaping from religious persecution.86 Therefore, the South lagged the North in their level of childrearing, a condition that eventually led to the American Civil War.

2. The migration of more advanced parents in Europe in general took place from east to west, as migrating farmer populations moved from Asia to Western Europe,87 displaced foragers and tried innovative living arrangements compared to those that stayed behind. This is the ultimate reason why Eastern Europe even today remains far behind Western Europe and the United States in childrearing and in democracy and industrialization.

3. The same principle of "those who emigrate contain the more advanced parents" applies to why Central and South American Indians had more advanced childrearing and more evolved cultures than those of North America.

4. Jews who had immigrated into Europe were more advanced in childrearing, so much so that they had to be sacrificed in the Holocaust as representatives of too much innovation and growth. Jews since antiquity didn't just "disperse" (diaspora), they differentially migrated, with those with more advanced parenting modes striking out to new homes, where their success made them scapegoats for the growth fears of others.

5. The psychogenic pump favors extremities, peripherally isolated areas that capture late arrivals, the most innovative parents and the most hopeful daughters. (Biological speciation, too, favors peripherally isolated communities.)88 The most advanced childrearing in Europe was in England and the most advanced in Asia was in Japan, both large islands at the extreme western and eastern ends of the Eurasian land mass, both settled late by immigrant farmers. Japan, in fact, developed agriculture extremely late, only two thousand years ago,89 when the most advanced families in Asia migrated from Korea. "Those that stayed behind" in China, in Eastern Europe-were swamped by less evolved childrearing modes and were therefore more subject to psychogenic arrest or even devolution. In contrast, many of the world's most advanced cultures-such as the Hawaiians or the ancient Greeks-were products of late-arriving migrants, more advanced parenting styles, who turned unpromising peripheral evironments into distinctive, innovative civilizations.

One of the hardest thing to understand in studying childhood history is how parenting can stay the same for millennia or sometimes even get worse. How can a Balkan peasant mother today as in antiquity kill their newborn or tightly bind her baby to a cradle and keep it isolated in a dark room for a year or more, oblivious of its screams?90 How can most fathers today still batter their little kids? Is empathy for children so fragile? Why does psychogenic evolution not take place, even devolve? Why have a portion of parents in every society remained at the infanticidal and abandoning modes? What happened in previous generations that extinguished the evolution of parental love so thoroughly?

People throughout history defend against their despair by finding poison containers to restage their early traumas. Men do so mainly by going to war and torturing, enslaving and killing sacrificial victims. But women only have their children to torture, enslave and kill. One thing is clear: the cause is not merely economic since the rich tortured and killed their children just as the poor did. Indeed, the most massive genocide in the world-never recognized as such because children are not considered human by historians-has been the parental holocaust, the killing, binding, battering, raping, mutilating and torturing of children throughout history, numbering billions not just millions of innocent, helpless human beings. It is this untold story of the genocide of a whole class of human beings that will be fully told for the first time in this book. But just as there are few good psychological studies of Nazis during the Jewish Holocaust-because it is so difficult to empathize enough with victimizers to understand their motives-so too there are few good studies of parents in history who murdered, beaten and tortured their children, since it is hard to identify enough with them to analyze their motives. Determining the psychodynamics of parents who have stayed the same for thousands of generations while others around them have been evolving is doubly difficult, since one must deal with both the paucity of the historical record of the parental cruelty and also the denial and anger stemming from one's own feelings.

The key to understanding psychogenic arrest and devolution must lie in comprehending the historical relationship of mothers to their daughters-a totally unresearched area, even for feminist historians. Sometimes men who oppose all social change instinctively recognize they must kill off all hopeful daughters-as today when Islamic fundamentalists drag out of class all the girls they find in schools and slaughter them.91 The study of the multigenerational effects of trauma is just beginning.92 But usually the conditions that maim the psyches of hopeful daughters are simply part of the cultural practices of the society and go unrecognized as crippling evolution. When thirty-year-old men in antiquity insisted on marrying prepubertal girls because they were afraid of women their own age, when medieval mothers prostituted their daughters either to the local priest or to the whole community, when mothers fed their daughters less or gave them less medical attention than boys because girls who grew up needed dowries, when brothers in Eastern European zadruga routinely used each others' daughters sexually, when Chinese men bound the feet of little girls to use as sexual objects or circum-Mediterranean mothers chopped off the genitals of their little girls, psychogenic devolution was the inevitable result.

Using children as poison containers can reach intolerable limits, either as a result of intolerable conditions such as war or drought or even as a result of social progress, when parents react with extreme growth panic and use their children to relieve their anxieties. Sometimes historical tragedies like these are evident, as when children were abandoned by the millions in revolutionary Russia and were forced to live as prostitutes and criminals for decades after, many even today living abandoned in Russia's main cities.93 Psychogenic devolution is often a result of attempts to "leap forward," as when China killed 30 million people as a result of the famine caused by the Great Leap Forward-in fact, some areas of China devolved so far that they regressed to cannibalism.94 But sometimes the "war on children" resulting from too much change can be documented in more specific detail.

When serfdom ended in Hungary in the 1840s, women in rural areas responded by concluding that at last they were to be free. But, they feared, women cannot be free if they have so many children, so "there was a panic reaction and a brutal, drastic reduction of family size was put speedily into practice, first by simple infanticide and crude abortion techniques and later by the one-child system."95 Although poverty was not a problem in the area, for a full century mothers became baby killers, so that "families shank into non-existence, leaving house and farm vacant" to adhere to a norm that "became irrational and, indeed, suicidal for entire families, villages and ethnic groups..."96 In what has been called "a Terrible Matriarchy," killing mothers established a "dark belt of one-child-system villages,"97 by crude abortion techniques with sharp objects and winding ropes tightly around the mother's body and soaking them in water, by strangling or freezing babies, even by mothers-in-law "sleeping with the young couple to ensure they did not have intercourse..."98

Growth panic from progress being turned against children is an everyday phenomena, only no one recognizes it because no one sees children as poison containers for adult anxieties. Times of prosperity and progress are often times when poor children are used as scapegoats. While the average income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans rose 72 percent between 1977 and 1994, and while the average income of the highest-earning 20 percent rose 25 percent, that of the poorest 25 percent shrank 16 percent, throwing millions more children under the poverty line while cutting welfare benefits.99 Yet the question remains: why are some societies and some family lines so far behind in improving childrearing? To begin to answer this crucial question, we will first analyze what childhood is really like in simpler societies.

Unfortunately for the psychogenic theory, nearly all social scientists currently agree that there is an inverse relationship between childrearing and social evolution, with parents becoming less loving and more abusive as cultures move from simple to complex societies.100 Agreeing with Rousseau and Freud, most anthropologists today see civilization as being achieved at the expense of childhood freedom and nurturance, with the quality of child care going straight downhill and becoming more punitive and less nurturing as societies become more complex. Rohner, for instance, concludes from his cross-cultural review of parenting from the Human Relations Area Files that virtually all mothers in simpler societies are "warm and nurturant toward their children,"101 so that "The more complex a sociocultural system is, the less warm parents in general tend to be..."102 Whiting analyzes the results of hundreds of anthropological studies of childhood as follows: "children in simple cultures are high on nurturance and low on egoism, whereas children brought up in complex cultures are egoistic and not very nurturant."103 Stephens summarizes the current state of academic opinion:

When one reads an ethnographic account of child rearing in a primitive society, one will usually find some statement to the effect that the people 'love their babies'...the ethnographer seems amazed at the amount of affection, care, attention, indulgence, and general 'fuss' lavished upon infants and young children...104

Now when I first discovered, in the anthropology course I took with Margaret Mead at Columbia University over four decades ago, that anthropologists were unanimous in thinking that childhood had evolved from nurturant and loving to neglectful and abusive as the level of civilization increased, I was puzzled as to how anyone could at the same time think that childhood had any effect on adult personality, since this meant that the cannibals, headhunters and warriors I was studying had supposedly had wonderful loving, nurturant childhoods. I soon began to question the accuracy of all these cross-cultural studies of childrearing, and asked whether those who classified techniques of parenting105 could have been actually coding the degrees of distortion and denial of the anthropologists rather than what was really happening to children.

When I found the same unanimity regarding loving childrearing in past times among historians, equally unsupported by careful historical evidence, I began combing primary sources myself to find out the truth about what it must have felt like to have been a child both in the past and in other cultures. With ethnological accounts, of course, I was wholly dependent upon the reports of the anthropologists, since I could not myself observe at first hand the childrearing practices of hundreds of cultures. So rather than relying on selective Human Relations Area File cards, I constructed my own more extensive files over the next three decades from reports of the ethnologists who had said anything about childrearing, being careful to separate their glowing adjectives from the descriptions of events they actually saw happen. I extended these files with personal contacts with many of the anthropologists in connection with my Journal of Psychoanalytic Anthropology.

When I began publishing the results of my research into both historical and cross-cultural childhoods, documenting how childhood both in the past and in other cultures had been massively idealized, both historians and anthropologists concluded that I surely must have been mad. As Melvin Konner put it in his book Childhood:

Lloyd deMause, then editor of the History of Childhood Quarterly, claimed that all past societies treated children brutally, and that all historical change in their treatment has been a fairly steady improvement toward the kind and gentle standards we now set and more or less meet. His 1974 book begins, "The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level of child care, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorized, and sexually abused."

Now anthropologists-and many historians as well-were slack-jawed and nearly speechless. Studies of parents, children, and the family in cultures on every inhabited continent had turned up not a single case-with one or two possible exceptions-of extant patterns of child care that corresponded to the brutal neglectful approach these historians were assigning to all the parents of the past.

On the contrary, serious students of the anthropology of childhood beginning with Margaret Mead have called attention to the pervasive love and care lavished on children in many traditional cultures. They even found much Westerners could admire and possibly emulate.106

The only way to disprove this widespread opinion about parenting in traditional cultures is to examine what anthropologists have written and see whether their evidence actually shows something other than "pervasive love and care lavished on children." In order that the effects of culture contact with the West may be kept to a minimum, I will concentrate on New Guinea, with a few forays into nearby areas, because here Western contact was both late and minimal as compared with Africa and other areas.

