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The Emotional Life of Nations
by Lloyd deMause

Chapter 8----The Evolution of Childrearing

"Who would not shudder if he were given the choice of eternal death or life again as a child? Who would not choose to die?"
----St. Augustine

Children throughout history have arguably been more vital, more gentle, more joyous, more trustful, more curious, more courageous and more innovative than adults. Yet adults throughout history have routinely called little children "beasts," "sinful," "greedy," "arrogant," "lumps of flesh," "vile," "polluted," "enemies," "vipers" and "infant fiends."1 Although it is extraordinarily difficult to believe, parents until relatively recently have been so frightened of and have so hated their newborn infants that they have killed them by the billions, routinely sent them out to extremely neglectful wetnurses, tied them up tightly in swaddling bandages lest they be overpowered by them, starved, mutilated, raped, neglected and beat them so badly that prior to modern times I have not been able to find evidence of a single parent who would not today be put in jail for child abuse. I have searched so hard during the past three decades for any exceptions to this extremely abusive pattern that I have offered a prize to anyone who could find even one "good mother" prior to the eighteenth century-the definition being one who would not today be incarcerated for child abuse. No one so far has claimed the prize. Instead, historians have assumed that my evidence for routinely abusive parenting must be terribly exaggerated, since if it were true it "would mean parents acted in direct opposition to their biological inheritance," and surely evolution "wouldn't be so to leave us too immature to care properly for our offspring."2

It is not surprising that the existence of widespread child abuse throughout history has been viewed with disbelief. 3 In this chapter, the historical evidence for each childrearing practice will be presented, focusing on the actual statements made by caretakers and children so that one can understand the intrapsychic reasons behind the abuse and neglect and show how parents have struggled against restaging their own childhoods and have slowly evolved the more loving, empathic childrearing which has been achieved by some families in the modern world.

The problem with the overly monolithic conception of a "patriarchy" wherein men dominate women both in society and in the family is that while no Bachofen-style "matriarchal" society has been found,4 there is little evidence that until modern times fathers have been very much present in historical families. In our promiscuous chimpanzee ancestors, fathers were quite absent in child-rearing, so there are no "families,"5 only grandmothers and mothers moving about with their children.6 It is also likely that "there were no Neandertal families to begin with,"7 since women and children lived in separate areas from the males in caves. Although Bachofen's "gynocratic state" is only slightly approximated in such tribes as the Iroquois, the Navajo, the Ashanti, and the Dahomeans,8 the families themselves in preliterate cultures are usually run by women, who often live in separate spaces from their husbands. In some, like the Ashanti, they have a "visiting which the husband and wife live with their respective mothers [and] at night the man 'visits' his wife in her house..."9 In others, men spend much of their time in their own cult houses, and women in separate family or menstrual huts, "segregating themselves of their own accord."10 Even when men lived with their wives, females took care of the children, although cross-cultural studies conclude that "in the majority of societies mothers are not the principal caretakers or companions of young children...older children and other female family members" mainly looking after them.11 Although in a few very simple hunting tribes fathers are claimed to hold their infants, it turns out they are only hallucinating being fused with their mothers, "fondling the child as its mother does. He takes it to his breast and holds it there,"12 or sucks its face in the traditional "full-lipped manner,"13 using the infant as a breast substitute but not really caretaking. Even when the children are somewhat older, fathers are generally not the ones that teach them skills: "Among the Hadza, as a typical example, boys learn their bow-and-arrow hunting knowledge and techniques and their tracking skills mainly informally from other boys"14 not their fathers.

The historical family, it turns out, cannot remotely be termed a "patriarchy" until modern times. It is in fact a gynarchy, composed of the grandmother, mother, aunts, unmarried daughters, female servants, midwives, neighbors called "gossips" who acted as substitute mothers, plus the children.15 Fathers in traditional families may sometimes eat and sleep within the gynarchy, but they do not determine its emotional atmosphere, nor do they in any way attempt to raise the children. To avoid experiencing their own domination and abuse during childhood by females, men throughout history have instead set up androcentric political and religious spheres for male-only group-fantasy activities, contributing to the family gynarchy only some sustenance, periodic temper tantrums and occasional sexual service.

Evidence of fathers playing any real role in children's upbringing is simply missing until early modern times. In antiquity, I have been unable to find a single classical scholar who has been able to cite any instance of a father saying one word to his child prior to the age of seven.16 Little children were occasionally shown as used by fathers as sensuous objects-as when in Aristophanes' Wasps the father says he "routinely enjoys letting his daughter fish small coins from his mouth with her tongue"17-but otherwise, scholars conclude, "In antiquity, women [and children] lived shut away [from men]. They rarely showed themselves in public [but] stayed in apartments men did not enter; they rarely ate with their husbands...they never spent their days together."18 In Greece, for instance, "women had a special place. Larger houses at any rate had a room or suite of rooms in which women worked and otherwise spent much of their day, the women's apartments, the gynaikonitis, which Xenophon says was "separated from the men's quarters by a bolted door."19 In two-story houses, the gynaikonitis would usually be upstairs."20 The men's dining-room, the andron, was located downstairs near the entrance, guarding the women's quarters: "Here men in the family dined and entertained male guests...Vase-paintings do not depict Greek couples eating together."21 This mainly vertical organization of most homes lasted well into the eighteenth century, when a new "structure of intimacy" began to be built, with rooms connected to each other on the same level.22

The women's area held the grandmother, the mother, the concubines, the slave nurses, the aunts and the children. Thus Herodotus could assume his reader would easily recognize families where "a boy is not seen by his father before he is five years old, but lives with the women,"23 and Aristotle could assume his readers' assent that "no male creatures take trouble over their young."24 Ancient Greek, Roman and Jewish men had all-male eating clubs where women and children were not welcome.25 Plato has Socrates suggest a possibly better home arrangement, with "dinners at which citizens will feast in the company of their children....In general, however, children ate with their mothers, not their fathers...Eating and drinking, far from offering the whole family an opportunity for communal activity, tended to express and reinforce cleavages within it."26 Boys tended to remain in the gynarchy of their own or others' homes until their middle teens.27

The husband is usually missing from the homes of most earlier societies, and not just during their frequent military service. Evelyn Reed describes the early "matrifamily" as everywhere being ruled by mothers: "The family in Egypt...was matriarchal...The most important person in the family was not the father, but the mother. The Egyptian wife was called the 'Ruler of the House'...there is no corresponding term for the husband."28 In rural Greek villages even today the mother owns the house, passes it on to her daughter as dowry, and continues to rule the house when her daughter has children.29 Indeed, the husband was rarely with his family in antiquity-legislators sometimes suggest that in order to prevent population decline it would be a good idea for husbands to visit their wives occasionally and not just have sex with boys, as in Solon's law "that a man should consort with his wife not less than three times a month-not for pleasure surely, but as cities renew their agreements from time to time."30 But for the most part, as Plutarch puts it, "Love has no connection whatsoever with the women's quarters;"31 it is reserved for pederastic relations with boys. As Scroggs summarized Greco-Roman practice, "To enter the 'women's quarters' in search of love is to enter the world of the feminine and therefore is effeminate for a male."32 Xenophon says "the women's apartments [are] separated from the men's by a bolted door..."33 As Plutarch wrote, "Genuine love has no connections whatsoever with the women's quarters."34 When Socrates asks, "Are there any people you talk to less than you do to your wife?" his answer was, "Possibly. But if so, very few indeed."35 Men stayed in the thiasos, the men's club, with other men, and had little to do with their children. Greek boys stayed in the gynarchy of their own home until they at the age of about ten were forced to be eromenos, sexual objects, in the andron of a much older man's home.36 Greek girls stayed in the gynarchy until they were about twelve, when they too were raped by a much older man, a stranger chosen for them by their family to be their husband. The father might try to enforce an occasional dominance of the gynarchy by beating the women and children, as Seneca described his father doing, usually for the most "trivial actions,"37 but usually it was the women of the household who wielded the family whip on their children.

The gynarchy ruled supreme in early homes. In Byzantium, women had separate spheres with strict exclusion of men from the family, where "men live in light and brightness, the palaestra; women live in the gynaecaeum, enclosed, secluded."38 This was even true of supposedly patriarchal Chinese families. The Chinese gynarchy was described by visitors as living in "women's apartments behind the high walls of their husbands' compounds," dominated by women who "are reputed to terrorize the men of their households and their neighbors with their fierce tempers, searing tongues, and indomitable wills...When father and son do work together, they have nothing to say, and even at home they speak only when there is business to discuss. [Otherwise] they mutually avoid each other."39 Likewise, in Indonesian families, "fathers are simply not present very much...the woman has more authority, influence and responsibility than her husband..."40 The examples can easily be extended around the world and into the Middle Ages:

the female world was highly structured, like a little monarchy-that monarchy wielded by the master's wife, the 'lady' who dominated the other women in the house. This monarchy was often tyrannical. The chronicles of French families at the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century paint a picture of shrews reigning brutally over servants whom they terrorized, and over their sons' wives whom they tormented...Indeed, a female power existed which rivaled that of men...Men were afraid of women, especially their own wives, afraid of being incapable of satisfying a being who was seen both as a devourer and as a bearer of death...41

Feminist historians have pioneered in uncovering the evidence revealing families as gynarchies, saying "the need to keep women in line revealed permanent high tension in men around a being with disquieting power."42 Men are shown as being excluded from the traditional "gynaeceum":43 the nursery, the kitchen, the work bees, even the laundry: "No man would dare approach the laundry, so feared is this group of women..."44 Women are depicted as ruling both their husbands and their children, who are often shown as fearing them,45 and while husbands are hopefully told in moralist's instruction manuals about the "Duties of a Husband" to instruct their wives, the sections on the "Duties of a Father" to care for their children are nowhere to be found until modern times.46 Most fathers agreed with Abelard, who, after he got Heloise pregnant, sent her away, admitting, "Who can bear the screams of children...Who can tolerate the unclean and continuous soilings of babies?"47 As Buchan wrote, "Men generally keep at such a distance from even the smallest acquaintance with the affairs of the nursery [and] is not ashamed to give directions concerning the management of his dogs or horses, yet would blush were he surprised in performing the same office for [his] heir..."48 Since children of the upper classes were sent out to wetnurse and then to school, many adults could agree with Talleyrand when he stated that he "had never slept under the same roof with his father and mother."49 Fathers were so distant that most could agree with Vandermonde, who said, "One blushes to think of loving one's children."50 When their children died, most fathers, like William Byrd, revealed no signs of grief, writing in their diaries the night of the death only that they had "good thoughts and good humor."51 Should a father try to play with his child, they were unable to summon the empathy needed to understand its capacities, as seen in the following typical interaction:

A gentleman was playing with his child of a year old, who began to cry. He ordered silence; the child did not obey; the father then began to whip it, but this terrified the child and increased its cries...The father thought the child would be ruined unless it was made to yield, and renewed his chastisement with increased severity....On undressing it, a pin was discovered sticking into its back.52

By the nineteenth century, some fathers began to relate to their children with some empathy, yet even they were seen as rare, as when Grigorii Belynskii was described as "the only father in the city who understood that in raising children it is not necessary to treat them like cattle."53 Even those who began at this time to criticize "paternal neglect," like John Abbott, said it was the father's sole task "to teach his children to obey their mother."54 It wasn't actually until late socializing mode fathers came along that they actually began some caretaking, pushing prams and otherwise trying to live up to the New Fatherhood proclamations of the twentieth century.55 Yet even though there are some fathers today who are helping mode parents and who spend equal time with their wives caring for their children,56 various time surveys in America still show that working fathers spend only about 12 to 18 minutes per day with their young children,57 without even counting the one-third of all babies who are born to unmarried women.58 The gynarchy, it appears, still reigns supreme, and fathers around the world have yet to seriously embrace the tasks and joys of fatherhood.