I have termed107 the earliest mode of childrearing the infanticidal mode because parents who routinely resolve their anxieties about taking care of their children by killing them without remorse also convey this attitude to their other children by demonstrating throughout their lives that their personal existence is not important to them except as the children satisfy the needs of the parents.

As in most simple cultures, New Guinea mothers can be considered infanticidal mode because they kill a third or more of their newborn-so that most mothers have killed one or more of their children. Though the practice is common, it is usually downplayed by anthropologists-Margaret Mead, for instance, kept infanticide out of her published reports, but wrote in her letters home such observations as "we've had one corpse float by, a newborn infant; they are always throwing away infants here..."108 Some sense of its dimensions can be seen in the imbalance of males over females at birth, ratios which run from 120-160 to 100.109 Since both male and female newborn are killed, this ratio obviously only reflects the amount of excess female infanticide, so the combined rate of infanticide is even higher. These high rates are common to the culture area; Birdsell, for instance, estimated that the Australian Aborigines destroyed as many as 50 percent of all infants110 and the first missionaries in Polynesia estimated that two-thirds of the children were murdered by their parents."111 Another study cites an average sex ratio of 159 to 100 for children 1-5 years, which means most families killed at least one child.112 Anthropologists commonly pass over these statistics quickly, since high infanticide rates do not reflect well upon their "pervasive love" claim. For instance, Herdt claims that "Sambia love children, and it is hard to imagine that infanticide was done except in desperate circumstances."113 He then says that "throughout New Guinea, males outnumber females at birth, often in high ratios...For Sambia, the birthrate ratio is 120 male births to 100 female births." Despite this out-of-balance birthrate ratio, Herdt claims "There was no female infanticide,"114 a biological impossibility.

Although anthropologists commonly excuse infanticide as required by "necessity" and don't count it as part of the homicide rate their informants themselves report otherwise when asked why they kill their infants, stating they killed them because "children are too much trouble,"115 because the mothers were angry at their husbands,116 because they are "demon children,"117 because the baby "might turn out to be a sorcerer,"118 "because her husband would go to another woman" for sex if she had to nurse the infant,119 because they didn't want babies to tie them down in their sexual liaisons,120 because it was a female and must be killed because "they leave you in a little while"121 or "they don't stay to look after us in our old age."122 Infanticide by mothers can be thought of as an early form of post-partum depression. Siblings commonly watch their mothers kill their siblings and are sometimes forced to take part in the murder. In many tribes, the newborn is "tossed to the sows, who promptly devour it. The woman then takes one of the farrows belonging to the sow who first attacked her baby's corpse and nurses it at her breast."123 Pigs, by the way, are commonly nursed by women at their breasts,124 then often used for sacrificial purposes and discarded thus disproving the notion that infanticide is made necessary because of lack of breast milk. Even when the baby is buried, it is often found by other children: "the mother...buries it alive in a shallow hole that the baby's movements may be seen in the hole as it is suffocating and panting for breath; schoolchildren saw the movements of such a dying baby and wanted to take it out to save it. However, the mother stamped it deep in the ground and kept her foot on it..."125

Anthropologists often report the infanticidal actions of New Guinea mothers without noticing what they are actually doing. As a typical instance, Willey reports in his book Assignment New Guinea that a group of mothers were gathered outside the police station to protest some government action, yelling, "Kill our children." Willey says, "One woman in the front line hurled her baby at the police, shouting, "'Go on, kill my child!' When the senior officer caught it and handed it back to the mother, she held it up and yelled, 'Kill my baby.'"126 Invariably, these mothers are reported as very loving, not infanticidal.

In some parts of New Guinea and Australia, mothers are both child murderers and cannibals, who commonly kill both their own and others' children and feed them to their siblings.127 The most complete description of the practice comes from Roheim:

It had been the custom for every second child to be eaten by the preceding child...When the Yumu, Pindupi, Ngali, or Nambutji were hungry, they ate small children with neither ceremonial nor animistic motives. Among the southern tribes, the Matuntara, Mularatara, or Pitjentara, every second child was eaten in the belief that the strength of the first child would be doubled...[My informants] had, each of them, eaten one of their brothers....They eat the head first, then the arms, feet, and finally the body. Jankitji, Uluru and Aldinga have all eaten their siblings....Daisy Bates writes: 'Baby cannibalism was rife among these central-western people...In one group...every woman who had a baby had killed and eaten it, dividing it with her sisters, who in turn killed their children at birth and returned the gift of food, so that the group had not preserved a single living child for some years. When the frightful hunger for baby meat overcame the mother before or at the birth of the baby, it was killed and cooked regardless of sex.'"128

Roheim states with great conviction though providing no evidence that the children who were forced to eat their siblings "are the favored ones who started life with no oral trauma,"129 that eating one's siblings "doesn't seem to have affected the personality development" of these children,130 and that "these are good mothers who eat their own children."131 When I suggested in Foundations of Psychohistory132 that it was doubtful that children remained unaffected by being forced to join in their mother's killing and eating of their siblings, a reviewer, Robert Paul, editor of Ethos, the journal of psychological anthropology, was adamant that no one may question Roheim's rosy conclusions:

Remember that the anthropologist in question here is Roheim himself, who can hardly be accused of being psychoanalytically unsophisticated, or of denying or resisting. Indeed, deMause readily accepts his reportage about the facts. Why does he question his conclusion? Roheim was nobody's fool. If deMause, sitting in New York, knows better than Roheim what is "aboriginal reality," then once again we are back in never-never land and not in the realm of empirical science.133

Most ethnologists avoid describing how these children feel about participating in the killing or eating of their siblings. Lindenbaum simply says of the Fore tribe that "cannibalism was largely limited to adult women [and] to children of both sexes"134 but doesn't mention that the mothers force the children to eat human flesh and doesn't say how they reacted to this. Gillison reports that Gimi mothers feed the flesh to their older children and say it is "the sweetest thing...'You are still a small boy,' my mother said to me, 'so let me give you this.' And she gave me some meat....A woman might have partaken of her own son, some women allowed, but she left the cutting to her co-wives, daughters, or daughters of her co-wives. 'His mother ate the penis,' one woman said..."135 Only Poole actually reported the reaction of one group of New Guinea children to their witnessing of their parents eating some children:

Having witnessed their parents' mortuary anthropophagy, many of these children suddenly avoided their parents, shrieked in their presence, or expressed unusual fear of them. After such experiences, several children recounted dreams or constructed fantasies about animal-man beings with the faces or other features of particular parents who were smeared with blood and organs.136

Since Poole's children had only witnessed their parents' cannibalism, those children who are forced to actually join in and help kill and then eat their siblings can be expected to show even more internalization of murderous monsters and life-long fears of devouring witches fears which, unsurprisingly, are common to most New Guinea cultures. These infanticidal societies are in fact identical to contemporary cults that force children to murder and even eat the flesh of babies, with profound life-long traumatic effects upon their psyches-cult rituals which in a series of articles in The Journal of Psychohistory have been demonstrated to be well-documented, eyewitnessed, brought to court and criminal convictions obtained from skeptical juries in a majority of the cases studied.137

Individuals or groups who murder and eat babies are in fact severely schizoid personalities138 who handle their own rage, engulfment fears and devouring emotional demands by either murdering children to wipe out the demands they project into them or by eating them in order to act out their identification with devouring internal alters. Indeed, anthropologists are only reflecting their own denial rather than looking at the evidence when they conclude that the ubiquitous infanticide in New Guinea is really a good thing for children because then "children are desired and highly valued [because] there is no such thing as an unwanted child."139

As one step beyond their need to murder children, infanticidal societies are commonly found to treat children as erotic objects, again in a perverse attempt to deal with their own severe anxieties, repeatedly sexually abusing them in incest, pederasty and rape. It is to this sexual use of babies and older children in New Guinea that we will now turn.

As with infanticide, the sexual abuse of children is widely reported by anthropologists, but in positive terms: maternal incest is seen as indulging the infant's sexual needs, oral and anal rape of boys is described as both desirable and as desired by the boys and rape of both girls and boys is presented as an unmotivated "cultural" artifact. I will begin with the use by mothers of their infants as erotic objects.

Anthropologists maintain that "the incest taboo is the very foundation of culture"140 and that "the taboo on incest within the immediate family is one of the few known cultural universals."141 The culturally-approved sexual use of children, therefore, must be renamed wherever it is found as something other than incest. Ford and Beach's widely-cited Patterns of Sexual Behavior makes this false distinction clear: incest, they say, "excludes instances in which mothers or fathers are permitted to masturbate or in some other sexual manner to stimulate their very young children,"142 then going on to call incest rare. The authoritative Growing Up: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia covers 87 cultures in which it says there is no incest, just adults playing with, stroking, masturbating and sucking their baby's genitals: "Truk adults play with an infant's genitals...In China, Manchu mothers tickle the genitals of their little daughters and suck the penis of a small Thailand, a Banoi mother habitually strokes her son's genitals."143 But again this isn't incest. Davenport's cross-cultural study similarly concludes that "Mother-son incest is so rare that it is insignificant and irrelevant [since] genital stimulation as a means of pacifying a child may be regarded as nonsexual..."144 Konker reviews cross-cultural adult-child sexual relations and finds that "the ethnographic record contains many...examples of normative adult/child sexual contact" but said this isn't a problem since experts have found there is "no reason to believe that sexual contact between an adult and child is inherently wrong or harmful."145 Korbin's Child Abuse and Neglect: Cross-Cultural Perspectives likewise finds that mothers masturbating children is widespread in her large sample, but she says it is not incest since the society doesn't call it incest:

In some societies, children's genitals are fondled to amuse and please them, calm them or lull them to sleep...This would not constitute 'abuse' if in that society the behavior was not proscribed and was not for the purposes of adult sexual satisfaction, even if the adult tangentially experienced some degree of pleasure.146

Since the use of infants and children as erotic objects is so common cross-culturally,147 it is not surprising that New Guinea adults also commonly use their children sexually. Babies in particular are treated as if they were breasts, to be sucked and masturbated all day long. Whenever ethnologists mention childhood in any detail, they often begin with such comments as, "My strongest impression among women was created by their incessant fondling of infants"148 or "As babies and small children their genitalia are fondled."149 As with most infanticidal mothers, this sexual fondling most often occurs when the mother is nursing the baby (or even older child, mothers nursing until the child is three to six years of age), since nursing is highly erotic, occurring over a hundred times a day or as often as the mother needs the stimulation to overcome her depression.150 Gillison describes the process of masturbating infants among the Gimi:

The mother insists upon continued contact, interrupting her toddler's play repeatedly to offer the breast. Masturbation...with a baby girl [occurs when] the mother or amau holds her hand over the vulva and shakes it vigorously. She may kiss the vagina, working her way up the middle of the body to the lips and then inserting her nipple (often when the child has given no sign of discontent). With a boy, she kisses the penis, pulls at it with her fingers and takes it into her mouth to induce an erection. Several women may pass a baby boy back and forth, each one holding him over her head as she takes a turn sucking or holding the penis in her mouth. When the child then pulls at his own organ, the women, greatly amused, offer squeezes and pulls of their own.151

Many ethnologists in the New Guinea-Australian area notice the connection between nursing and the erotic use of infants, first describing the mother putting her nipple into the baby's mouth whenever it cries, even if it is not hungry, while massaging her other breast and "caressing the fleshy parts of its body...and implanting breathy kisses over and over again in the region of its genital organs."152 Only Hippler, however, notices the incestuous trance the Yolngu mother goes into while nursing and masturbating her child:

the child is sexually stimulated by the mother...Penis and vagina are caressed...clearly the action arouses the mother. Many mothers develop blissful smiles or become quite agitated (with, we assume, sexual stimulation) and their nipples apparently harden during these events. Children...are encouraged to play with their mothers' breasts, and...are obviously stimulated sexually...153

Maternal incest, like other sexual perversions, will often also reveal the sadism of the mother as she uses the child as an erotic sadistic object to overcome her depression and despair-which is rooted in her own loveless childhood. As Poole reports, "It should be noted that these erotic acts are often somewhat rough. Mothers' stimulation of the penis may involve pulling, pinching, and twisting in a manner that produces struggling and crying in infant boys. Also, I have treated many women whose nipples had been bruised and lacerated by their infants."154 Similarly, in addition to masturbation during nursing, Roheim reports that mothers will sometimes "lie on their sons in the [female on top] position and freely masturbate them" at night.155 That all this masturbation of children by parents is socially acceptable is shown by how often the mothers do it in front of the anthropologist.156 This helps explain why children in the area spend so much of their time when playing with dolls making them repeat over and over again the cunnilingus, masturbation, anal penetration, intercourse and other incestuous acts which their parents had inflicted on them: "their only, and certainly their supreme, game was coitus."157

The incestuous use of children in New Guinea and Australia extends to the other Melanesian and Polynesian islands, although as the societies become more complex the sexual practices become more ritualized. For instance, in the Marquesas Islands, besides simple masturbation of infants,158 "the mons Veneris is massaged during infancy and girlhood...accompanied by stretching of the labia to elongate them. This was done by the mother during the daily bath. The child was seized by the ankles and its legs held apart while the mother manipulated the labia with her lips."159 In Hawaii, a "blower" is designated for each male infant, ostensibly to prepare him for subincision of the foreskin, and "the penis was blown into daily starting from birth. The blowing was said to loosen and balloon the foreskin [and] continued daily...until the young male was 6 or 7."160 For infant females in Hawaii, "milk was squirted into her vagina, and the labia were pressed together. The mons was rubbed with candlenut oil and pressed with the palm of the hand to flatten it...the molding continued until the labia did not separate. This chore usually was done by the mother..."161 The Ponapé islanders "pulled and tugged at the labia of the little girls to lengthen them, while men pulled on the clitoris, rubbing it and licking it with their tongues and stimulating it by the sting of a big ant..."162 This oral manipulation of the labia and clitoris extends to many of the other Pacific islands.163

Mothers are not the only ones to use their infants as sexual objects. Although fathers in New Guinea are often reported avoiding their infants during the nursing years because they say they get sexually aroused when they watch them nurse,164 when they do handle their infants, they too are reported as using them erotically. In the New Guinea Highlands, Langness reports "There was a great deal of fondling of the boys' penes by males. Women fondled infants but not older boys. Individuals of both sexes would pick up infants and mouth their genitals..."165" Like all other anthropologists who report the regular masturbating and sucking of children's genitals, he calls this love: "Any adult is apt to love and fondle any child almost at random."166 Roheim, too, describes similarly widespread oral-genital contact by fathers: "The father...stimulates [his children] sexually at a very early period while they are still being carried. He playfully smells the vagina or touches it with his mouth; with the boys he playfully bites the penis..."167 It is this common use of the child as a breast by the father that is mistaken by so many anthropologists as "close, loving fathering" in New Guinea and elsewhere.

Virtually all anthropologists report the long maternal nursing period of from three to six years as "nurturant" and "loving," assuming without evidence that this universal incessant nursing is done to satisfy the child's needs, not the mother's. Only one, Gilbert Herdt, interviewing the Sambia with the help of the psychoanalyst Robert J. Stoller, asked the mothers directly about their sexual feelings during nursing. The Sambia, like most New Guinea groups, have prolonged postpartum taboos that prohibit couples from engaging in coitus for at least two and a half years following the birth of each child.168 Anthropologists always portray these postpartum prohibitions as unexplained "cultural beliefs," as though there were no personal motive for them, but in fact they are simply practices chosen to express the mothers' desire to use their children rather than their spouses for sexual arousal. Since a taboo this long means women choose to have sex with their children rather than their husbands for much of their lives, it is obvious that they are unable to achieve the level of mature love relationships, and instead, like other incestuous individuals, need to have sex with children in order to counter deep feelings of depression.169 Like all infanticidal mothers, New Guinea mothers, unloved themselves in childhood, feared as polluted by her society, devoid of intimacy with her husband, needs her children rather than loves them.

The motive for New Guinea maternal incest is clearest in the case of the Sambia, for the mothers in this group report regularly having orgasms during nursing.170 Herdt's informants told him that when they breast-fed their children they felt orgasms that were "the same" as when having intercourse with a man,171 and that "all the women feel that...not just me...all of them do."172 So powerful is this ability to orgasm during nursing that even thinking about nursing can provide sexual excitement for the mother:

P: Then my baby thinks, "My mother doesn't bring back my milk quickly, so I am crying and crying waiting for her." He cries and cries and waits. And when he thinks that, then my breasts have to have an imbimboogu [orgasm].

H: You're saying that at that time, that's when you're feeling imbimboogu, when you walk about?

P: Yeah...I'm hot in the nipples, inside.173

Herdt asks Stoller what this means, saying "as she's walking back to the hamlet, she has this experience she's calling an orgasm. I mean, it doesn't, can't...sound believable."174 Stoller reports that occasionally "women in our society report genuine orgasms with suckling,"175 though this is rare compared to the mothers in New Guinea.176

Since Poole was the only New Guinea ethnologist who interviewed both mothers and children, he obtained the most complete reports of maternal incest.177 Like infanticidal psychoclass mothers everywhere, Bimin-Kuskusmin mothers consider their babies to be part of their own bodies, "never permitting the infant to be detached from contact with her body" and breastfeeding the baby "not only on demand, but also sometimes by force," whenever the mother needs the stimulation.178 Mothers, Poole says, constantly masturbate the penes of their baby boys, while trying not to let their incest get out of hand:

She is expected to masturbate him periodically to ensure the growth of his genitalia, but she must carefully avoid the excessive development of erotic 'infant lust' which may injure his finiik [spirit]...When mothers rub the penes of their infant sons, the little boys wriggle on their mothers' laps and have erections. These tiny erections bring laughter. It is play. It will make their penes big when they are older. But 'infantile lust' can become too strong and can damage the growing "spirit or life-force" (finiik) of little boys. You will see mothers and sons together in this way everywhere.179

Much of the ribald joking among mothers is for the purpose of denying that the erotic use of the child is in fact incest-it is blamed on the infant's "lust" only-for only "bad" mothers "are believed to stimulate their sons beyond the bounds of 'infantile lust' in order to satisfy their own sexual desires..."180 Those mothers who completely give in to their own "lust" are called "witches" who are said to be " destroy all aspects of masculinity through jealousy and rage"181 a condition all women can fall into, particularly when they are young, inexperienced mothers or are treated harshly by their husband's family. In order to prove that she isn't being too lustful,

mothers deliberately cover their breasts with bark cloth when they are stimulating the penis in a ritually prescribed manner. Indeed, this often highly ostentatious act of covering the breasts is a display to an ever-watchful public that the mother is acting properly in tending her son. On occasion, I have witnessed older women admonish a young mother for failing to cover her breasts when rubbing her son's genitals.182

More privacy is afforded at night, however, when mothers can rub against their children's entire bodies because they sleep naked with their them, "together in each other's arms" and when they also can "regularly rub" the boy's penis to erection.183

That these infants and children who are used as erotic objects function as poison containers for the mothers' split-off and denied anxieties and anger is quite clear. Poole interviewed one young boy, Buuktiin, who described how when his mother was depressed or angry she often "pulled, pinched, rubbed, or flicked a fingernail against his penis"184 until he cried, afraid it might break off. "When he struggled to escape, she held him tightly and rubbed his penis even harder."185

Kiipsaak [his mother] had masturbated him earlier as mothers often do...[But] now she increased the tempo and roughness of the episodes...and he often jerked at her touch and struggled to get away, hitting her and complaining of throbbing pain in his penis. 'It hurts inside. It goes 'koong, koong, koong' inside. I think it bleeds in there. I don't like to touch it anymore. It hurts when I pee."186

Like so many victims of maternal incest, Buuktiin constantly cuts himself, both to get the "bad maternal blood" out of himself, since he feels polluted by the constant incest, and to punish himself, since children regularly blame themselves for the mother's sexual abuse:

Sometimes after such [incestuous] encounters, he wounded himself slightly in the thigh and the abdomen with a sharp stick and with slow deliberation, drawing blood and watching his penis. "Now it hurts here, outside, not in penis. Look, blood. Feels good...Good to be a girl, no penis...Mother twist penis, tight, tight...Hurt, hurt, inside. Cry, she not listen. Why? She cut off father's penis? She cut off mine? Father tell her, cut off Buuktiin's penis? Mother angry, hurt Buuktiin's penis. Mother sad, hurt Buuktin's penis...Mother not like Buuktiin's penis, want to cut off."187

No better description can be imagined of the infanticidal, incestuous mother using her child as a poison container to handle her depression: mother wants to annihilate her inner tormentors, she kills her child; mother needs sex to counter her depression and deadness, she masturbates it; mother is angry or sad, she twists and hurts his penis.