The problem with having only women raising children is that parenting is an emotionally demanding task, requiring considerable maturity, and throughout history girls have grown up universally despised. When a girl was born, said the Hebrews, "the walls wept."59 Japanese lullabies sang, "If it's a girl, stamp on her."60 In medieval Muslim cultures "a grave used to be prepared, even before delivery, beside the woman's resting place [and] if the new-born was a female she was immediately thrown by her mother into the grave."61 "Blessed is the door out of which goes a dead daughter" was a popular Italian proverb that was meant quite literally.62 Girls from birth have everywhere been considered full of dangerous pollution-the projected hatred of adults-and were therefore more often killed, exposed, abandoned, malnourished, raped and neglected than boys. Girls in traditional societies spent most of their growing up years trying to avoid being raped by their neighbors or employers and thereby being forced into a lives of prostitution. To expect horribly abused girls to magically become mature, loving caretakers when as teenagers they go to live as virtual slaves in a strange family simply goes against the conclusions of every clinical study we have showing the disastrous effects of trauma upon the ability to mother.63

As we have seen in Chapter 5, mothers earlier in history mainly saw their children as their own screaming, needy, dominating mothers-forming what Nancy Chodorow terms a "hypersymbiotic relationship"64 -wherein the child is expected to make up for all the love missing in the mother's own life, cure her post-partum depression and restore her vitality. Like acutely disturbed destructive mothers in current clinical studies who "indifferently admit the desire to abuse, rape, mutilate, or kill a child, any child,"65 mothers in the past feared their infants' crying so much they were determined to "never let a child have anything it cries for...I think it right to withhold it steadily, however much the little creature may cry...and the habit of crying would be broken."66 The need to shut up the mother's angry voice in babies lead to their being tied up, neglected and beaten. Tiny infants were experienced as being so destructive that, according to Augustine, "If left to do what he wants, there is no crime he will not plunge into."67 In fact, infants were felt to be so full of badness that when they died they were often buried under rain gutters so the water would wash off their inborn pollution.68 An average mother in the past was like the extremely disturbed mother of today, described by clinical studies, whose "death wishes she harboured unconsciously towards her [own] mother are now experienced in relation to the child [so that] death pervades the relationship between mother and child [with the mother often reporting,] 'I can remember hurling the baby down on the pillows once, and just screaming, and not caring. I wanted to kill him really...I hated the baby for constantly being there.'"69 Many mothers today admit that they must struggle against feeling "dominated, exploited, humiliated, drained and criticized by their babies," saying they sometimes "want to hurt them, get rid of them, squash them like a pancake, or beat them into silence."70 Mothers in the past, unfortunately, less often won the maternal love/hate struggle because their own formative years were so much less nurturant. The baby in the past must not need anything, but must just give love solely to the emotionally-deprived mother:

Augustus Hare's account of his childhood provides an insight into such relationships...He could never express a wish to his mother, as she would have thought it her duty to refuse it. 'The will is the thing that needs to be brought into subjection,' she said...[Once] his mother, finding him much attached to a household cat, ceremoniously hanged the cat in the garden, so that he should have no object but her to love.71

Mothers hallucinated their children as maternal breasts with such intensity that they were constantly licking and sucking their faces, lips, breasts and genitals,72 feeling so needy from their own loveless childhoods that they expected their children to care for them emotionally as they grow up. Instead, mothers confessed, "children eat you are sucked dry by children sucked me dry; all my vitality is gone."73 It is only when one realizes their own severe neglect and abuse and the extent to which their babies are poison containers for their feelings that one can begin to understand why mothers in the past routinely killed, neglected and abused their children. What is miraculous-and what is the source of most social progress-is that mothers throughout history have slowly and successfully struggled with their fear and hatred with so little help from others and have managed to evolve the loving, empathic childrearing one can find in many families around the world today.

The act of having a child is, says Rheingold, "the most forbidden act of self-realization, the ultimate and least pardonable offense," and brings with it inevitable fears of maternal retribution for one's success and individuation.74 Mothers in antiquity hallucinated female demons-Lamia, Gorgo, Striga, Empusa-who were actually grandmother alters in the mothers' heads, so jealous of their having babies that they sucked out their blood and otherwise murdered them.75 Even today peasant villages fear the outbreak of "angry, malevolent, dangerous" hallucinations that surround the newborn and threaten the mother and even keep the nursery room boarded up with the door barred to prevent the intrusion of dangerous spirits.76 All early societies invented sacrificial rituals wherein babies were tortured and killed to honor maternal goddesses, from Anit to Kali, vowing that, "although Mommy wants to kill me for having sex and making a baby, if I kill the baby instead [usually the first-born was sacrificed], I can then go on having sex and other babies with less fear of retribution."

The severely immature parents of the past felt under such constant threat for success by malevolent forces-maternal alters-that their own children were constantly being used as poison containers for their disowned feelings. As one informant in a contemporary rural Greek community put it, "When you're angry a demon gets inside of you. Only if a pure individual passes by, like a child for instance, will the bad leave you, for it will fall on the unpolluted."77 The dynamics are clear: the "demon inside you" is the alter, the "unpolluted child" is the poison container. A typical child sacrifice for parental success can be seen in Carthage, where archeologists have found a child cemetery called The Tophet that is filled with over 20,000 urns containing bones of children sacrificed by the parents, who would make a vow to kill their next child if the gods would grant them a favor-for instance, if their shipment of goods were to arrive safely in a foreign port.78 They placed their children alive in the arms of a bronze statue of "the lady Tanit...the hands of the statue extended over a brazier into which the child fell once the flames had caused its limbs to contract and its mouth to open...the child was alive and conscious when burned...Philo specified that the sacrificed child was best-loved."79

Child sacrifice was the foundation of all great religions, depicted in myths as absolutely necessary to save the world from "chaos," that is, from terrible inner annihilation anxiety as punishment for success. Maccoby's book, The Sacred Executioner: Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt, portrays the entire history of religion as dramas featuring a vengeful, bloodthirsty Sacred Executioner, demonstrating that the role of children, from Isaac to Christ, was to act as sacrifices for the sins of the parents.80 Behind even male gods demanding sacrifice are Avenging Terrible Mothers of Death, says Lederer-Belili, Inanna, Tiamat, Ishtar, Astarte, Lilith, Hathor-Sekhmet, Izanami, Chicomecoatl-all Mother alters in the brains of the new parents, demanding revenge for the hubris of daring to be a parent.81 The wealthier the family, the more children had to be sacrificed to the goddess, representing the infant's furious grandmother.82

Child sacrifices have been found from the beginning of human history: decapitated skeletons of early hominid children have been found, with evidence of cannibalism, as their parents ate them on behalf of the spirits of their life-devouring grandmothers;83 young children were buried with their skulls split by an ax at Woodhenge/Stonehenge;84 decapitated infant sacrifices to the Great Goddess were found at Jericho;85 early Arabians sacrificed their daughters to "the mothers;"86 the serpent goddess of the Aztecs demanded skull and heart sacrifice of children, including the eating of the children's bodies and covering themselves with their blood;87 Mayan and Incan sacrificed children are still being discovered in the South American mountains, along with children who have been killed by drug dealers to ward off revenge for their successful cocaine runs.88 The need to sacrifice children to ward off fears of success was so powerful that right through medieval times, when people built new buildings, walls or bridges, little children were sealed in them alive as "foundation sacrifices" to ward off the angry, avenging spirits, alters of parents who felt envious of the accomplishments of their children.89

Even when children died in the past from natural causes, the sources often reveal a deep satisfaction by the parents. Sometimes an adult recalled their mother's death wishes in their memoirs-a typical passage occurs when Leopardi remembers clearly of his mother that

When she saw the death of one of her infants approaching, she experienced a deep happiness, which she attempted to conceal only from those who were likely to blame her....When, as several times happened, she seemed likely to lose an infant child, she did not pray God that it should die, since religion forbids it, but she did in fact rejoice.90

Over and over again death wishes are revealed in the historical sources, breaking out when interacting with children. Epictetus admitted, "What harm is there if you whisper to yourself, at the very moment you are kissing your child, and say 'Tomorrow you will die?'"91 Another recalled his mother tucking him into bed nightly with the words, "Soon my son you will exchange the bed for the grave, and your clothes for a winding sheet."92 The deaths of children were rarely mourned: mothers were commonly reported to have "regarded the death of various daughters at school with great equanimity" and fathers to "cheerfully remark when two of his fifteen children died that he still had left a baker's dozen."93 Often adults recorded in their diaries a vow to have "the Lord" (the parent's parental alter) kill the child, as Cotton Mather did as each of his children died:

I resigned the Child unto the Lord; my Will was extinguished. I could say, My Father, Kill my Child, if it be thy Pleasure to do so...I had rather have him dy in his Infancy, than live in cursed and lothsome Wickedness...[my dead child is] a Family-Sacrifice...I would endeavour exceedingly to glorify God, by making a Sacrifice of the lovely Child...94

As we will see in the sections that follow on infanticide, mutilation and abandonment, parents are the child's most lethal enemy, because inside the parents' psyches lie a powerful, dangerous alter that is their own parent's death wishes toward the child.

Mothers who feel like killing their newborn children today are clinically found to be deeply depressed and lonely, because, according to Rheingold's study of 350 filicidal mothers, "It is only the fear of being a woman that can create the infanticidal impulse...having a child is the most forbidden act of self-realization...punishment is inescapable and punishment means annihilation...To appease the mother she must destroy the child, but the child is a love object too. To preserve the child she must renounce mother... She is trapped in a desperate conflict: kill mother and preserve the baby or kill the baby and preserve the mother."95 Mothers in the past routinely chose killing the baby, by the billions, driven to it by her devil alter (her own destructive mother image in her head).

In my previous articles on infanticide, I have shown that boy/girl sex ratios of preliterate tribes average 128/100, while boy/girl ratios from census and other sources in European history ranged from as high as 400/100 to 140/100 in the middle ages.96 With Indian and Chinese boy/girl ratios in the nineteenth century running at 300/100 and higher,97 and with current Asian statistics still showing over 200 million girls "missing" in the census figures,98 I have determined that it is likely that overall infanticide rates of both sexes exceeded 30 percent in antiquity and only slowly declined to the very small rate in advanced societies today.99 Multiplying these infanticide rates by the 80 billion human births in the past 100,000 years100-80 percent of them occurring before 1750, and even more of them occurring in areas with high Asian-style infanticide rates-a weighted average infanticide rate for the entire 80 billion births was likely at the very least 15 percent, or 12 billion children killed by their parents.

Even this astonishing figure is not the whole story of infanticide, however. Every study of infant death rates among children sent out to wetnurses and abandoned in foundling homes shows much higher death rates, running to over 70 per cent and higher, even in modern times.101 Doctors of every age agreed that "the most profound cause of the terrific waste of infant life [is] neglect...neglected by their own mothers and neglected by the nurses to whom they were abandoned..."102 Since parents who sent their children to wetnurse and foundling homes knew quite well they would likely not see them again-indeed, often they were sent to so-called "killing wetnurses" with a small sum of money under the tacit assumption that they would not be returned103-these "delayed infanticide" acts must be added to the estimated rate of child killing, increasing it by at the very least a third, or a total of 16 billion children killed by parental acts over the entire historical span. No wonder people in the past so often said that everywhere in their areas "you could hear coming out of the bottom of latrines and ponds and rivers the groanings of the children that one had thrown there."104

Although poverty played some part in this holocaust of children, it is doubtful if it was the main cause of child deaths. In the first place, the cost of bringing up a girl is no more than the cost of bringing up a boy, so the differential infanticide rates are certainly parental choices. When, for instance, Arabs dug a grave next to the birthing place of every new mother so "if the newborn child was a female she could be immediately thrown by her mother into the grave,"105 it was likely hatred of girls, not poverty, that was the motive. Secondly, if scarce resources were the main cause, then wealthy parents should kill less than poor. But the historical record shows exactly the opposite: historical boy/girl ratios are higher among wealthy parents,106 where economic necessity is no problem at all. Even in early modern England, the infant mortality rates for wealthy children were higher than the same rates for ordinary farmers, day laborers and craftsman.107 Thirdly, many wealthy high civilizations such as Greece, Rome, China, India, Hawaii and Tahiti are very infanticidal, especially among their elite classes. As one visitor to Hawaii reported, there probably wasn't a single mother who didn't throw one or more of her children to the sharks.108 There were even societies where virtually all newborn were killed to satisfy their overwhemling infanticidal needs, and infants had to be imported from adjoining groups to continue the society.109 Finally, many nations-like in Japan until recently-kill their children selectively in order to balance out an equal number of boys and girls, a practice called mabiki, or "thinning out" the less promising ones,110 again revealing a quite different motive than the purely economic. It is most certainly not economics that causes so many depressed women on the delivery tables even today to implore their mothers not to kill them after they have given birth.111 Women since the beginning of time have felt that their children "really" belonged to God-a symbol of the grandmother, and that "the child was a gift that God had every right to reclaim."112 When killing her child, therefore, the mother was simply acting as her own mother's avenger.