The "love" of the infanticidal mode parent is mainly evident when the child is useful as an erotic object. When children are off the breast or otherwise not useful, they are rejected as emotionally meaningless. The infanticidal parents' emotional bond does not really acknowledge the separate existence of the child, whose main function is to provide "bodily stimulation [that] helps the mother to come alive, and she seeks this from the child...countering her feelings of lethargy, depression, and deadness."188 As with all pedophiles, the child is a "sexual object...that must show a readiness to comply, lend itself to be manipulated, used, abused [and] discarded..."189 There is never just "incest" it is always "incest/rejection."

There are many ways New Guinea parents demonstrate that when the child cannot be used erotically, it is useless. One is that as soon as infants are not being nursed, they are paid no attention, and even when in danger are ignored. Anthropologists regularly notice that little children play with knives or fire and adults ignore them. Edgerton comments on the practice: "Parents allowed their small children to play with very sharp knives, sometimes cutting themselves, and they permitted them to sleep unattended next to the fire. As a result, a number of children burned themselves was not uncommon to see children who had lost a toe to burns, and some were crippled by even more severe burns."190 Langness says in the Bena Bena "it was not at all unusual to see even very small toddlers playing with sharp bush knives with no intervention on the part of caretakers."191 But this is good, say the anthropologists, since when "children as young as two or three are permitted to play with objects that Westerners consider dangerous, such as sharp knives or burning brands from the fire, [it] tends to produce assertive, confident, and competent children."192 Children, they explain, are allowed to "learn by observations...e.g., the pain of cutting oneself when playing carelessly with a knife."193 As Whiting says, when he once saw a Kwoma baby "with the blade of a twelve-inch bush knife in his mouth and the adults present paid no attention to him," this was good for the infant, since in this way "the child learns to discriminate between the edible and inedible."194 Margaret Mead is particularly ecstatic about the wisdom of mothers making infants learn to swim early by allowing them to fall into the water under the hut when crawling and slipping through gaps in the floor or falling overboard into the sea because they were "set in the bow of the canoe while the mother punts in the stern some ten feet away."195

Children are experienced by mothers as extensions of their bodies, and any separation or independence is seen as rejection of the mother, as reminders of the severe rejection of the mothers' own childhood. Mothers do not allow others to nurse their children, saying their milk is "poison," and even do not allow their one- to two-year-olds to visit their relatives for fear they would "poison" them.196 When a mother dies, often the "infant would be buried with her even if perfectly healthy,"197 and if the infant dies, "the mother remains secluded with it for days, wailing, attempting to nurse it," blaming it by saying "I told you not to die. But you did not hear me! You did not listen!"198 When infants begin to show any sign of independence, they are either wholly rejected and ignored or forced to stay still. Typical is the Wogeo child, who Hogbin describes as often being "put in a basket, which is then hung on a convenient rafter...or tree" and "discouraged from walking and not allowed to crawl...[forced to] sit still for hours at a time [and only] make queer noises" as he or she is immobilized to avoid even the slightest movement of independence from the mother.199 Anthropologists regularly see these ubiquitous New Guinea baskets and net bags in which the infants are trapped and in which they are often hung on a tree as "comforting," even though it means that the infants often live in their own feces and urine and can neither crawl nor interact with others. Only Hippler describes them as a function of the mothers' pattern of "near absolute neglect" of her child when it is not being used erotically.200

Parental rejection in preliterate cultures is often overt it is what Boyer found was called "throwing the child away." Boyer discovered that "a great many mothers abandon or give children away; babies they have been nursing lovingly only hours before," when he and his wife were offered their babies, a practice he ascribed to the mothers' "shallow object relations."201 Few anthropologists have seen the high adoption and fosterage rates in the New Guinea area-some as high as 75 percent202 as rejection, but of course that is what it is. Child rejection is widely institutionalized in various forms, usually after weaning, when the infant has stopped being useful as an erotic object. In the Trobriands, for instance, "the transfer of children who have already been weaned from true parents to other parents is a frequent occurrence..."203 Anthropologists usually see giving away a child as evidence of parental love. Kasprus, for instance, says the Raum really "love and like children," but that "although they love children they may readily give one away..."204 Mead describes the giving of a child away by her parents as a "happy" event. The occasion is a family giving a seven-year-old girl to the family of her betrothed, an older man:

The little girl is taken by her parents and left in the home of her betrothed. Here her life hardly differs at all from the life that she led at home....Towards her young husband, her attitude is one of complete trust and acceptance....He calls out to her to light his pipe, or to feed his dog...she becomes warmly attached...I asked her: "Did you cry when you first went to Liwo?" "No, I did not cry. I am very strong."205

Rejection of the child when off the breast is ubiquitous in New Guinea. Small children are rarely looked at or talked to. Whereas in American families an average of 28 minutes of an average hour is spent talking to and interacting with the child (including an average of 341 utterances per hour),206 in at least one New Guinea study mothers were found to interact with their children only one minute out of each hour.207 The millions of looks, communications, admirations, mirroring and emotional negotiations between mother and child the "emotional dialogue that fosters the beginnings of a sense of self, logical communications and the beginnings of purposefulness"208 are simply missing for the New Guinea child. The result is that the early self system in the orbitofrontal cortex has no chance to develop, and since "the orbitofrontal cortex functionally mediates the capacity to empathize with the feelings of others and to reflect on internal emotional states, one's own and others,"209 when these emotionally rejected children grow up they are unable to empathize with others or have much insight into their own emotions.

Since to the infanticidal mother, as Hippler puts it, "the child is an unconscious representative of [her own] mother, his autonomous actions are seen by the mother as abandonment. The response on the part of the mother to this 'abandonment' by her anger" and rejection.210 Mothers throughout the South Pacific are said to "hold their small infants facing away from them and toward other people while the mother speaks for them rather than to them."211 Obviously the infant is an extension of the mother's body, not an independent human being at all. "No one says very much to babies,"212 and when they begin to walk, they are felt to be abandoning the parent and are emotionally rejected. As Hippler puts it,

I never observed a single adult Yolngu caretaker of any age or sex walking a toddler around, showing him the world, explaining things to him and empathizing with his needs. While categorical statements are most risky, I am most certain of this.213

This emotional rejection and lack of verbalization has been widely noted among infanticidal mode parents in simple societies.214 When the baby stops being a breast-object, it simply doesn't exist. In my New Guinea childhood files, for instance, I have over 1,000 photos from books and articles showing adults and children-including one book of over 700 photos of Fore children taken randomly so as to capture their daily lives.215 Virtually all the photos capture the adults continuously caressing, rubbing, kissfeeding and mouthing the children's bodies, but only two show an adult actually looking at the child. Not a single one shows a mutual gaze between the adult and child which Schore contends is the basis of formation of the self. The photos illuminate Read's description of the "customary greeting, a standing embrace in which both men and women handled each other's genitals...hands continually reaching out to caress a thigh, arms to encircle a waist, and open, searching mouths hung over a child's lips, nuzzled a baby's penis, or closed with a smack on rounded buttocks."216 This emotional abandonment is further confirmed by Boram, who recorded every detail of a typical day of one six-year-old Ok girl. Interactions or talking to the mother were found to be rare, while the child spent the day going about looking for food, hunting frogs and cooking them, "fondling" babies and pretending to nurse piglets from her breast. Boram concludes that for Ok children "most of the day is spent simply in killing time..."217 It is not surprising that he also mentions that tantrums are frequent and suicide is high among these children, and that he observed many "episodes of insanity" in Ok children.218

So difficult is it for New Guinea area mothers to relate to their children as independent human beings that they are unable to feed them regularly once they are off the breast. Like contemporary pedophiles, they do not so much love their children as need them, so when the parents' needs end, the child can be emotionally abandoned. When still on the breast, New Guinea children are constantly being force-fed, so that nursing "becomes a battle in which the mother clutches the child, shaking it up and down with the nipple forced into its mouth until it must either suck or choke."219 As soon as they are off the breast, however, the mothers no longer need them as erotic objects, and they have difficulty understanding that their children need three meals a day. Although there is almost always plenty of food to eat for both adults and children, "several authors have stressed what appears to be a nonchalant attitude toward infant and child feeding on the part of Papua New Guinea mothers,"220 so that "over 90 percent of children under five have been measured as having mild to moderate undernutrition."221 In one careful statistical study, almost all children remained underweight for years, because "none were fed three times daily as clinic sisters encourage..."222 In the New Guinea-Australian culture area, meat, in particular, is rarely given to children, being eaten up by the adults first.223 Hippler reports that "parents eat all the substantial food...before the child can get any. not believe that deaths result from anything but sorcery, they make no connection between these practices and childhood illness and attendant death."224 In a careful study of Kwanga child malnutrition, two-year-olds who had been weaned were found to average only two meals a day, so that child mortality was extremely high.225 Nurses in the clinic kept telling the mothers, "Why don't you tell me the truth? You do not feed your child properly!" but the mothers didn't seem to comprehend why it was necessary to feed them regularly each day, and so the weaned children kept losing weight and even dying.226

In her book on child malnourishment in New Guinea, Patricia Townsend cites all the studies showing the majority of children are underweight between age one and four, emphasizing that the toddler group-after weaning-are most malnourished, since the mothers do not feed them regularly.227 Children are constantly being described by observers as throwing tantrums "for hours" trying to get food, "standing in the middle of the house floor and shrieking monotonously until someone stops work to cook for them."228 Anthropologists ascribe these constant hunger tantrums to children's willfulness, agreeing with a chuckle with the natives' saying that "young children have only one thought/emotion, which is to eat,"229 unable to empathize with the despair of the hungry, unloved, lonely, rejected children they see throwing the tantrums.