We are left, unfortunately, with what one psychoanalyst calls our "universal resistance to acknowledging the mother's filicidal drives, undoubtedly the most dreaded and uncanny truth for us to face."113 Our only defenses are denial and dissociation, like people in the past, who regularly dissociated from the emotional impact of their murder of their innocent little children by sayings such as, "Do we not cast away from us our spittle, lice and such which are engendered out of our own selves," "mad dogs we knock on the head [and] we drown even children at birth," "when children die there is no need to get is born every and let die."114 Both mothers and fathers knew their own parents demanded a death; both struggled against the grandparents' dire threat to kill them if they dare to became parents themselves. What helped the dissociation was such beliefs as denying that the babies were human, so during most of history, East and West, if the mother would kill the newborn before it took any nourishment, it wasn't considered "really born," it wasn't human yet.115

Usually it was the mother or one of the other women of the gynarchy who did the killing, in the past as in the present,116 usually violently, smashing in the baby's head, crushing it between her knees, asphyxiating it against her breasts, sitting on it, or throwing it alive into the privy, with the mother sometimes earning the nickname of "child-stabber" or "child-crusher."117 It helped to have gynecological writings like Soranus's on "How to Recognize the Newborn That Is Worth Rearing" to rationalize the infanticide.118 It helped to share the blame for the murder with your children, who were often made to help the mother kill their newborn siblings, and who would then be more likely to restage the murder upon their own newborn.119 It helped to have daemonic beliefs like those still held in rural Greece that Evil Spirits had turned the newborn into a changling, a demon baby, a Striga, which had to be strangled to protect the mother from harm.120 The mother's struggle against the urge to kill her children was (and is) usually a conscious one, and the role of the dissociated parental alter is often evident-as when mothers today tell therapists that "someone keeps talking to me in my mind telling me to choke my daughter" or as when Medea struggled against killing her children, saying, "I know what wickedness I am about to do; but the thumos is stronger than my purposes, thumos, the root of our mankind's worst acts."121 But the feeling of being driven by the Destructive Mother alter, the struggle against killing one's baby and the severe postpatrum depression were all universal for mothers in traditional societies, and sixteen billion murdered children were the result of losing the sacrificial battle.

Opposition by society to infanticide was negligible until modern times. Jews considered any child who died within thirty days after birth, even by violence, to have been a "miscarriage."122 Most ancient societies openly approved of infanticide, and although Roman law, in response to Christianity, made infanticide a capital offense in 374 C.E., no cases have been found punishing it.123 Anglo-Saxons actually considered infanticide a virtue, not a crime, saying, "A child cries when he comes into the world, for he anticipates its wretchedness. It is well for him that he should die...he was placed on a slanting roof [and] if he laughed, he was reared, but if he was frightened and cried, he was thrust out to perish."124 Prosecutions for infanticide before the modern period were rare.125 Even medieval penitentials excused mothers who killed their newborn before feeding them.126 By Puritan times, a few mothers began being hanged for infanticide.127 But even in the nineteenth century it was still "not an uncommon spectacle to see the corpses of infants lying in the streets or on the dunghills of London and other large cities.128 The English at the end of the century had over seven million children enrolled in "burial insurance societies;" with the infant mortality rate at 50 percent, parents could easily collect the insurance by killing their child. As one doctor said, "sudden death in infants is too common a circumstance to be brought before the attention of the coroner...Free medical care for children was refused...'No, thank you, he is in two burial clubs' was a frequent reply to offers of medical assistance for a sick child. Arsenic was a favorite poison..."129

Century after century, the children in traditional societies who survived remembered the cries of their murdered brothers and sisters, feared their murderous parents, believed themselves unworthy of living, irredeemably bad, and grew up to inflict the killings on their own children.

In the previous chapter, the propensity of preliterate tribes to cut, burn and otherwise mutilate the bodies of their children was discussed, particularly the role of genital mutilation, where during initiation rites boys' penises are sliced open under the conviction that it was necessary to expel the "mothers blood and bad words" that had lodged in them. The powerful need to mutilate children's bodies is found in nearly all cultures in some form, and reaches back to the Paleolithic caves where handprints on the walls130 show clearly that children's fingers were cut off in the widespread belief by many cultures that the Devil (the destructive parental alter) demanded a child's finger to appease his wrath. Frazer documented these finger sacrifice rituals in many cultures, and sanctuaries have been found as far back as the Neolithic with finger bones, right up through ancient Greek times, when, Pausanias reported, finger sacrifice rituals were still performed to pacify pursuing demons.131 Finger amputation was also endemic in Ocean, Polynesia and among North American Indians.132

But more often it is the genitals, head or feet of children which are assaulted; as the Canadian Intuit Eskimos say, "A hurt baby is more lovable!" and mothers who feel affectionate toward their infants are reported as commonly "slapping it, squeezing it tightly, or biting it until it bursts into tears."133 Few mothers even today are free of dreams in which their babies are badly hurt, though most are able to laugh off the impulses and perhaps only be overprotective toward their infants. But Rheingold's clinical studies reveal many mothers ward off maternal retribution for having the baby by what he terms a "mutilation impulse," which he finds mainly directed toward the genitals of the boy and the girl and toward the "insides" of the girl's body, producing in boys severe castration anxieties and "a fear of femaleness" in girls, including fears of injury to the pelvic region.134

Cutting off parts or all of the girl's genitals is a widespread practice,135 possibly reaching back to Paleolithic times since a stone knife is often used, and is still practiced in preliterate tribes from Africa to Australia, where the girl's vagina is torn open with a stone knife and the child is then gang raped.136 Historical evidence dates from ancient Egypt, where mummies have been found with clitoral excision and labial fusions,137 and Greek physicians like Soranos and Aetius regularly advocated the removal of a girl's clitoris if it was "overly large" so she would not be overly lustful.138


8:2 A girl in Cairo is mutilated by her Mother

There are over 100 million Arab females today who have had their genitals chopped off, having been told that "if the clitoris is left alone, it will grow and drag on the ground, and if left uncircumcised, they will be wild and...grow up horny."139 Often the girl's labia are cut off in addition to the clitoris, and the remaining flesh is sewn together, leaving only a small opening for urination. The vagina must therefore be cut open again before intercourse, and the women have great difficulty giving birth and often are further cut to allow the baby to pass through.

During the mutilations-usually done around the age of six with rusty knives by the women of the gynarchy-the girls undergo excruciating pain, sometimes die of complications, usually hemorrhage, and often pass out from the shock since no anaesthetic is used.140 The ritual-which is not a religious rite and is nowhere mentioned in the Koran-is accompanied by the joyful shouting and chanting of the women, shouting, "now you are a woman," "Bring her the groom now." "Bring her a penis, she is ready for intercourse," etc.141 They act out in manic ritual Rheingold's dicta that destructive mothers "seem to have the urge to destroy her daughter's femaleness: her external genitals, her 'insides'...her total sexuality."142 It is not surprising that the overwhelming majority of circumcised girls grow up to be frigid. Female circumcision was practiced historically in various groups from Russia to Latin America,143 and was even inflicted on girls "who masturbated too much" in Europe and America in the nineteenth century, using a red hot iron to burn away the little girl's clitoris.144

Circumcision for boys might be thought of as less traumatic since it involves only removal of the foreskin, a far less painful and serious mutilation. Yet in many cultures circumcision of boys is quite painful, as when Moslem boys are circumcised between the ages of 3 and 7 in a painful, bloody ceremony, after which "he is placed on his mother's naked back [so] that his bleeding penis presses against her. His mother dances along with the other women until he stops crying."145 That this ceremony is connected with the incestuous feelings of the mother is apparent from the fact that genital mutilation is far more likely found in societies where the little boy sleeps with his mother while the father sleeps elsewhere.146 Circumcision of boys-practiced from Egypt and Africa to Peru and Polynesia147-makes them into "little mothers," with the peeling away of the foreskin uncovering the glans so that it can act as a maternal nipple. That circumcision of boys is still practiced so regularly in America is a testimony to the continuing ubiquity of parental assault on the sexuality of children.148

But the more serious genital mutilation of boys that occurred throughout history, East and West, was castration. Eunichs were found in most cultures, beginning as a sacrificial rite to early goddeses: "piles of freshly severed genitals lay beneath the altars in Egyptian temples, where hundreds of virile youths were initiated daily into male prostitution."149 In addition, castration was necessary to satisfy all the men who preferred hairless castrated boys to rape, plus all those used as harem keepers, palace officials, boy singers, actors and many other roles thought to require castrates.150 Nero was said to enjoy the use of eunuchs in his orgies, even marrying one of them.151 When parents sent their boys to aristocratic households for sexual use, they were said to sometimes cut off their genitals and keep them in a jar.152 Eunuchs were especially popular in Byzantium, while in the West Verdun was widely known as "the great eunuch factory." In some Italian towns, boys who were destined for the clergy were castrated at an early age; in Naples, signs hung above stores, "Boys castrated here."153 Many cultures castrated boys when they are just infants, claiming they "really wanted" to be girls. They are then used as women, sexually and otherwise, when they grow up, as in the hijras of India or the berdaches of American Indian tribes.154 The testicles of these boys were either torn from them, crushed or seared off them with red-hot irons, usually between the ages of 3 and 7; in China, "both the penis and scrotum were removed with one cut."155 Castration of boys continued until recently in the Middle East, followed by burial of the mutilated boy in hot sand for several days to reduce hemorrhage-only one in five surviving the bloody operation.156 Some societies had variations of circumcision that approached castration, as in some Arab tribes where they performed salkh, which "consisted of flaying and removing all of the skin of the penis..."157

The ancients' more usual assault on boys' genitals, however-called infibulation-was less painful, though longer lasting. Since they were so deprived of maternal love, ancients saw the boy's glans as an exciting nipple ("it strikes terror and wonder in the heart of man") and felt they needed to hide it, so they drew the prepuce foreword, drilled two holes in it, and closed it up with a ring, pin or clamp.158 Infibulated penises are regularly shown in drawings of Greeks and Roman athletes and was popular until modern times.159 The same practice in the East is called mohree, sewing or cauterizing the prepuce over the glans, preventing erection; to this day some Japanese athletes use infibulation to prevent the loss of their strength, which could evaporate through the glans.160 Aztec parents cut both boys' and girls' genitals regularly throughout their childhood, the blood being used in a sacrifice to their goddess, a ritual which was said to "cleanse one's heart of the guilt that could drive a person crazy."161 Indeed, one is tempted to give the Aztecs the prize for the most sacrificial parenting, since they were routinely sacrificed, cut, tied to cradleboards, holes drilled in their lips, drugged, burned over fires, starved, stuck with spines, thrown naked into icewater, tortured and battered nearly every day of their lives.162 But this would be a mistake. Aztec childhood was simply more fully described, by visitors from Europe. Equally graphic were those who described the ancient Chinese habit of beheading or strangling children who were "guilty of addressing abusive language to his or her father or mother"163 or of the nineteenth-century Yugoslav practice of smearing infants with excrement and holding them over the fire or pushing them into a bread-oven to cure "bewitchment."164

Parents in traditional societies couldn't keep their hands off their little babies; they simply were compelled to hurt and torture them. The first thing most Western societies did to the newborn up until the twentieth century was cut the ligament under their tongue with their thumbnail, assaulting them in advance for what they experienced as maternal tongue-lashing.165 Then their heads and genitals would be forcibly "shaped":

Long heads would be reshaped, indeed all babies' heads would be reshaped to make the conform to the desired shape. The nose would be corrected...the nurse would gentle stretch the end of the foreskin every day...The scrotum would also be massaged...166

Severe cranial deformation can be seen in the drawings of Egyptian, Aztec, Huns, Native American and other children, as their head was routinely put between two boards, one of the back of the head and the other on the forehead, so as to squash the head into the angle formed by the boards-a practice found as far back as the Neanderthals and continuing "throughout much of Europe, especially in Holland and France, until the middle of the nineteenth century."167

Particularly widespread was the impulse to burn children. Traditional Arab children had burn marks all over their body from being burned by their parents with red-hot irons or pins.168 English newspapers often reported parents "stirring up the fire with [children's] feet so that their toes rotted off...But we don't hear that there are any proceedings against her on this score."169 The regular use of applying burning Mona to the child's body is still common in Japan.170 Pouring scalding hot water ("iron water") over children was supposed to be curative in Eastern European therapy.171 Similar results are ascribed to the Italian medieval practice of, "as soon as children be born, they cauterize or burn them in the neck with a hot iron, or else drop a burning wax candle upon the place...they think the brain is dried, and by pain the humour which doth flow is drawn to the hinder part of the head."172 Every kind of excuse is given for the torture of children. Parents of every period force children who have soiled their bed, to consume their own excrement.173 Particularly crippling were mutilations like Chinese footbinding, which breaks the bones of little girls so their flesh deteriorates, all done in order to make the big toe stick out (as a penis substitute) so men could masturbate against it during the sex act.174

Every childrearing practice in traditional societies around the globe betrays a profound lack of empathy toward one's children. This should not, however, be simply seen as a result of poverty or even "the brutality of human nature." These parents are in thrall to their own mothers' alters, demanding the torture and sacrifice of their grandchildren. A typical example of this thralldom can be seen in the following observation of a visitor to Italy who describes a popular religious festival:

The most striking object of the solemnities is a procession [in which] a colossal car is dragged by a long team of buffaloes through the streets. Upon this are erected a great variety of objects, such as the sun, moon, and principal planets, set in rotary motion...The heart sickens at sight of it [for] bound to the rays of sun and moon, to the circles forming the spheres of the various planets, are infants yet unweaned, whose mothers, for the gain of a few ducats, thus expose their offspring, to represent the cherub escort which is supposed to accompany the Virgin [Mary] to heaven.

When this huge machine has made its jolting round, these helpless creatures...having been whirled round and round for a period of seven hours, are taken down from this fatal machine, already dead or dying. Then ensues a scene impossible to describe-the mothers struggling with each other, screaming, and trampling each other down. It not being possible, on account of the number, for each mother to recognize her own child among the survivors, one disputes with the other the identity of her infant...The less fortunate mothers, as they receive the dead bodies of their infants, often already cold, rend the air with their fictitious lamentations, but consoled with the certainty that Maria, enamoured of her child, has taken it with her into Paradise.175

The Mother Mary-symbol of the infant's grandmother-is shown as demanding possession of the child even unto death. The mothers give up their child's life to the infanticidal grandmother happily, knowing they are thereby being good little girls who obey the destructive wishes of their mothers.

This destructive grandmother-alter in every mothers' head is the missing factor in historians' accounts of the ubiquitous cruelty toward children in the past. Edward Shorter, for instance, effectively counters the "poverty" argument for "the manifest callousness" with which children were treated in the past by showing how upper- and middle-class mothers "got the money for large weddings, dowries, and militia uniforms...yet omitted just as much as did the laborers to breast-feed infants while alive, and to grieve for them when dead."176 Indeed, almost every mother who could afford to send their newborn out to wetnurses did so, even when the wetnurses fed them pap, not breast milk, and even though their child was more than likely to die from the wetnurse's callous treatment. In fact, mothers in the past seemed unable to even empathize enough with their infants to notice when they were hungry. Doctors throughout the centuries in all parts of the world routinely reported that "babies should only be fed two to three times in twenty-four hours."177 Héroard's diary of little Louis XIII showed that despite over a dozen nurses and caretakers being assigned to provide for his needs, he was regularly malnourished, even close to death.178 Even princesses as late as the eighteenth century were regularly reported to be "naked and dying of hunger."179 Mothers and nurses in the past were closer than one wishes to admit to the mother chimpanzees whom we discussed in the previous chapter, who cannot empathize with their weaned babies enough to give them food or water or even to show them how to get it, so that one-third starve to death during the weaning crisis.180 Human mothers, however, go far beyond this lack of empathy, and purposely starve their children in fasting or punishment rituals so beloved by many societies in the past.181 Buchan's conclusion that "almost one half of the human species perish in infancy by improper management or neglect"182 is quite accurate, and by no means restricted to the poor. When babies cried, mothers heard their own mothers' demanding voices, and only wanted to quiet them, so they would as likely feed them beer, wine or opium-available in every store as Godfrey's Cordial, Dalby's Carminative or Syrup of Poppies,183 which would either narcotize them enough to quiet them or would kill them.184 The use of opium on infants goes back to ancient Egypt, where the Ebers papyrus tells parents: "It acts at once!"185 Physicians complained of the thousands of infants killed every year by nurses "forever pouring Godfrey's Cordial down their little throats, which is a strong opiate and in the end as fatal as arsenic."186 At all costs the baby must be quieted; Rheingold describes mothers in treatment who "stop producing milk every time their mothers appear" because they "fear their own vengeful mothers and fear that she may destroy her child."187

There is no conscious guilt on the part of mothers who allow their children to starve to death, since they blame the children "for wanting to die."188 Many mothers and wetnurses didn't breastfeed at all, but just gave infants pap, "gruel" (bouillie), made of water or sour milk mixed with flour,189 which has very little nourishment and was so thick that "soon the whole belly is clogged, convulsions set in, and the little ones die."190 In Bavaria, for instance, mothers considered nursing their children "disgusting," while the fathers were totally lacking in empathy, telling their wives "those breasts are mine" and threatening to go on a hunger strike if the mothers nursed their baby.191 All sort of past childrearing practices contributed to the starvation or malnutrition of infants. Newborn babies were usually not fed at all for the first week or more, since the mother's colostrum was believed to be poisonous to the baby. Swaddled babies were hung on a peg or put in a cradle in another room, where their hunger cries could not be heard; in addition, tight swaddling makes infants withdraw into themselves so they refrain from crying when hungry. Infants sent out to wetnurse, after not being fed during the journey, were given to women who often attempted to nurse up to five or more babies at a time as they worked in the fields, while "the child is left to himself, drowning in his own excrement, bound like a criminal..."192 Particularly malnourished were those babies fed on pap by nurses, sometimes taking on as many as 40 children at a time, most dying, while mothers continued to send them their subsequent babies.193 These and other starvation practices made malnutrition for most babies a near certainty until modern times.

Most historians have been as little able to feel empathy for infants sent to wetnurses as the mothers themselves were, claiming it "reflected not so much a lack of love for them as a deep fear of loving them,"194 or that was just "a harmless convention not a rejection of the child."195 Most mothers who could afford to send their babies out did so; for instance, from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, less than 5 percent of the babies born in Paris were nursed by their own mothers, rich or poor alike.196 Six percent of eighteenth-century Parisian parents that wetnursed their babies were noble, 44 percent were master artisans and tradesmen and 24 percent were journeymen or other workers; over a third of the children died during their time at wetnurse, a mortality rate at least double that of maternal nursing, with the mortality rate of foundlings placed at wetnurse being a deadly 92 percent.197 Parents, of course, knew these enormous infant mortality figures when they condemned their innocent babies to wetnurse.

Mothers knew their own mothers would be jealous if they cared about the newborn rather than devoting themselves to the grandmother, so they rarely inquired about the baby at wetnurse. One unusual mother who actually visited her baby at wetnurse was warned by a relative that "such exaggerated love was a crime against God [her maternal alter], and he [she] would surely punish it."198 Besides, "many young mothers say...'If I turn nurse, I should destroy my husband's life, and my own too.'"199 Upper-class mothers almost never nursed their babies, saying, "Nourish an infant! Indeed, Indeed! ...I must have my sleep o'nights...And a new gown to wear at the Opera...What! Must the brat have my paps too?"200 Defoe called suckling babies by ladies of quality "a thing as unnatural as if God had never intended it."201 Newborn babies were experienced as demon alters-dragon-snakes (drákoi)-until they were exorcized at baptism.202 Even when their babies had in-house nurses to care for them, the mothers wouldn't breastfeed them herself. Breast milk was supposed to have been made from the mother's blood, and mothers imagined that "every time the baby sucks on her breasts, she feeleth the blood come from her heart to nourish it,"203 making her feel like the baby depleted her of her very life's blood. Doctors beginning with Soranus agreed that mothers who nursed their babies would "grow prematurely old, having spent herself through the daily suckling."204 In addition, since it was believed that "sperm would spoil the milk and turn it sour,"205 for most of history maternal breastfeeding meant no sex for the mother while nursing. Still others rejected breastfeeding because it felt "too sensual,"206 violating the anti-sexual prohibitions of their family upbringing.

Physicians have complained since antiquity about parents who routinely give their newborn over to negligent and abusive wetnurses. "At birth our children are handed over to some silly little Greek serving girl," says Tacitus;207 Soranus warns about "some wet-nurses so lacking in sympathy towards the nursling that they not only pay no heed when it cries for a long time, but [are] angry women like maniacs and sometimes when the newborn cries from fear and they are unable to restrain it, they let it drop from their hands or overturn it dangerously."208 Aulus Gellius says wetnurses are chosen at random from the most useless slaves: "they take the first woman who has milk."209 Throughout history, parents were quite casual about entrusting their babies for from two to seven years with wetnurses. Agents would "stop the first peasant woman he might come across, without examining her health or her milk [or use] a placement office [who would] get rid of him cheap or hand him over to the first person who comes along..."210 The child-peddlers who hawked their services in the streets or by newspaper ads were not expected to know anything about the wetnurse, only to take the infant off the mother's hands. Those few parents who tried to find a good wetnurse were usually disappointed; one diarist wrote of his own life: "Four different wet-nurses were alternately turn'd out of doors on my account...The first...nearly suffocated me in bed...The second let me fall from her arms on the stones till my head was almost fractured...The third carried me under an old brick wall which fell [on me]...while the fourth proved to be a thief, and deprived me even of my very baby clothes."211

The trip to wetnurse began the infant's traumatic life experiences. "The infants were bundled upright in groups of four or five in pannier baskets strapped to the backs of donkeys. Those who died on the journey were just thrown out en route."212 Once there, their parents "seldom inquired about the survival of their infants and were often uninformed as to their whereabouts."213 Mothers sent each newborn to wetnurse "despite the killing off, one by one, of their children...Neither poverty nor ignorance explains such infanticide-only indifference...Mothers on learning of their child's death at the nurse's console themselves, without wondering about the cause, by saying, 'Ah well, another angel in heaven!'"214

The wetnurse herself was usually an infanticidal mother. The common practice was to require that she get rid of her own baby in order to nurse the stranger-termed "a life for a life" by parents in the past.215 Montaigne laments "Every day we snatch children from the arms of their mothers and put our own in their charge for a very small payment."216 Society thought this system fair, since "by the sacrifice of the infant of the poor woman, the offspring of the wealthy will be preserved."217 It is not surprising, then, that wetnurses were universally described as "vicious, slothful and inclined to drunkenness,"218 "debauched, indolent, superstitious,"219 guilty of "gross negligence...leaving babies...unattended when helping with the harvest...crawling or falling into the fire and being attacked by animals, especially pigs,"220 "hung from a nail like a bundle of old clothes...the unfortunate one remains thus crucified [with] a purple face and violently compressed chest."221 The wetnurses' superstitions included a belief "in favor of cradle cap and of human wastes, which were thought to have therapeutic value,"222 so infants were rarely washed and lived in their own feces and urine for their entire time at nurse: "Infants sat in animal and human filth, were suspended on a hook in unchanged swaddling bands or were slung from the rafters in an improvised hammock...their mouths crammed with rotting rags."223 Even live-in wetnurses were described as unfeeling:

When he cried she used to shake him-when she washed him she used to stuff the sponge in his little mouth-push her finger (beast!) in his little throat-say she hated the child, wished he were dead-used to let him lie on the floor screaming while she sat quietly by and said screams did not annoy her...224

Complaints by physicians that wetnurses let infants die of simple neglect were legion: "While the women attend to the vineyards, the infant remains alone...swaddled to a board and suspended from a hook on the wall...crying and hungry in putrid diapers. Often the child cries so hard it ends up with a hernia...turkeys peck out the eyes of a child...or they fall into a fire, or drown in pails left carelessly on doorsteps."225 Children were described as being "kept ragged and bare, sickly and terror of their nurse, who handed out blows and vituperation freely" or who "tied them up by the shoulders and wrists with ragged ends of sheets...face down on the protect them from injuring themselves while she was away...Never played with or is a holiday when they are taken for a walk around the room by the nurses..."226 Infants who are sent to "killing nurses" are described as being fed while the nurse croons, "Cry no more! Soon you will go, deté drago, soon...'Tis truly better that you go, dear infant...onto the lap of Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus."227 The destructive Mother of Jesus, who gave birth for him to be sacrificed, was never far away from the child. It is no wonder that well into the nineteenth century many areas had a two-thirds mortality rate of infants sent to wetnurse.228

Since their parents seldom visited them, the children were total strangers when they were returned to them years later. "If they returned home alive, they often came back in a pitiable state: thin, tiny, deformed, consumed by fevers, prone to convulsions."229 The mother has by then nearly forgotten her baby, since, as physicians complained since antiquity, "When a child is given to another and removed from its mother's sight, the strength of maternal ardor is gradually and little by little extinguished and it is almost as completely forgotten as if it had been lost by death."230 One typical report came from a woman who described her mother saying when she was returned at two from wetnurse, "My God! What have you brought me here! This goggle-eyed, splatter-faced, gabbart-mouthed wretch is not my child! Take her away!"231 Another is praised by Locke for beating her child when she first saw her, saying she was "forced to whip her little Daughter, at her first coming home from Nurse, eight times successively the same Morning, before she could master her Stubbornness and obtain a compliance in a very easie and indifferent matter."232 The return home to mother from wetnurse was often like going from the frying pan into the fire.

Wetnursing was practiced by societies all over the world, from Europe to Asia, as far back as records exist.233 The Code of Hammurabi even allowed the wetnurse to sell the baby if the parents couldn't pay her the contracted amount.234 The first improvement did not come until the seventeenth century, when wetnurses began more often to be brought into the parents' homes, especially in England, Holland and America.235 The next step was for the mother to nurse herself. The decision was made purely for psychogenic reasons; no new invention nor social condition caused the change. Nor was it due to a change in the opinions of experts-the pro-nursing tracts of Rousseau and others had little affect on the near-universal wetnursing practice in France, for instance, while in America, even in the South where slave nurses were available, mothers usually nursed themselves by the eighteenth century.236 Advanced mothers began by telling each other they would find new delights in nursing their own infants, for, "in recompence whereof, he endeavors to show her a thousand delights...he kisseth her, strokes her hair, nose and ears, he flatters her..."237 Rather than a draining of vital blood, nursing could actually be a pleasure to the mother! The new middle class took the lead in maternal nursing, while-even in England-the upper classes gave their infants to wetnurses well into the nineteenth century; Victoria was the first English monarch who was not put out to wetnurse.238 All of these changes took place before the advent of sterilized bottle feeding in the twentieth century. Infant mortality in these areas immediately plunged,239 and mothers began to work out how to face the new emotional challenges of relating to their babies.

Since "infant humans are inclined in their hearts to adultery, fornication, impure desires, lewdness...anger, strife, gluttony, hatred and more,"240 they had to be tightly tied up so they "be not crooked nor evil shapen"241 and will not "tear its ears off, scratch its eyes out, break its legs, or touch its genitals, "242 would undoubtedly "fall to pieces,"243 and would certainly "go upon all four, as most other animals do."244 Worse, infants are always on the verge of turning into your own angry mother; there is so much "viciousness in all children [if you] pamper them the least little bit, at once they will rule their parents."245 Infants are so violent that even their heads must be "firmly tied down, that they might not throw off their heads from their shoulders."246 Physicians complained "mothers and nurses bind and tie their children so hard [they] made me weep {as they] lie the children behind the hot oven, whereby the child may soon be stiffled or choked..."247 The swaddling process was much the same for millennia:

[The mother] stretches the baby out on a board or straw mattress and dresses it in a little gown or a coarse, crumpled diaper, on top of which she begins to apply the swaddling bands. She pins the infant's arms against its chest, then passes the band under the armpits, which presses the arms firmly into place. Around and around she winds the band down to the buttocks, tighter and tighter...clear down to the feet, and...covers the baby's head with a bonnet [all of which] is fastened with pins.248

Physicians complain that the infant "is lucky if he is not squeezed so hard that he is unable to breathe, and if he has been placed on his side, so that the water which he has to pass through his mouth can run out," or he will choke to death.249 Swaddled Albanian infants were described as follows in a 1934 study:

The child began immediately to passionately scream and tried to free himself...This seemed to be a signal for the mother to rock the cradle violently; at the same time she covered the head of the baby with a white sheet. While the baby's miserable screaming made a strong impression to us, it seemed to be an everyday thing to the mother, to which she did not react except by rocking the cradle as strongly as possible...250

The traditional "benumbing shaking" of the baby and "violent rocking" of the cradle-described over and over again by our sources251-"puts the babe into a dazed condition in order that he may not trouble those that have the care of him,"252 is sometimes supplemented by "a piece of linen rag stuffed into its mouth"253 to stop the screaming. Because straight pins were used to keep the swaddling bands in place,254 "nurses, blinded by passion and prejudice, do not hesitate to beat the helpless babe, without examining whether its cries are not occasioned by a pin..."255 Because every visitor to the home represents the jealous grandmother, infants are usually kept in dark rooms and their faces are covered by blankets to ward off the "world full of angry, malevolent, burning, glaring looks, a world dominated by evil and fear...usually represented by an older woman...Sharp objects are placed into the cradle or stuck between the swaddling bands-knives, needles, forks, nails-to protect against incubi..."256 Salt was rubbed into the baby's skin, irritating it terribly,257 excrement was sometimes smeared on its nipples, infants were made to drink their own urine and neighbors would often spit on it, saying: "Ugh, aren't you just ugly," all to ward off jealous "evil eye" spirits.258 Since the infants were nursed while swaddled, they stewed in their own excrement for days at a time, the mothers leaving their babies "crying with all their might" in the cradle or "tossed in a corner" or "hung from a nail on the wall" while they "spend hours away from their cottages" during the day.259 Few traditional mothers or nurses heeded doctors' pleas "not to let them lie in their filth,"260 so that during their first year of life261 they were usually "covered with excrement, reeking of a pestilential stench [their] skin completely inflamed [and] covered with filthy ulcerations [so that] if touched...they let out piercing cries."262

Swaddling was a world-wide practice, undoubtedly reaching back to tribal cultures, since so many of them have featured tying up to cradleboards for as long as three years as their way of controlling the infant's supposedly aggressive tendencies.263 Asian parents favored techniques like wrapping it in a blanket and tying it into a basket made of straw or bamboo (ejiko) until it is three or four years old.264 Eighteenth-century Anglo-Saxon physicians began to suggest doing away with swaddling entirely, at least during the day, stressing what mothers had been unable so far to notice, "that particular happiness, which a child shows by all its powers of expression, when it is newly undressed. How pleased! How delightful! it is with this new liberty."265 Soon more and more mothers discovered "the extreme pleasure that all children discover when stript of their incumbrances, the content and satisfaction with which they stretch themselves, enjoying the freedom of voluntary motion,"266 and by the nineteenth century swaddling was "unheard of" in France, England and America, though continuing in Germany into the twentieth century and in various parts of Eastern Europe even today.267

The effects of swaddling upon every human born during the past ten millennia were catastrophic. Besides having "the pressure force blood to their heads and make their little faces purple," besides "crushing his breast and ribs" and "compressing the flesh almost to gangrene, the circulation nearly arrested,"268 swaddled infants were severely withdrawn, listless and physically retarded in the onset of walking, which often didn't begin until from two to five years of age (see my table of historical ages of first walking).269 The effects of swaddling on all adults' emotional lives is even more profound. Because of the lack of warmth and holding, there is a lifelong deficit in oxytocin and oversupply of cortisol, the stress hormone, resulting in a lifetime of rage and anxiety states.270 Even rats lose neurons in the hippocampus and orbital frontal lobes when tied up like human infants were, producing depletions in serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, exacerbated aggressive behavior and a severe decrease in social capabilities.271 In the next chapter we will discuss the enormous transformation produced in Western science, politics and culture by the ending of wetnursing and swaddling and the evolution of parental love during the modern period.

Despite belief to the contrary, mothers beat their children today "at a rate approaching twice that of fathers,"272 and mothers in the past were even more likely to be the child beaters than today. The typical mother of the hundreds I have collected from memoirs in the past was described as endlessly beating her children:

She was a curious woman, my mother. Children seemed to inspire her with a vindictive animosity, with a fury for beating and banging them, against walls, against, chairs, upon the ground...273

My mother...strictly followed Solomon's advice, in never sparing the rod; insomuch that I have frequently been whipped for looking blue on a frosty morning; and, whether I deserved it or not, I was sure of correction every day of my life.274

Mama whipped us for the least thing...sometimes the chastisement could better be called a flogging...we kept the marks for many many days.275

I was often whipped. My mother said that one mustn't spoil children, and she whipped me every morning; if she didn't have time in the morning, she would do so at noon, rarely later than four o'clock.276

If the mother could not spare the time to beat her child, or if she complained "I have a little pain in my back with whipping Susan today, who struggled so that I have got a wrench,"277 she could always hire a "professional flagellant" who advertised their child-beating services in newspaper ads278 or, like one mother, she could hire a "garde-de-ville to whip her three children once a week, naughty or not."279 After all, until just recently, all experts advised that mothers should "let the child from a year old be taught to fear the rod, and cry softy...make him do as he is bid, if you whip him ten times running to do it."280 Since "God has given every mother the power [and] placed in your hands a helpless babe...if it disobeys you, all you have to do is to...inflict bodily pain so steadily and so invariably that disobedience and suffering shall be indissolubly connected in the mind of the child."281 And since your child needs you so much, "he does not bear a grudge against those who have hurt him...However much his mother whips him, he looks for her and values her above all others."282 "After thou hast beat him...then he hath forgotten all that was done to him before and will come to please thee and to kiss thee."283

Children throughout history began being beaten in the womb. Pregnant mothers in the past were usually beaten by their husbands, a practice they had a legal right to do until the twentieth century,284 and even today over a third of pregnant women are in physically abusive relationships-physical assault escalating during pregnancy.285 "Unborn children, trapped in their mother's wombs, are victims...from the father's blows to the abdomen."286 After birth, a half or more-depending upon the area-of mothers today begin hitting their infants during their first year of life;287 in the past, nearly all were beaten in their cribs. Susanna Wesleys children were typical:

[I would] break their wills...before they can speak...[Before they] turned a year old they were taught to fear the rod and to cry softly...that most odious noise of the crying of children was rarely heard in the house, but the family usually lived in as much quietness as if there had not been a child among them.288

Usually the mother managed to effect what she felt was total control of the infant early on:

I have begun to govern Sally. She has been Whip'd [and] when she has done any thing that she suspects is wrong, will look with concern to see what Mama says, and if I only knit my brow she will cry till I smile, and although She is not quite Ten months old, yet...tis time she should be taught.289

Even when the infant doesn't stop crying and begin to obey the mother's merest glance, the early beatings had to begin in earnest, as with this mother and her four-month-old infant:

I whipped him till he was actually black and blue, and until I could not whip him any more, and he never gave up one single inch.290