Similarly, once the infant is off the breast both the parents and the anthropologists seem unable to empathize with the feelings of the children as they are subjected to all kinds of tortures which anthropologists dismiss as merely "cultural practices" and therefore consider as unmotivated. For instance, babies in many areas have their skulls deformed, highly elongated with painfully tight bindings that are renewed every day for months.230 Making infants crawl over dead bodies and terrorizing little children with frightening masks and threats of devouring witches is quite common.231 Children are also regularly described as "shouted at, jerked roughly, slapped, shaken" bitten and hit with sticks232 yet the standard study on child abuse in New Guinea claims they are "rarely abused" because although "it is not uncommon for adults to strike children...there is no such thing as a formal spanking."233 Since only formal disciplinary spankings as we administer them in the West seem to count as child abuse, anthropologists regularly conclude that "child virtually unknown" in New Guinea.234

Most New Guinea area parenting practices from infanticide and maternal incest to the inability to feed properly-are shared with other primate parents, thus lending further credence to the conclusion that they still have a childrearing mode that is rather close to that of our earliest ancestors. The inability of most non-human primates to share food with their children after weaning is well established. Jane Lancaster sums up primate post-weaning behavior:

...adults are not responsible for seeing that young have enough to eat...[even] an injured or sick youngster still has to feed itself and get itself to water or it will die virtually before the eyes of other group members. Individuals who would risk their own lives in defense of the youngster are psychologically incapable of seeing its need for them to bring it food and water. Once weaned, then, young monkeys and apes must feed themselves...235

The primate mother nurses her infant only for the erotic pleasure it affords, not for "love" of her child. Like the New Guinea mother, she has difficulty conceiving that her child is hungry. After the suckling period, primate mothers almost never give any kind of food to their infants. "Even gorilla infants have never been seen being given solid food by their mothers."236 In fact, primate mothers are often observed to grab food from their offspring, who must get by on "tolerated scrounging" of leftovers.237 Like New Guinea mothers, chimpanzee mothers are described as losing interest in their children when off the breast, often rejecting and punishing them.238 The result of this severe maternal rejection is that there is a "weaning crisis" for primates when they abruptly must learn to find food for themselves, a deadly rejection process that kills from one-third to three-fourths of them before they reached adulthood.239

Primates parallel human infanticidal mode parents in other ways too. They frequently give away their infants a practice called "alloparenting,"240 which often results in the infant being abused, abandoned or killed.241 Primates are also infanticidal, cannibalistic and incestuous.242 Indeed, there appears to be only a relatively small degree of childrearing evolution between our nearest primate ancestors and infanticidal mode parenting such as that in New Guinea. Lovejoy243 cites the high infant mortality of primates during weaning he places it at around 40 percent as evidence that early hominids estimated at over 50 percent infant mortality244 had difficulty feeding their children once off the breast, just as New Guinea mothers still do today.

After the mother rejects the child during weaning, he or she must rely on peers in child gangs for much of its needs. A cross-cultural study of this pattern among preliterate groups concludes:

In one ethnography after another there is a description of intense mother-infant contact...until weaning, and outright maternal hostility and rejection afterward...

Children typically eat with other children in these groups after weaning, often in outright scramble competition when food is scarce. The description of this pattern usually goes with assurances by the ethnographer that the child receives 'emotional support' from peers and from others in the group. Our bet is that any of these kids would prefer a square meal to emotional support. The point here is that many people in the world do not share our American middle-class view that children need and deserve a lot of input. They treat children much as other primate parents treat their children...245

Throughout the New Guinea area, children are "not only turned loose for the daylight hours but also actively discouraged from returning to the parents" and so are forced to join "a transient gang."246 As is usual in gangs, the older children "lord it over" the younger, often beat them and make them their servants,247 particularly their sexual servants, since they were used to constant sexual stimulation by their parents as studies have shown, "incestuous children are uncommonly erotic...easily aroused...and readily orgasmic."248 Malinowsky was one of the first to report sexual intercourse beginning at age four in the Trobriand Islands, where "children are initiated by each other, or sometimes by a slightly older companion, into the practices of sex," including oral stimulation, masturbation, and anal or vaginal intercourse.249 Others since then have confirmed the pattern:

The boys poke sticks into each others' anuses...If parents see boys having sex with little girls they joke about it and laugh. 'Good. You can do it. Your mothers and fathers did this...'"250

The younger children are of course raped by the older ones, although this is never obvious in the language of the anthropologist, who usually says some neutral phrase like "they are typically initiated into intercourse by older and more experienced children,"251 as though the older child was only a helpful teacher. The same misleading language is used when describing young girls "subjected at about age eight to ten to serial sexual intercourse by adult procure sexual fluids for rubbing on the girl's groom-to-be, to help him grow,"252 as though this weren't simple gang rape. Some anthropologists even claim that the raping of little children by child gangs is "healthy," because, as Kurtz puts it, "the group seduces a child out of immaturity by offering and imposing on that child multiple experiences of sexual pleasure..."253

Studies of children who have been sexually abused by their parents show they were "highly eroticized"254 and often restaged their own seductions on other children. In New Guinea, the child gangs often had their own houses in which to have sex, as in the Trobriand Islands, where "young people usually do not sleep in their parents' houses. They move to a small house next door or a few doors away...In this way, they have the freedom of their own sleeping quarters to which they can bring their lovers."255 Roheim says both boys and girls are constantly sexual, even with their siblings:

Homosexuality plays a conspicuous role in the life of a young girl [using] little sticks wound around at the end so as to imitate the glans penis...All the virgin girls do this...One of them plays the male role and introduces the artificial penis into her cousin's vagina...they then rub their two clitorises together...At the age of eight or ten boys and girls frequently have their own little houses...They do it first to their little sisters. Sipeta says that her older brothers every evening before they went to the girls would pet her this way.256

Boys throughout the Melanesian and Polynesian areas take great pride in "deflowering virgins," both individually and in gangs, and often "count coup" as to how many little girls they have deflowered."257 Parents encourage the rape; Berndt describes how "children...are invited by a mother, older brother or sister, or some other person, to indulge in sexual intercourse with an adult or a child of the same age..."258 Gang raping children is often done as part of rituals, as when Australian aborigines mutilate and rape their young girls:

A most severe form of mutilation, introcism, was formerly practiced among Australian aborigines...the vagina of a pubertal girl was slit with a knife or torn open by the fingers of the operator, the purpose being to enlarge the vaginal opening. This painful operation was immediately followed by forced intercourse with a group of young men.259

Women, too, rape young boys; Firth describes how women would "cover the child and herself with a blanket and insert his penis in her genitals. She lies on her back, holds the child on top of her and with her hand works his loins."260 Anthropologists occasionally admit that child rape in New Guinea might be "sometimes associated with violence,"261 but usually claim it is voluntary, as when Knauft claims rape of young girls by "between five and thirteen men" was "willingly submitted the belief that it was necessary to enhance their personal fertility as well as that of the Marind cosmos."262

When New Guinea boys begin to want to individuate at around seven years of age, adult men, identifying with their desires to grow, begin to experience severe growth panic and restage in various ways their maternal incest traumas. Mainly in the less-evolved South and Eastern Lowlands, this restaging takes the form of oral and anal rape of the boys, as men force their penis into the boy's mouth or anus the same way the mothers used them in forced erotic feeding as infants. Like pederasts who have been psychoanalyzed,263 New Guinea men fear women as incestuous, engulfing mothers whose "menstrual blood could contaminate and kill them." By raping boys, these pederasts reverse their own being passively used as erotic objects and instead actively use the boys sexually. Thus the boys become sexual objects devoid of the mother's frightening configurations, while restaging the maternal rape of their own infancy. Both the boys and the men recognize the rape as being like breast-feeding, rationalizing it as necessary for growth, telling the little boys, "You all won't grow by yourselves; if you sleep with the men you'll become a STRONG man...when you hold a man's penis, you must put it inside your mouth-he can give you semen...It's the same as your mother's breast milk."264 Among many groups, the fellatio of men by young boys occurs daily and continues until puberty, when he then can begin raping younger boys himself. The swallowing of semen is so important that men often blame accidents on not drinking enough. As one Juvu tribesman said about a man who had fallen from a tree, "He didn't drink semen: that's why he fell." His friend agreed: "I still never stop thinking about semen or eating it...[a] man who didn't [swallow semen] enough will die quickly, like an airplane without gasoline!"265

The notion that boys must be given semen to stop them from growing into females has a certain logic to New Guinea people. Like all maternally incested children, they feel that being used sexually by their mothers "pollutes their blood" and since the boys consider themselves responsible for the seduction they feel "full of women's pollution" and need semen to "get mother's poison" out of them. Since as infants they were used erotically by always being rubbed against the mothers' bodies, they were intimately familiar with her menstrual fluids, remaining with her in the menstrual hut,266 and so an explicit association is made between menstrual fluids and poison. Everyone therefore agrees that women's blood is so poisonous that sexual intercourse at the wrong time can kill men and that wives can and do kill their husbands and children by giving them polluted food.267 Since attacks by witches and spirits "follow the path of menstrual blood,"268 boys who remain "polluted" by mother's blood are open to death by witchcraft, so during their whole lives this incestuous "maternal pollution" must be constantly removed through semen ingestion and blood-letting rituals where men make incisions in the boys' bodies and rub sperm into the cuts.269

Anthropologists often state that orally and anally raping boys is both chosen by and beneficial to them. Although occasionally they reveal that the boys "fear punishment"270 and that their "first response to doing fellatio was fear that is how most boys respond," they nevertheless conclude that the boys "do not just accept fellatio: they want it."271 Like most pederasty defenders, they depict the boys as "enthusiastically anticipating" their rape,272 and as "eager to suck" mens' penises and "enjoying" the rape with "fine erotic enthusiasm."273 Oral and anal rapes are said to be "grounded in personal affection rather than obligation"274 and "have a positive effect on the boy's development."275 Some of the anthropologists are open pedophile supporters, who praise the "positive tradition of paedophilia over the last hundred years" and term pederasty an "enormously nurturant relationship" in interviews in Paedika: The Journal of Paedophilia,276 one even having been prosecuted for bringing New Guinea boys back to the U.S. and sexually abusing them.277 Of the several hundred anthropologists whose work I have researched, I found none who said pederasty was detrimental, agreeing instead with the New Guinea natives that it was both desired by and beneficial to the victims.