Even if the crying is because the child is sick, the rod must be applied, since the mother still hears the child's cries as critical of her:

Our little daughter...before she was quite a year old, we began to correct her for crying...It has taught her a command over her feelings...even when she is unwell, and blurts into a loud cry, we generally correct her until she suppresses it...[using] a rod...291

Children, says Locke, must always show total "submission and ready must be early, or else it will cost pains and blows to recover it."292 An Irish mother puts it more succinctly: "You've got to slash them while they're still to young to remember it and hold it against you."293 Yet in fact the floggings continued throughout the lives of children prior to the socializing mode, so that diaries are filled with entries of "the dog-whip over the door," "the razor-strap hanging on a nail on the kitchen shelf," and "the carpet-beater in the corner. Mother didn't have to use it. If we were being naughty, we just followed her eyes to the corner..."294

The beating process was ritualized, to relieve the parents' guilt and to enhance its sexualization. Children often would be forced to "ask for God's blessing on the flogging," "the wife then bares the child's bottom with delight for the flogging," "the child must ask to be beaten...(Batty rhapsodizes on God's wisdom in providing children with bottoms so they can be beaten repeatedly without permanent damage)." 295 After the beatings, the child would often be made to kiss or thank the beating instrument or the beater for the beating, as when Roger North recalled "being made to stop crying and thank 'the good rail which [mother] said was to break our spirits.'"296 Parents usually are described as being out of control, "fearce and eager upon the child, striking, flinging, kicking it, as the usual manner is."297 Even mothers who wrote about being nice to their children, like Anne Bradstreet, stressed the need to flog until "the plough of correction makes long furrows on their back."298 Professional floggers hired by parents used more openly sexually sadistic equipment:

Preparations consist in having ready a strong narrow table, straps (waist-band with sliding straps, anklets and wristlets), cushions, and a good, long, pliable birch rod, telling her to prepare by removing her dress...For screams increased strokes must be given. If a girl tries very hard indeed to bear it bravely, then, perhaps, I give ten instead of twelve.299

Children of wealthy parents were, if anything, more severely beaten than others, by both their caretakers and parents. Louis XIII was routinely "beaten mercilessly...On waking in the morning...he was beaten on the buttocks by his nurse with a birch or a switch...his father whipped him himself when in a rage..."300 On the day of his coronation at eight, after being whipped, he said he "would rather do without so much obeisance and honor if they wouldn't have me whipped."301 Noble parents demanded nurses whip their children; Henri IV wrote: "I have a complaint to make: you do not send word that you have whipped my son...when I was his age I was often whipped. That is why I want you to whip him..."302 The beatings were usually bloody:

Katharine by a blow on th'ear given by her mother did bleed at the nose very much...coming home an hour, she bled again, very sore, by gushes and pulses, very fresh good blood, whereupon I perceived it to be the blood of the artery...303

Laws did not protect children against cruelty until the modern period unless they were beaten to death; as one thirteenth-century law put it, "If one beats a child until it bleeds, then it will remember, but if one beats it to death, the law applies."304 Since children were beaten with the same instruments as criminals and slaves, floggings could be accomplished with whips, shovels, canes, iron rods, cat-o'-nine tails, bundles of sticks, shovels, whatever came to hand.305 Parents could avoid killing them, said Bartholomew Batty, if they would not "strike and buffet their children about the face and head, and lace upon them like malt sacks with cudgels, staves, fork or fire shovel...[but instead] hit him upon the sides with the rod, he shall not die thereof."306

When children went to school, the beatings continued with increased ferocity. Beatings were considered the basis for learning, since, as one educator said, "fear is good for putting the child in the mood to hear and to understand. A child cannot quickly forget what he has learned in fear."307 Augustine recalled the regular beatings he received at school and described the use of "racks and hooks and other torments."308 Children were beaten for every error, such as "being flogged for not marking the ablative case,"309 and since sexual sadism was rampant among teachers throughout the centuries the floggings were often described as being administered to children "stripped in front of the whole community and beaten until they bled"310 and beatings were often described as being made by teachers "with a gloating glance of sensual cruelty."311 Schoolmasters were often described as taking "the most pretty and amorous boys...into his lodgings and after a jerke or two [a blow with a rod or a whip] to meddle with their privities..."312 Many books and articles have been written detailing the "erotic flagellation" of British schools,313 but the erotic content of school beatings was well-known everywhere since early times.314 Children wondered why "We are taught during our first five or six years to hide our buttocks and shameful parts; then...along comes a teacher who forces us to unbutton our trousers, push them down, life our shirt, show everything and receive the whip in the middle of the class."315 Girls were equally flogged. Hannah Lynch's beatings in the nineteenth century were typical: "The superioress took my head tightly under her arm, and the brawny red-cheeked lay-sister scourged my back with a three-pointed whip till the blood gushed from the long strips and I fainted."316

No child in antiquity and the middle ages can be found who escaped severe physical abuse-at home, at school , in apprenticeship, all suffered from "battered child syndrome," from infancy until adolescence. The Old Testament not only demands beating children, it says children who curse their mother or father "shall surely be put to death" and of stubborn sons, "All the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones."317 Spartan boys were flogged in public contest to see who could endure the longest, and ritually whipped at altars which became filled with their blood.318 Chinese parents punished children by "a hundred blows with a bamboo...strangulation [or] having his flesh torn from his body with red-hot pincers."319 Education was similarly full of floggings. St. Ambrose praised tutors for being "unsparing with the whip,"320 Augustine "lived in dread of the whip of his teacher," and Martial "jokes about the complaints of neighbours living next to a schoolroom: the sounds of students being beaten awakens them annoyingly early in the morning."321 Mothers are depicted as bringing their children to school and demanding they be beaten, and descriptions of beatings by the ferula, a cane with knots in it, tell how "children's hands were so swollen by this instrument that they could barely hold their books."322

By the middle ages, a few reformers, like Saint Anselm, began questioning whether whipping children "day and night" was wise,323 and saying that "casting them on the ground [and] kicking them like dogs [is a] manner of correcting I judge to be detested..."324 Still, little changed for most children, except that by the seventeenth century sometimes if they were whipped to death during apprenticeship the master could be convicted of manslaughter.325 Small infants were the first to be exempted from whippings; "a babe at six months cries when its mother gives it into the arms of another person...the child ought not to be whipped for this..."326 By the eighteenth century's socializing mode parenting, I have found the first children in history who could be said not to have been beaten at all327-particularly in America, where European visitors agreed "one and all that American children were badly spoiled."328 Although Pleck's massive study of American family violence found all eighteenth-century children "were hit with an object...ranging from a belt to a horsewhip,"329 she found some in the nineteenth century who were not hit at all. Mothers discovered for the first time in history that they could have "a deep, unquenchable love for her offspring,"330 and would abjure all "whipping, caning, slapping, ear-pulling or hair-dragging,"331 favoring chastising words or locking up in a room instead. By the early twentieth century, twelve percent of white Americans in one study claimed never to have been spanked.332 In schools, however, most Americans agreed with the teacher who said that "moral suasion's my belief but lickin's my practice,"333 and Boston schools in 1850 found that it took "sixty-five beatings a day to operate a school of four hundred."334 Still, even though twenty-three states approve of school beatings, and three million children are still paddled in American schools yearly,335 they are nothing like the infamous British school floggings that continued unabated throughout the twentieth century, where the beatings were too often inflicted by flagellomaniac teachers in public displays of cruelty.336

Polls of American parents' spanking practices show about half spanked on the bottom and a quarter hit with some hard object, mothers still beating more than fathers and toddlers being the ones most often beaten, as high as 70 percent.337 In 1979 Sweden became the first country in the world to ban all corporal punishment of children, so that even though there is no punishment given to parents who hit their children, the disapproval alone plus the training of high school children in alternatives to hitting has reduced the number of children hit to under 30 percent.338 There are at this writing eight more European nations which have anti-spanking statutes, and even Germany and England are considering them.339 Most of the nations of Western Europe currently have hitting rates somewhat higher than those of America, while outside of Western Europe most rates are considerably higher.340

The number of daily tortures routinely inflicted upon children in the past seem beyond comprehension. From birth, children had to endure constant freezing practices, including ice-water bathing and baptism:

Children were baptized by being plunged into a large hole which had been made in the ice [on the river} Neva, then covered with five feet of ice...the priest happened to let one of the children slip through his hands. "Give me another," he cried...I saw that the father and mother of the child were in an ecstasy of joy...the babe had been carried straight to heaven.341

The mother took the naked baby and a pot of hot water into the backyard...poured the water on the snow, melting it and creating a pool which could serve as a washing basin for several days; all she had to do the next day was to break the ice.342

Ice-water bathing was a widespread historical practice from antiquity to modern times, "the colder the Bath the better...use every Day,"343 so that "the shock was dreadful, the poor child's horror of it, every morning, when taken out of bed, still more so."344 The excuse given was that it was necessary for "hardening" the child, "to toughen their bodies by dipping them into cold water like white-hot iron,"345 so that when the "little infant [is washed] in cold water...itself in one continuous scream [the] mother covering her ears under the bed-clothes that she may not be distressed by its cries"346 it can be hardened to life's cruelties. John Locke not only recommended parents wash the feet of their children every day in cold water, but also make them wear "shoes so thin that they might leak and let in water" and clothes and sleeping quarters that allow them to be cold all the time.347 Most societies used these Spartan hardening practices: Russians complained about traditional hardening such as being put to bed wrapped in wet cold towels,348 and Colonial New Englanders regularly complained that they were made to sit with wet feet "more than half the time."349 Alternatively, mothers are so unable to empathize with their children that they often "take no notice what pains they cause and make baths for children so hot" they are badly burned.350

Many people over the centuries complained of parents who "customarily" tossed infants, as when the brother of Henri IV, while being passed for amusement from one window to another, was dropped and killed."351 Children were often put to bed tied up by the hands and made to wear corsets with bone stays, iron bodices and steel collars, forced to sit many hours a day in stocks, strapped to a backboard, supposedly to teach them restraint.352 Reports of shutting up little children in closets for hours were legion.353 Painful enemas were given regularly, since "it was thought that children should be purged especially before eating 'for fear that the milk will be mixed with some ordure..."354 Children were often put to bed and told to think about their death and the misery they will feel in Hell.355 Children were religiously taken to witness public executions, then "on returning home, whipping them to make them remember the example."356 Children from antiquity were not only endlessly frightened that they would be eaten up, abducted or cut up by ghosts, Lamia, "the black man who comes for naughty children," "the goblin in the basement," "the tailor with the huge sizzors," "Striga that attack children, defile their bodies and rend the flesh of sucklings with their beaks."357 To make the terror more real, their caretakers would actually dress up dummies in order to terrorized them, or would paint themselves as the werewolf or bloody monster and "roar and scream at the child [and] make as if it would swallow the infant up."358 All this terrorizing for no other reason than to act out concretely the destructive mother alter in their own heads.

Abandonment of children may seem less traumatic than tying up, beating and terrorizing them, but adult biographies rarely fail to mention the deep hurt they felt as children when they were given away by their parents-as most children in history were, under one excuse or another. Newborn infants who were abandoned on the side of the road, of course, almost always died,359 but even the one-third to two-thirds of the babies born who were abandoned to foundling homes beginning in the modern period usually died from maltreatment in the institutions.360 Visitors to these foundling homes regularly described the children there as:

stunted creatures, neither childlike nor human...they sit close-packed against the wall or gathered into knots, dull and stupefied...Never played with or is a holiday when they are taken for a walk around the room...It is a room of filth, filled with ceaseless crying, where their lack of decent covering, their misery and consequent infirmities combine to bring about their death within a few days.361

The congestion of the infants in narrow, cold, and humid rooms, with no cleanliness, the lack of linens and the poor choice of wetnurses, shorten the painful agony before death...Often a wetnurse was forced to nurse up to five or six children, and, to ensure that the last of these did not suck on breasts that had been entirely emptied by the first, she tore the babies from her breast, screaming.362

Most of the children abandoned in foundling homes were legitimate363-more girls than boys364-and up to 90 percent of foundlings died either in the hospital or when sent to wetnurse, so it is no wonder that it was proposed that a motto be carved over the gate of one foundling home: "Here children are killed at public expense."365 It is unlikely that historians are correct in concluding that the babies being sent there "reflected not so much a lack of love for them as a deep fear of loving them[sic]."366 Meladze describes his experiences in a Communist-run foster home in Moscow recently as follows:

Children were regularly stripped naked and their genitals ridiculed...The foster parents deriving sexual gratification and feelings of power from these weekly rituals....Psychological torture and brainwashing were interspersed with sexual abuse. The aunt, the primary torturer, slept in a double bed with her mother. I slept in between the two. In the evening, before bed, the great aunt would undress in front of me and ask me if I wanted to suck her breasts...The aunt stripped off my pajamas and laughed at my genitals shouting she would castrate me: "We will cut your balls off and make you into a girl."...367

Babies not abandoned to foundling homes could be sold by their parents as slaves during most of history; indeed, there are still hundreds of thousands of chattel slaves around the world today, even more in debt bondage.368 Public auctions of children were common throughout Europe and Asia well into modern times.369 One American colonist described the sale of children in debt bondage that took place as ships arrived in Philadelphia: "Many parents must sell and trade away their children like so many head of cattle; for if their children take the debt upon themselves, the parents can leave the ship free and unrestrained..."370

The one institution to which parents could abandon their children and know they were likely to live was the religious order. Parents knew monasteries and nunneries were abusive-"there is an inscription over the gate of hell: 'Abandon all hope, you who enter'; on the gate of monasteries, the same should appear"371-but they nevertheless paid good money to them to dump their children in them permanently.372 Most oblates were children of aristocrats, so there is no argument for economic necessity, and gave large gifts to the religious orders to take their children, usually at around five years of age.373 The child became a holocaust, a sacrifice, to God, the destructive grandmother in the parent's unconscious, and the cloister "became a cruel life of hard labor, boring routine, beatings, and fear of sexual sin and assault.374 In return, the parents could expect "clerical prayer and, ultimately, salvation"375-i.e., some peace in their heads from the punitive maternal alter. The children held the legal status of slaves of the monastery, and they were endlessly whipped, naked, regularly starved in severe fasts, only allowed to sleep for five hours a night and used sexually by clerics and older boys.376 Although most monks were earlier oblates, oblation began to decline in the late twelfth century, as wealthy parents decided they preferred to hire servants to whip, starve, torture and sexually abuse their children in their own home.377

Another widespread abandonment practice throughout history was fosterage:

Fosterage was found mainly among royalty and other well-to-do parents [and] was so common that the remark that 'all the children grew up at home' was offered as an unusual occurrence....sons obtained new networks of kin relations, but bonding with the mother was most often precluded, and-most surprising to the modern reader-she did not seem to have desired her son's company.378

Children might be sent to fosterage "for affection or for payment" as soon as they returned from wetnurse, usually to other family members, and not returned until adolescence.379 Since so many families simply traded children with each other, the custom was puzzling unless one realizes that adults emotionally were able to treat foster children more abusively-working them like slaves, beating them, using them sexually-than if they had kept their own children and not traded them to others.380 Parents who foster their children today usually explain that they "cannot effectively discipline their own offspring" if they keep them themselves.381 Fostering in archaic civilizations was so common the mother's brother was often called the "upbringer" or "fostering brother," and "among Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Celts and Germans, mother's brothers [would] supervise initiation and...ritually sodomize his ward..."382 Fosterage was practiced in all complex civilizations in every continent on earth, right into modern times.383 Parents would simply ask the uncles or grandparents if they "needed a child"384 and shipped one off to them without tears. If one sent one's child to royalty and it was killed by abuse, one was expected to thank the foster parent and bring another.385

There was little difference between fosterage, adoption, apprenticeship and service. All involved virtual slavery without rights for the children. The opinion of the Italian at the end of the fifteenth century that "the want of affection in the English is strongly manifested towards their children...they put them out, both males and females, to hard service in the houses of other people...few are born who are exempted from this fate, for every one, however rich he may be, sends away his children into the houses of others; whilst he, in return, receives those of strangers into his own" is often quoted-but in fact Italians of the time equally fostered and apprenticed their children.386 Everyone agreed that "It is good to remove children from the sight of their father and mother and give them to friends so that they do not become quarrelsome; also, when they are in a strange house, they are more timid and do not dare to enjoy themselves and fear being scolded..."387 Half of all persons who came to the colonies in the American South were indentured children.388 England continued to send hundreds of thousands of children to Canada and Australia for fosterage well into the twentieth century; a Canadian minister complained about England' practice using Canada as "a dumping ground for the refuse of the highways...waifs, strays, and the children of vicious and criminal tendencies..."389 The practice continues in many areas of the world for tens of millions of children today.390

Apprenticeship and service were the fate of virtually all children, rich or poor alike.391 A master "may be a tiger in cruelty, he may beat, abuse, strip naked, starve or do what he will to the poor innocent lad, few people take much notice."392 Mothers also beat the girls apprenticed to them. A typical eighteenth-century description read: "Elizabeth began to beat and kick them about, and would drag them up and down stairs making use of the most horrible expressions. She always kept a rod soaking in brine, with which she used to beat them on their bare skin when they were undressed to go to bed...She frequently tied the girl up naked and beat her with a hearth broom, a horsewhip or a cane, till the child was absolutely speechless."393 Rape of these children was widespread-since they felt so lonely and rejected, they more easily allowed themselves to be used sexually in return for the illusion of some feeling. Entries in diaries like "my master came to my bed at 2 o'clock in the morning and violated my person"394 were common, and relatives who sent children to be servants would assure the new master that she "will match your cock."395 Masters frequently slept with their servants and raped them, both the boys and the girls.396

The work done by even small children sent out to others was often the heaviest and most dangerous needed to be done.397 Whether it was 12 hours a day of heavy labor in the fields398 or climbing boys who were constantly "pinned, beaten, cold, pinched and abused,"399 even small children could not count on simple empathy during their time with others:

Little boys had to go on sweeping chimneys and getting stuck in them or suffocated with soot, or even roasted...Their terror of the dark, and often suffocating, flues had somehow to be overcome by the pressure of a greater terror below...masters would threaten to beat them [or] would set straw on fire below or thrust pins into their wonder nursemaids threatened to give naughty children to the sweep, and children shrieked at sight of him.400

Even when schools began to be more widespread in the eighteenth century, the children would only go for a few years, then be sent to apprenticeship. One English girl remembered:

On the day that I was eight years of age, I left school, and began to work fourteen hours a day in the fields, with from forty to fifty other children...We were followed all day long by an old man carrying a long whip in his hand which he did not forget to use.401

Beyond formal abandonment like fosterage and apprenticeship, mothers throughout history were constantly giving away their children for all kinds of rationalized reasons: "because the mother was expecting another child" (Juhannes Butzbach, "to learn to speak" (Disraeli), "to cure timidness" (Clara Barton), for "health" (Edmund Burke), "as pledge for a debt" (Madame d'Aubigné), or simply because they were not wanted (Richard Baxter, Richard Savage, Augustus Hare, Swift, Yeats, etc.) Hare's mother expresses the casualness of these abandonments: "Yes, certainly, the baby shall be sent as soon as it is weaned; and, if anyone else would like one, would you kindly recollect that we have others."402 If no one wanted the child, it would most often be assigned to older children or nurses or others to care for (autobiographies regularly recalled "I never saw my father and mother but for an instant in the morning")403 so that they very often wandered off into the fire or fell down the well.404 Even in the modern period, when mothers began to show some delight in infants, they soon grew tired of caretaking and sent their children elsewhere. On June 7, 1748, Madame d'Epinay got her 20-month-old son back from wetnurse, and writes in her diary:

My son is back with me...He cries when I leave him. He is already afraid of me, and I am not sorry for it, for I do not want to spoil him. I sometimes think, when he smiles as he looks at me, and shows his delight at seeing me by clapping his little hands, that there is no satisfaction equal to that of making one's fellow-creatures happy.405

But she soon finds caretaking depressing, writes about the "apathy and indifference" she feels because her children "are only an occupation, a duty for me, and do not fill my heart at all," and turns them over to the nurse, taking a lover for herself.

In the previous chapter, widespread maternal incest-with the mother using the child as an erotic breast-substitute by masturbating it or sucking on its genitals-was documented for many contemporary preliterate tribes. Although equally clear evidence is hard to come by in history because of the lack of detailed descriptions of early mothering in the past, it is likely the sexual abuse by both mothers and wetnurses continued until modern times.

Primate mothers are widely reported as copulating with their children; indeed, many cannot learn to reproduce unless they have had sex with adults when they were children.406 Many immature primates "copulate with their mothers...explore adult genitalia and experience manipulation of their own."407 Our closest ancestors, the bonobo chimps-termed "the erotic champions" of primates-spend much of their time sucking and masturbating the genitals and "genitogenital rubbing" of both male and female juveniles, "to reduce tensions."408 Primate children are regularly observed being taught to thrust against their mothers' genitals.409 This "sexualization of the infant" was likely extended when human infants grew much larger heads, since it meant in order to get through the narrow birth canal before the head grew too large human infants had to be "born fetal," extremely immature and increasingly helpless, so that in early humans "maternal attention was not sufficient to care for more helpless infants..."410 This in turn meant a selection for those babies who could most satisfy the mother's erotic needs-for instance through the extension of non-hairy, erotic skin areas-for they would be best nursed and cared for as an erotic, tension-reducing object. Likewise, those human mothers were selected who had evolved the largest and most erotic breasts411 and who had genitals shifted around to the front, where they could rub them against their children.412

The psychogenic evolution of the central motivation for mothering from incest to empathy took millennia, and is still far more prevalent than is realized. As we detailed in the previous chapter, researchers have described mothers in various tribal areas and countries outside of the West as routinely sucking and masturbating their children, but have concluded that this was not incest since the society didn't believe it was sexual abuse. Since both the perpetrators and the victims of maternal incest also collude-each for their own reasons-in denying its occurrence, current figures for sexual abuse by females-13 percent of girl victims and 24 percent of boys victims-are considered likely to be underestimates.413 (Some studies actually find girls twice as likely to be abused by women as by men.)414 This denial is possible because women sexually abuse children at a much younger age than men do, so the incidents are more likely to be repressed by victims of female abuse.415 Maternal sexual abuse is acknowledged to "remain undetected"416 and therefore to be badly "underreported...unless coercion was involved...[because] sexual abuse of children by adult females is usually nonviolent and at times quite subtle [involving] intercourse, cunnilingus, analingus, fellatio, genital fondling, digital penetration...and direct exposure to adult sexual activity."417 Genital contact with the parent is even more prevalent; in America, "more than fifty percent of eight- to ten-year-old daughters touched their mother's...genitals [and] more than forty percent of eight- to ten-year-old sons touched their mother's genitals..."418 Some clinical studies reveal widespread female masturbation of little children "to counter her feelings of lethargy, depression and deadness," "the only way she could make herself go to sleep," or "painful manipulation of the genitals by mother [with] the wish to destroy the sexuality of the child."419

The sexual use of children by mothers has been widely reported by outside observers in both non-literate and literate nations outside the West. Childhood in much of India earlier in the century was said to begin with masturbation by the mother, "high caste or low caste, the girl 'to make her sleep well,' the boy 'to make him manly.'"420 Like most traditional families, children rotated around the extended family as sleeping partners rather like a comfort blanket, and one sociologist who did interviews modeled on the Kinsey studies reported "there is a lot of incest...It is hidden along with other secrets of families and rarely gets a chance to come out, like seduction at the hands of trusted friends of the family...To arrive at even a passable estimate of incest cases would be to touch the hornet's nest..."421 Throughout Indian history, says Spencer, "Mothers stimulated the penises of their infants and gave a 'deep massage' to their daughters as a form of affectionate consolation."422 Arab mothers are said to "rub the penis long and energetically to increase its size," "In China, Manchu mothers tickle the genitals of their little daughters and suck the penis of a small son," "In Thailand, mothers habitually stroke their son's genitals," etc.423