Even in those Highland areas that do not have ritualized pederasty, growth is psychologically felt to be dangerous to adults, and so older children are everywhere tortured and mutilated as punishment for their individuation and independence. Although these tortures are called "initiation rituals" by anthropologists, they are less "initiations" into anything than punishments for growing up. They dramatize a cleansing of maternal poisons so boys can now be used by men for their projections. Most of them restage maternal traumas in one way or another. One ritual begins by blaming their mothers as "evil defilers" of the boys who "have polluted and weakened their sons" with their bad menstrual blood.278 Another describes how "bad polluted maternal blood" is purged from prepubertal Gahuka-Gama boys:

The boys, placed in the front ranks of the vast crowd, see a score of naked men standing in the river exhibiting their erect penises and masturbating. Then, several of the men stride into the river where one takes two rolls of razor-sharp leaves and pushes them up and down his nostrils until blood gushes into the water...each held firmly by his sponsor, while another man thrusts the leaves back and forth in his nostrils until the boys bleeds profusely into the river. After all of the initiates have been bled, [a man] doubles a length of cane and thrusts it down his esophagus like a sword swallower and draws it back and forth until he vomits into the water. The dangerous procedure is then carried out on the initiates who are now weakened and slack from the bleeding....

As soon as the boys are out of sight, the men verbally attack the women for being bad mothers and delaying their sons' growth. A warrior holds up a bunch of leaves soaked by the blood from the boys' noses, and...two men seize one of the mothers and a warrior forces the bloody leaves down her throat while cursing her...279

The ritual both demonstrates "we are all bleeding, polluted mothers here" and tries to undo the feeling of being polluted by cutting the boys with the razor-sharp leaves in their nostrils and the cane-sword down their throats. The boys understandably "tremble, urinating and defecating in fear" during their torture.280 Yet the feeling of still being incested, polluted maternal sex-objects remains with them, since so many continue to bleed their noses, tongues or penises periodically the rest of their lives.281

Mead describes Arapesh men cutting their penises to remove bad blood every time they experience growth anxiety: after first intercourse with his wife, after erecting a new house, after initiating a growing youth, etc.282 The cutting is clearly to remove the mother's polluted blood; as one informant put it, "We say [the mother's] blood and bad words enter our skin and lodge there, so we expel it [by bleeding]."283 Boys are told: "You [initiates] have been with your mothers...they have said 'bad words' to you, their talk has entered your noses and prevented you from growing big."284 Some groups additionally purge boys by such rites as penis-bleeding and the "painful procedure of lying with open eyes under a jet of water to cleanse the eyeballs" of female pollution.285

That New Guinea teenage boys continue to cut themselves, often their penises, after initiation rites shows they are self-injurious as punishment for the incest they have endured. Clinical studies of self-cutters show "cases of self-injurious behavior are rare in...children who have not been physically or sexually abused."286 Case histories of incest victims who slash themselves sound very much like how New Guinea youth slashing their penises with crab claws:

Leigh, now 25, had been sexually abused by her father...her mother told her that only a "whore" would accuse her father of such things. "So here I was, 11 years old, standing in front of a mirror thinking, 'You filthy slut! You deserve everything you get!' Then I'd go into a trance almost, and cut my arms and legs with a razor blade. Later I cut my breast and even my genitals because I learned that those were the parts of my body that made me a whore."287

Although fathers may use their girls sexually, they do not use their boys although in some areas fathers rent out their boys to other men who do use them sexually, establishing a "anus father" and "anus son" relationship.288

Genital mutilation, which is always punishment for growing up, also occurs in New Guinea. It is not, as Reik contends, "a punishment for incestuous wishes,"289 but rather a self-punishment for real maternal incest for which children blame themselves. Genital mutilation rituals are cross-culturally correlated with exclusive mother-infant skin-to-skin sleeping arrangements, where the father sleeps separate, so the mother is likely to use the child incestuously.290 In the New Guinea area, they are sometimes as brutal as the infamous Australian subincision, where the penis is cut the length of its underside until it "splits open like a boiled frankfurter."291 The long wound on the penis is then called a boy's "vagina,"292 and the men have intercourse in it.293 In other New Guinea tribes who mutilate genitals, it usually involves cutting little pieces of the penis off. Girls, too, are sometimes initiated by having their noses bled with leaves or having stinging nettles thrust up their vulvas before they are gang raped.294 Subincision in the whole culture area is said to be accompanied by the mutilation of the girls' genitals; according to Montagu, it was "once widely practiced throughout Australia and Oceania."295 Whether in the form of painful inch-long body incisions, "often over a hundred,"296 or genital mutilations, New Guinea girls, too, are cut as punishment for being sexual and for purging poisonous blood.297

Other punishments during initiations for growing children include brutal beating with sticks and stinging nettles, sometimes for months or years, being burned over a fire, being starved and tortured, being made to swallow lime which severely blisters the boys' mouths and throats, shooting a miniature sharp-pointed arrow up girls' urethras until blood is drawn, pushing barbed grass up the urethra, cutting the glans penis with a crab claw, etc.298 Although one anthropologist mentioned that "undoubtedly these rituals are exceedingly painful,"299 they are usually considered as neither nor as very traumatic to the children. Sometimes the "rebirth" of the boys by the purgings is accomplished by first crawling through the legs of the men and sometimes it is in the form of other death-and-rebirth rituals. In either case, the rituals are a restaging of one of the most powerful traumas New Guinea children must endure: watching their infanticidal mothers strangle or drown their newborn siblings. The ritual first restages the murder of the newborn and then undoes it by showing that men can bring babies back to life (while mothers only want to kill babies.)

The brutal initiation punishments are often combined with gang rape by men-either, as in the Trans-Fly area, oral rape by all villagers or visitors (combined with the pouring of lime down their throats to ensure the boys do not become pregnant) or as in the Marind, where anal rape is limited to the uncles.300 Initiations are also often followed by war raids,301 sometimes a cannibalistic headhunt, to demonstrate to the boys how through group violence they can actively identify with the infanticidal, devouring mother and kill and eat people rather than being passively killed or eaten by her. Bloch describes this transformation from victim alter to killer alter in his book, Prey Into Hunter:

the transformation of the initiates from victims into killers is a typical aspect of these shouting that they are spirits arrive as if from the forest and chase the children, maltreating them. The intruders are terrifying: they advance biting and assaulting...and shouting 'Bite, bite, bite'. Meanwhile the parents beg the spirits not to 'kill' the children. The reason that it is believed that the ritual may very possibly lead to the death of the children [is] that this indeed happens not infrequently....[Therefore] from having been victims the children have become murderers...302

In addition to the brutality of persecutory initiation rituals, daily life with parents is full of physical and psychological abuse. One group of childhood memories tape recorded by one anthropologist regularly features "parents harshly punishing" children, the following being typical: "She grabbed my arm, twisted it and bit one of the small veins..." (mother); "they beat me until I was half-dead [then] tied me to a tree and left me there for the night" (both parents); "He kicked me very hard and I fell over a large rock and hurt myself very badly. 'Kill her and throw her away!' he said. When we return to Dandipe we will still have plenty of other children to replace her." (father)303 Since empathy with children's feelings is nearly absent, gratuitous mutilation of the children is common, such as tightly binding newborn infants heads for months to elongate the skull or chopping or biting off infant's fingers while mourning.304 These kinds of brutal daily abuses, added to the various types of ritual pederasty, torture and mutilation, are so widespread that the conclusion in the standard anthropological work on cross-cultural child abuse that there is a "virtual absence of child abuse in New Guinea"305 appears quite inexplicable.

Like all children who experience incest, torture and severe physical abuse, New Guinea children only manage to retain their sanity by constructing various alters as they grow up, which contain split-off identifications and selves that are experienced as separate from their central selves. When they are incested and raped, for instance, they split off the horror into a victim alter and an abuser alter-which then abuses other children when they become teenagers. Pedophiles who are in therapy often reveal they switch into their abuser alters when raping children:

At the start of therapy, Jennifer experienced repeated flashbacks of a gang rape at about age four...She had alters representing the rapists as well as herself as the victim. These alters had imagined themselves to be perpetrators in order to avoid experiencing the pain of the rape....Jennifer's abuse...included sexual and physical abuse at home, by all family members. There was also systematic, ritualistic abuse by a Satanic cult in which her family was involved as well as pornographic film-making...we went through her memories of abusing the little boys she had baby-sat...this abuse caused pleasure to some alters and pain to others...Jennifer's system was able to identify that pedophilic desires belonged to alters whose only pleasant life experience was that of sexually abusing younger children. They saw the little boy in the shelter as vulnerable and neglected, and they felt they cared for him. They thought their sexual abuse of him would be a caring act, something he would find pleasant compared to what Jennifer had been through.306

Anthropologists regularly notice that New Guinea adults regularly switch into alters "It was as if someone had turned a switch in these people. We thought we knew them, and all of a sudden they were acting in ways we didn't understand at all"307 and often comment on the natives' own descriptions of what they call their "hidden self." It is widely recognized that the "public persona one presents to others is not only different from, but a deliberate mask of...the divided self..."308 But because anthropologists are unaware of the clinical literature on multiple selves they do not call them "alters," saying, "In probably all Melanesian cultures...there is not one 'true' self but rather many selves...[however] English lacks a [word for] dual or multiple self."309

Since Poole is the only anthropologist who actually interviews children about their inner life, his descriptions of their formation of alters during Bimin-Kuskusmin childhood are especially valuable. This tribe recognizes that people have hidden alternate personalities, called finiik and khaapkhabuurien, that "temporarily depart from the body to wander abroad...during dreams, illnesses, trances, and other forms of mystical experience."310 One five-year-old child, whose mother constantly masturbated him and whose father beat him, learned that his twin had been killed by his mother at birth and constructed an "imaginary unborn sibling" alter "as an adversary, scapegoat, surrogate, confidant, companion, friend, and twin."311 Like all multiples, he used this consoling alter to reduce his anxiety that his mother might kill him too. For instance, one day after he watched his father-who was a renowned killer and cannibal-beating his mother bloody, he "rushed shrieking frantically to his mother, and began caressing her abdomen. Then he began to press his mouth against her navel and to call to Fuut'tiin, his imaginary unborn sibling."312 When he was depressed, he took Poole into the forest and introduced him to his many alters, including a "person-in-the-stone" and "a red bird who told him secrets," and told him about being possessed by witch alters that appeared both in dreams and in waking life.313

Switching into alters is the basis for all political and religious behavior. New Guinea natives recognize this when they say things like "the khaapkhabuurien may sometimes become detached from the body in dreams, shadows, reflections, spirit possessions, trances, and illnesses..."314 When one becomes a sorcerer or witch, one enters a trance state and switches into persecutory alters-called "familiars"-termed the "key concept" for understanding New Guinea shamanistic religion.315 One of the main purposes of the various "initiation rituals" is to coordinate individual persecutory and victim alters, substituting shared group alters. When, for instance, young warriors go out on headhunting raids they practice switching as a group into killing alters through "special magic, which places the fighters in a trance-like state of dissociation in which they became capable of extreme, indiscriminate violence [which] made them capable of killing even their own wives and children..."316 They are often amnestic of being in their alter, and "speak of the aftermath of the fighting as a kind of re-awakening or recovery of their senses. They claim not even to have perceived the enemy corpses until the magic was removed and 'our eyes became clear again, and we saw all the fine men and women we had killed'."317 Thus they can be friendly to anthropologists at one moment and vicious warriors or cannibals the next, after switching into their murderous, devouring alters.

New Guinea social, religious and political institutions are primarily constructions by men to defend against maternal engulfment fears through shared beliefs and rituals. Institutions such as war, headhunting, cannibalism, witch scares, shamanism, and gift exchange are all made up of dream objects and projected alters that are experienced as ghosts, witches, shamans, warriors, enemies and magical leaders. They regularly speak to dream-figures, both in dreams and afterwards, and regularly hallucinate ghosts and witches. Because so much of their emotional life is contained in their alters, they cannot for long stay out of them-it isn't that they are just "attached to the group" as anthropologists claim. It's that only while in a group trance can they rejoin their split-off alters, inheritors of their developmental traumas. So complete is the domain of their social trance and so total their struggles with their projected fears that little energy has been available to produce cultural innovation, so they have remained in the infanticidal psychoclass long after most groups have evolved beyond it. Male fear of and hostility toward women in New Guinea has been so overpowering that routinely battered mothers have had little ability to produce the "hopeful daughters" who could evolve childhood and psyche.

It is no coincidence that what is arguably the most anti-female culture area in the world is also one of the least culturally evolved. Sambia men, for instance, fear that menstrual blood may penetrate into their urethra during intercourse,318 and are certain everything bad that happens to them, especially any sickness, is due to contact with dreaded women's blood. Foods that are either red or hairy are often avoided due to their resemblance to the vagina.319 The fear of women begins in childhood:

A mother's speech and harangues have a lethal power. A woman's airstream emitted while speaking is thought to emerge from her blood-filled caverns. If it is directed-particularly at close range during anger-toward boys, the boys are believed harmed: simply by inhaling those insults and air...Likewise, women pollute boys simply by lifting their legs in proximity to them, emitting vaginal smells that boys can breathe in: and, for this reason, men keep their noses plugged during coitus, avoiding incorporation of the vaginal smell they describe as most harmfully foul...320

The resulting fear of and rage toward women lead to widespread wife-beating,321 the routine torture and execution of women suspected of poisoning men322 and the high female suicide rates so characteristic of small-scale societies, often reaching 10-25 percent of adult women's deaths.323 Most anthropologists report extremely high rates of "violence toward women, including rape, murder, and attacks upon their genitals."324 Men's constant fears of semen depletion by women are behind the belief that boys need to swallow semen during fellatio to become male.325 Intercourse is often reported as brief, ending in a minute or two, so they don't get poisoned.326 Marital fidelity is rare, one girl saying to her mother: "All the men have intercourse with you and your cunt is wide open...I've seen you dripping their semen about. I've seen them all have intercourse with you."327 When a woman commits adultery, they are often severely punished "by having burning sticks thrust into their vaginas, or they were killed by their husbands."328 Although infidelity is the rule, the reason is little understood, with anthropologists resorting to such rationalizations as "frequent sexual intercourse and sexual partner change is in fact the norm, perhaps because there is so little else to do in one's spare time."329

Wars are called "the breath of life" and are fought to repair their fragmented self and to restore potency, mainly through ambush, with warriors spearing unarmed men, women and children for wholly imagined grievances that restage their own childhood traumas. Groups decide to go to war whenever they switch into their persecutory alters, mainly on occasions of extreme growth panic, such as after initiations, new tasks such as building new houses or expanding gardens, or during leadership crises, in the fourth, upheaval leadership stage, when the leader seems weak. Anything new can trigger a raid, though it is usually blamed on family disputes or other rationalizations-though studies of war usually avoid any analysis of motivation, calling it a "psychological black box," since "nearly every man nurses a grievance that can precipitate war."330 Estimates of deaths from war can top 35 percent of adult deaths, the highest rates on record.331 Male homicide rates also reach the highest levels anywhere in the world.332 Knauft, for instance, found that over 60 percent of middle-age adult Gebusi males he interviewed had already committed one or more homicide.333 Distrust of others in many tribes is widespread, for good reason, since most people have killed or poisoned someone and are liable to again.334 "Both men and women are volatile, prone to quarreling and quick to take offense at a suspected slight or injury."335 Shame the result of being used as an erotic object in childhood is the central social feeling, "feeling exposed, naked before others,"336 so that in New Guinea, as elsewhere, imaginary humiliations are involved in most social violence. Men cling to their various solidarity arrangements to counter engulfing, poisonous women, because "Women represent an enemy, the enemy, and aggression is based on opposition to them. At every stage of the developmental cycle, men have an internal, united organization as reference; women and external enemies are the target of concern, they are conceptually equivalent."337 Recurrent group-psychotic episodes of witchcraft poison fears are epidemic throughout the area as maternal engulfment anxieties due to periodic growth panics peak. Retribution for imagined magical sorcery attacks is "personal, immediate and uncompromisingly vicious. The assailants spring on their victim from ambush, brutally overpower him, jab poisons directly into his body, and sometimes twist or rip out organs,"338 thereby paying back their infanticidal and incestuous mothers for early traumatic hurts. The "witch" is in fact simple possession, what would be diagnosed in our society as an alter "inhabiting" the body along with one's "real" self:

"Real people" were wary of those suspected of witchcraft and desperately afraid of convicted and confessed witches. They believed that a witch could kill simply by staring at a person. They believed, too, that the kum inhabiting the body of a witch could arbitrarily leave and leap into the body of a bystander forcing him or her to perform the actions attributed to witches. Some of the persons accused of witchcraft admitted that they had indeed harboured a kum but that it had left them...339

When inhabited by a violent persecutory alter, warriors join in a social trance that acts out their need to kill, regardless of object. Harrison writes of violence in New Guinea tribes:

Headhunting raids required special magic, which placed the fighters in a trance-like state of dissociation and relieved them of accountability for their actions; it was supposed to make them capable of killing even their own wives and children. long as the magic was in effect, the capacity to kill was quite indiscriminate and turned the fighters into a dangerous menace to all other people, including their own families.340

That war among New Guinea natives-as among others-is not about anger but about the restoration of disintegrated selves caused by growth panic is most obvious in cannibalism, where the penis, tongue and muscles of the enemy were often eaten "to absorb the victim's strength."341 It is good to have powerful enemies, they say, because they are good to kill and eat.342 At the same time, all war restages early traumas, including infanticide as the Sambia myth says, "Numboolyu's wife, Chenchi, killed her first male child...Because she killed the first male child, we now fight-war."343 Like contemporary cults that kill and eat babies,344 training for killing children in New Guinea begins early. Mead reports: "It was considered necessary that every Tchambuli should in childhood kill a victim, and for this purpose live victims, usually infants or young children, were purchased from other tribes...The small boy's spearhand was held by his father, and the child, repelled and horrified, was initiated into the cult of head-hunting."345 Whiting says "most Kwoma children actually experience a raid in which some acquaintance or relative is killed and decapitated..."346 Many Fore children died of kuru, because they were forced to eat the brains of the dead.347 The genitals, too, were choice morsels of cannibals, the victim's penis being eaten by the women and the vagina by the men; the children are reported to have had horrible nightmares after witnessing the feast.348 The perverse ritual was so sexualized that Berndt reports that during the cannibalistic feast men sometimes copulate with the dead women's bodies they are about to eat and women pretend to copulate with the dead men's penis before eating it.349 This is similar to the cannibalism of Jeffrey Dahmer, who also ritualized the killing and eating of body parts of his homosexual partners, saying "it made me feel as if they were even more a part of me."350 So powerful is this notion of internalization through cannibalism that Meigs says among the Hua "it is feared that if a person fails to eat the corpse of his or her same-sex parent, that person...will become stunted and weak."351 Obviously, eating the body of one's parent or of a friend is an extremely primitive form of repairing emotional loss: "When a good man died our bodies ached with hunger. We ate him and the pain cooled."352

The over 700 distinct cultures in New Guinea show a definite if complex range of evolutionary stages of childrearing, psyche and society. The evolutionary ladder ranging from early to middle infanticidal mode-generally runs from the more southern and eastern "semen belt" of maternal incest and pederasty to the more evolved northern and western highlands "Big Man" areas. 353 Over the millennia, the more advanced parents migrated north and west, and those who did not evolve and who preferred the more violent, pederastic, less organized southern and eastern areas either remained there or drifted back from more advanced groups. Childrearing patterns show a definite areal distribution, centering on how much the mothers cling to their children: "In eastern highlands societies, where initiation is longest and most elaborate, boys appear to remain with their mothers and sleep in women's houses for a longer time than do boys in the western highlands where initiation is absent...[often in the east] men had little contact with their sons until the boys were ten years old or older [but] in some western highlands societies, boys left their mothers earlier and much more gradually...boys moved to men's houses at about five years of age..."354 This pattern follows Richman's cross-cultural findings that "as cultures evolve, the mother holds and makes physical contact against their infants less and talks more to them."355 Because men in the less evolved areas were so sexually aroused by watching breast-feeding infants356 and because contact with children was considered polluting,357 they tended more either to avoid children, perhaps "only poking at it with a stick,"358 or just use them sexually pederasty being found in "nearly all Lowlands cultures or groups..."359 This confirms the cross-cultural finding that fathers tend to be more emotionally involved with children and use them as objects less as one goes up the evolutionary level of societies.360 Fathers in southern areas will sometimes be described by the anthropologist as "bestowing his attentions" on his infant children, but then when the "attention" is described it usually turns out to be something like sucking its face or mouth, not helping it grow: "He will take it up and...mumble its face in the full-lipped manner which is an acknowledged form of caress...When the child is already running about and showing its independence, however, the father's interest seems to wane."361 Fathers in the more evolved areas, in contrast, care more for their children from infancy, as in the Trobrianders, whose fathers are described by both Malinowsky and Weiner as "beloved, benevolent friends" to their children, "loving and tender" toward them.362 Mothers in the western highlands are somewhat less afraid of their baby's independence, so they are allowed to crawl about more often and are in slings and cradles less. Shame rather than sexuality or fear is the central emotion that describes the relationship between child and parent,363 evidence of the beginnings of a stable superego.

The cultures of these two areas are described as follows: "The production of 'men' [through pederasty and training as warriors] is seen to be the focus of cultural attention among Lowland groups, as is the production of "bigmen" {leaders of status] in the Highlands."364 The former are stuck on the evolutionary ladder between foraging and primitive horticulture, while the latter have allowed enough innovation to develop better ways of irrigating crops and fencing pigs. Feil describes how there is an "archetypal social structure, economic pattern and social environment in which male initiations and sexual hostility the eastern end and are all but absent or attenuated in the western highlands."365 Since mothers are less engulfing in western highlands, fears of their pollution and hatred of women are less and therefore women are less exploited than in the east and south.366 It is also not surprising that "In the eastern highlands, women were targets in hostile [warfare] encounters; in the western highlands, they were not.'367 These more evolved western Big Man groups are able to construct more organized political and economic structures that are far more hierarchical than in the east and south, since they can stand more innovation without triggering growth panic, and thus can accumulate the surpluses of pigs and other exchange goods that their more complex societies revolve around. To actually trust a Big Man in economic exchange or in ritual feasts only comes from reducing the incestuous and pederastic use of children and replacing abandonment with the beginnings of tolerance for individuation. Warfare is also more organized and therefore more restricted in the Big Man societies,368 sometimes occurring as inoften as every decade,369 rather than having constant headhunting, cannibalistic and other raids as the less evolved groups do.

Ceremonial exchange is centered in the more evolved Western highlands area, and is usually said to be the cause of the more cooperative western highlands cultural behavior, but why gifts are given with stingy self-interest in the east but with dramatic pride and extensive trust in the west is never explained.370 The production of valuables for exchange and the beginnings of inequalities that more hierarchical social organization involves depends crucially on men's increasing ability to form male emotional systems that are effective in binding and reducing their fears of engulfing women, ultimately engulfing mothers. If these fears are overwhelming, all men can do is endlessly try to restore masculinity by raids and initiation tortures, whereas in more evolved groups "ceremonial exchange rather than killing is a way of asserting individual prowess."371 If they are reduced somewhat, men begin to organize defense tactics, including political and religious structures, marriage alliances outside the group, ceremonial feasts and complex extra-clan trading connections, all designed to stress that men can cling together and even innovate and create art and more advanced agricultural economies without being eaten up by women. Thus they willingly endure submission to Big Men to avoid the worse fate of maternal engulfment and disintegration.

Some of the symbolism of ceremonial exchange has been already been discussed, such as the slaughtering of thousands of pigs in rituals that restage the infanticide of newborn babies. As mentioned, pigs are considered "almost children" and are even nursed by women, so when pigs are slaughtered in an exchange feast people "mourn and weep for their 'child' when it is killed as though it were a real child."372 The ritual is an attempt to restage the infanticide in a more evolved way, by killing pigs in feasts not people in war.

The trading of shells under the leadership of Big Men also restages early traumas. Shells, like all fetishes, are said to give men a way of "undoing" the "killing of the child."373 When men launch exchanges with other men, they are said to "resurrect" the newborn babies who were killed, to "give birth" to them and send them along paths to keep them from "dying."374 The shells are of course traditional vaginal symbols, reddened with ochre to indicate poisonous menstrual blood, but they contain individuating marks that tell the tragic personal history of the maker:

The more "history" a pearlshell can display the more valuable it becomes...Men create pearlshells as they do the pearlshells to matrikin is to some extent, perhaps, a sacrifice of self, a presentation of one's own individuality to ensure a continued benevolent maternal influence...pearlshells allow men the illusion of producing wealth independently of women, even though, in the last analysis, it is women's reproduction which stimulates the flow of pearlshells.375

The shells sometimes have barkcloth bases underlying a skirt, said to be "a child attached to it," and also said to represent the "swallowing up" of men by women.376 Gift exchanges are said to have the ability "to restore a man's bodily integrity from female pollution,"377 and men fondle and gaze at their shells for hours, healing their hurts. Spending much of one's life arranging the "economically senseless"378 circulation of various gifts cleansing poison containers (gift=poison in German)-has always been a conundrum to anthropologists because their symbolic basis in early childhood tragedies has been overlooked. The shells are so powerful a group-fantasy of the restoration of potency that they are said to be like semen: "the amount of semen and shells in circulation remains the cause of much male anxiety [and] they have to be kept hidden, tightly bound and wrapped, in the gloomy recesses of men's houses, as if their fragile and transient vitality has to be protected and conserved. This attribute of pearlshells compares strongly with male fears about semen depletion..."379 Yet ceremonial exchange systems are so effective in cleansing poisons and restoring potency that they dominate the political and economic life of the western highlands.

Although New Guinea natives have evolved somewhat in the past ten millennia, they are certainly closer to the foraging and early horticultural cultures of our ancestors than the "peaceful" (actually pacified) groups in Africa that are so often used as models for early human groups. Yet the unanswered question about New Guinea remains: why have they evolved so little in the past ten millennia? They didn't get a late start, since agriculture began in New Guinea over 6,000 years ago, earlier than most other areas of the world that have vastly surpassed them in psychological and cultural evolution.380 Indeed, the first foragers were in New Guinea 40,000 years ago,381 and agriculture is considered to have developed independently there, so they actually had ecological conditions reasonably conducive to farming. It is true that they had no cereal crops nor domesticable large mammals (though they did have pigs and kangaroos),382 but they shared this lack with other Pacific areas such as Hawaii and other Polynesian islands that evolved far higher levels of civilization than New Guinea. Diamond asks the crucial question: "Why did New Guineans continue to use stone tools instead of metal tools, remain non-literate, and fail to organize themselves into chiefdoms and states?"

Diamond's answers are: (1) too few people (1,000,000), (2) too difficult terrain (swamps and jungles), and (3) too much warfare (because of fragmented groups.)383 Yet these are all conditions that cultural evolution conquers, since innovative natives elsewhere cleared jungle areas, introduced irrigation and created larger populations through more advanced political institutions. If New Guinea never reached the complex chiefdom level of Hawaii, it was because childrearing did not evolve enough to produce psychoclasses that were innovative enough to invent new cultural forms.

Diamond a priori rules out any variation in people's capacity for innovation, saying "all human societies contain inventive people."384 But if, as we have been insisting here, childrearing evolution is the clue to cultural evolution and innovation, the crux of New Guinea's problems lie in their inability to evolve good mothers and hopeful daughters. Certainly their early infanticidal mode parenting and the resulting depth of their hatred and fear of women confirms this condition currently. But how have they been able to suppress psychogenesis for so long and why have they had so few evolving mothers and hopeful daughters?

Unfortunately, the study of the history of childhood in New Guinea is totally lacking, since childhood even today is considered so ideal. Archeology and ethnohistory never mention children,385 so the basic materials needed to answer the question are simply missing. A few informed guesses is the best one can do at the moment.

To begin with, New Guinea was part of Australia when humans immigrated into it, so the parents were formed in one of the most arid regions in the world,386 subject to periodic droughts that must have had some effect in devolving parenting. This may even have been severe enough to alter the genetic makeup of parents, thus passing parenting down both genetically and epigenetically through the generations. Confirming evidence for the effects of famine on the brain wiring of fetuses is shown in the finding that babies who had prenatal exposure to famine during the Dutch Hunger Winter at the end of 1944 had higher rates of schizoid personality disorders,387 because migration of brain cells through the neural subplate was disrupted, causing the faulty connections that are usually found in schizophrenics.388 Secondly, the small size of island New Guinea may have inhibited the psychogenic pump effect, limiting migration enough so that early infanticidal mothering swamped the emergence of innovating mothers and hopeful daughters (even biologists sometimes call small islands "evolutionary traps.") And thirdly, the least evolved parenting in New Guinea is to the south, in small pederastic societies, while the most evolved is in the north, where the Trobrianders even managed to approach the level of a chiefdom. Anthropologists are puzzled as to "why the Trobriand Islanders have chiefs. They have neither exceptional population density nor agricultural productivity."389 What is relevant to this question is that while most of New Guinea came from the Australian continent and speak Non-Austronesian languages, the Trobrianders and some other nearby groups came later mainly from Tiawan via other islands and speak Austronesian languages. Taiwan was far more advanced culturally-and one can assume also in parenting-when people migrated from there to New Guinea four thousand years ago, having grain crops, true weaving, metals, the bow and arrow and even water buffaloes by 4000 B.C.390 Presumably their descendants began with a head start in childrearing compared to the natives further south of them. In nearby Austronesian-speaking Vanatinai, which was a stopover for those on their way to New Guinea, women are not feared and violence against women is rare, indicating more evolved childrearing than most of New Guinea.391

Yet these evolutionary speculations rest mainly on inferences that have yet to generate real archeological field studies, so to answer questions of relative rates of evolution of childhood and culture we must turn to the only area of the world in which the history of childhood has been studied: Europe. The evidence which I have found over the past four decades for the evolution of childhood and culture in Europe from its earliest days until today is contained in the final four chapters of this book.

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