Western observers even today often notice that Japanese mothers masturbate their young children during the day in public and at night in the family bed-in order, they say, "to put them to sleep."424 The average Japanese mother sleeps with her children until they are ten or fifteen years old, traditionally sleeping "skin-to-skin" (dakine) while embracing her child because the father-as in the traditional gynarchy-is usually absent, over two-thirds of Japanese husbands being involved in extramarital intercourse.425 Japanese mothers often teach their sons how to masturbate, helping them achieve first ejaculation in much the same manner as with toilet training.426 A "mental health hotline" in Tokyo recently reported being flooded with calls about incest, 29 percent of them with complaints such as that the mother would offer her body for sex while telling the son, "You cannot study if you cannot have sex. You may use by body," or "I don't want you to get into trouble with a girl. Have sex with me instead."427 Wagatsuma reports "Japanese mothers often exhibit an obsession with their sons' penises...[they are] usually brought in by their mothers who fear that their sons' penises are abnormally small,"428 with the result that Japanese marriage clinics find "60 percent of their patients are afflicted with the 'no-touch syndrome,' that is, they will have no physical contact with their wives for fear that it will lead to sex...[termed] the ''I love mommy' complex."429 Adams and Hill and Rosenman have thoroughly documented the castration anxieties resulting from Japanese maternal incest.430

Maternal incest in history is, of course, almost impossible to document except for indirect evidence. Doctors told mothers and nurses to "gently stretch the end of the foreskin every day" and to "massage the scrotum" as well as to infibulate the foreskin later.431 Rabbinic sources deemed "a woman 'rubbing' with her minor son" common enough to have a law concerning it.432 Myths and drama endlessly depicted maternal incest,433 and dream-books like Artemidorus' mostly interpreted dreams of maternal incest as indicating good luck.434 Sophocles has Oedipus claim that "in dreams...many a man has lain with his own mother,"435 a fact mainly true of actual victims of maternal incest. Incest in antiquity was not illegal,436 nor was it spoken of as a miasma, an impurity,437 and early civilizations from Egypt and Iran to Peru and Hawaii had brother-sister incestuous marriages where the parents played out their incestuous needs by forcing their children to marry each other-a third or more of marriages being incestuous in the case of Roman Egypt.438

Still, direct evidence of widespread maternal sexual use of children in history can hardly be expected if even today it is everywhere denied. True, doctors from Soranus to Fallopius counsel mothers "to take every pain in infancy to enlarge the penis of boys (by massage and the application of stimulants)..."439 But usually the only reference to maternal incest is in the penitentials, where the Canons of Theodore mention that "a mother simulating sexual intercourse with her small son is to abstain from meat for three years...,"440 or, as in Dominici and Gerson, the child is told not to allow the mother to touch him.441 One could also cite various cleric's warnings about maternal incest, the many illustrations of mothers and grandmothers being shown with their hands on or near their children's genitals, or one could detail the nearly endless accounts in autobiographies and other direct reports of the sexual use of children by nurses and other female servants who masturbated and had intercourse with their charges "to keep them quiet," "for fun" or "to put them to sleep."442 Alternatively, one could document various other routine practices of mothers that indicated they used their children erotically, such as the habit of grandmothers and mothers to "lick it with 'the basting tongue'" all day long, sucking their lips, faces and breasts as though the child was itself a breast,443 or one could describe the incestuous behavior in the public baths (many of them doubling as brothels) in which mothers and children co-bathed.444 But just how widespread these incestuous maternal practices were escapes our research tools.

There is, however, one indirect measure of maternal incestuous practice that could indicate that mothers until well into the middle ages were acting out their erotic need to violate their daughter's genitals. Mothers in China and India have been observed to "clean the sexual organs of the little children during daily scrupulously" that the girls have no trace of a hymen...Even Chinese doctors do not know anything about the existence of the hymen."445 Some Arab mothers also "practice 'deep cleansing' on their very young daughters, purposely tearing the girls' hymen."446 A survey of physicians from antiquity to early modern times reveals that none of them were able to discover a hymen on any of the little girls they examined.447 Obviously the mothers and wetnurses of little girls during this period were routinely rupturing the hymen during some assault on their vaginas. Even Paré in the sixteenth century found when he dissected innumerable little girls as young as three yours old, "I was never able to perceive it."448 Occasionally a doctor like Soranus would find a hymen with his probe, but considered it an aberration.449 If one wanted to determine if a girl was a virgin in Greece, one resorted to magical virginity tests, like sending her to a cave where a poisonous snake lived, and "if they were bitten, it was a sign that they were no longer chaste."450 By the fifteenth century, the existence of the hymen and the act of deflowering by breaking it was finally recognized,451 indicating that the practice of assaulting girls' genitals had become less than universal.452

By the sixteenth century, giant communal family beds, "with people packed like sardines between the blankets,"453 including "grandparents, parents, children, servants and visitors,"454 began to diminish, so that over the next three centuries more and more people asked each other nostalgically, "Do you not remember those big beds in which everyone slept together without difficulty? those days men did not become aroused at the sight of naked women [but now] each one has his own separate bed..."455 The change was completely psychogenic, as it occurred in rich and poor families alike. Those who couldn't afford separate beds simply turned the children around so their heads were opposite to their parents, and nightclothes were used rather than "skin-to-skin" sleeping of previous times, so that even "working-class children seldom saw a naked body because most of their parents slept with their clothes on and changed clothing in a corner when others were not looking."456 By 1908, incest was finally made a criminal offence; it is today a minor felony in most nations.457

The best studies of incidence of sexual molestation of children are those of American adults conducted by Wyatt and Russell,458 both based upon face-to-face interviews lasting from one to eight hours, so that time is allowed for the trust necessary for accurate recall. Russell found 38 percent and Wyatt 45 percent of women interviewed reported memories of sexual abuse during their childhood. In my article "The Universality of Incest," I corrected these figures to reflect the major biases in their studies-their population does not include groups who have far higher than average sexual molestation experiences, such as criminals, prostitutes, the mentally ill, etc.; they neither count those who refused to be interviewed; and they did not count either those who might have suppressed conscious memories nor did they allow for the possibility of unconscious memories, which most early molestation produces. Adjusting for these factors, I posited a 60 percent rate of sexual abuse for girls. Using Landis' figures on men, I posited a 45 percent rate of sexual abuse for boys.459 The average age of the child molested was only 7 years old,460 the average duration of abuse was 5 years,461 and boys were more often molested by females while girls were more often molested by males.462 The only comparable studies from interviews were a Canadian Gallup study, a York University study and two British surveys, all four of which conclude with incidence rates the same or higher than the U.S. studies.463 Non-statistical studies of sexual molestation in other countries indicate the likelihood of rates being even higher.464

With over half of the children even today being subjected to sexual abuse-about half occurring between family members and most of the remainder occurring with the complicity if not outright collusion of one of the parents-children in the past were likely to have been routinely used as sexual objects by the adults around them. Although intimate historical records of past sexual abuse within the family are obviously selective, a few unusual glimpses of the widespread frequency of this molestation can be recovered. For instance, when Beatrice Webb and others reported in the nineteenth century that they had found that the sexual abuse of young girls by their fathers and brothers was so common in the families they visited that the girls often joked about their babies being products of incest,465 or when anthropologists report incest between fathers and daughters was quite common in rural villages from Greece to Japan,466 one can reject the reports as being perhaps unrepresentative of whole nations. But when Karen Taylor studied 381 cases of "Venereal Disease in Nineteenth-Century Children" and found that doctors in nineteenth-century Europe and America routinely treated children with venereal disease, mainly on their genitals, anuses and mouths, she finds she agreed with almost all of them that "There is no doubt on my mind that the father of this family was the source whence all the other received infections."467 Since the diseases cannot spread except by intimate contact with open wounds, when doctors found fathers with ulcerations of the penis in the same families with children who had ulcerations on the genitals, anus or mouth, incest had to be the cause. Reports from European hospitals showed similar patterns of venereal disease from incest in children.468

A second method that can reveal the extent of sexual abuse of children is to study measurable physical results of the abuse and determine their overall patterns in past centuries. One of these physical results of sexual and other severe childhood abuse is that girls who are abused reach puberty a few years ahead of others because of substantial increases in the stress hormone cortisol, in testosterone and in adrenal hormones, all of which accelerate their age of menarche.469 The age of menarche was approximately12 in antiquity, rose to around 17 in the early modern period, then dropped steadily in the past 200 years down to the present 13 years of age in modern nations.470 The cause of the overall drop recently has been demonstrated as due to the improvement in the overall population of more protein and calories during children's growth years.471 But since mainly wealthy children made up the measured population of menarche from antiquity to modern times-and these wealthy children did not eat less protein and calories than the entire population of children around 1700-only a slowly diminishing rate of sexual abuse of girls can account for the rise from 12 to 17 during the earlier two millennia. Only if most girls in antiquity and the middle ages were sexually molested could they have such an early average age of menarche and age of first children.

Boys do not have such an easily identifiable mark of puberty as girls, nor do they accelerate their sexual development as girls do when abused. In fact, boys delay their onset of puberty as a result of sexual and physical abuse, as John Money's work on the Kaspar Hauser Syndrome revealed, again connected with a deficiency of thyroid and growth hormones from the pituitary.472 Was boys' sexual development delayed in early history? It turns out it was. The growth of first beard in antiquity and the middle ages, first appeared in the boys' twenties, compared to appearing around 14 years of age today.473 The historical pattern was that beards began their reduction in the West from the 20s down to 14 around 200 years ago, which, as we will see in the next two sections, was when most of the reduction in frequency of sexual abuse took place.

A third method of revealing the routine nature of sexual abuse of children is examine one child's life that is adequately recorded and see how everyone around him casually uses him sexually. The best-documented life of a child in past times was that of Louis XIII (born 1601), through the daily diary of Jean Héroard, his physician.474 The assault on little Louis's erotic zones began at birth, with daily enemas and suppositories. These had nothing to do with toilet training or cleanliness-he was left filthy, and was nearly seven years old before he had his first bath. As doctors regularly recommended for all infants,475 frequent enemas or even fingers routinely put deep into the anus were for the purpose of removing the evil inside contents of the child, contents projected into them by the adults around them as a poison container. As David Hunt described the process: "The bowels of children were thought to harbor matter which spoke to the adult world insolently, threateningly, with malice and insubordination...the excrement which was regularly washed out of him was regarded as the insulting message of an inner demon, indicating the 'bad humors' which lurked within."476 Thus infants must be purged of their badness before each nursing so the "good" milk wouldn't get mixed up with the "bad" feces.

Fondling, sucking and kissing little Louis's penis and nipples were common practices by everyone around him-his parents, his nurses, his servants-beginning in his infancy and continuing throughout his childhood. This was done openly, without guilt, and sexual play with others became Louis's main topic of conversation, recorded in detail by Héroard. When he was an infant, all the women around him could hardly refrain from putting their hands up under his clothes, and one year old, still unable to walk, the entire court lined up to "kiss his cock."477 At the same time, he was made to feel guilty for his own assault, being told, "Monsieur, never let anybody touch your nipples or your cock or they will cut it off." His parents often undressed him in the middle of the day and took him to bed with them and "gambled about freely" while they had intercourse.478 After his father stretches out his penis as says, "Behold what made you what you are," Louis reports that "papa's penis is much longer than his, that it is this long, indicating half the length of his arm." "The Queen, touching his cock, tells him: 'Son, I am holding your spout.'... "He was undressed and [his sister] too and they were placed naked in bed with the King, where they kissed and twittered and gave great amusement to the King. The King asked him: 'Son, where is the Infanta's bundle?' He showed it to him, saying: 'There is no bone in it, Papa.' Then, as it was slightly distended, he added: 'There is now, there is sometimes.'"479 By the time he was four, he was also routinely taken to bed by his ladies-in-waiting and nurses and encouraged to explore their genitals and play sexual games like whipping their buttocks, later commenting publicly, "'Mercier has a cunt as big as that,' showing his two fists, and saying that 'there's a lot of water inside....the cunt of Saint-Georges is big as this box [and] the cunt of Dubois is big as my belly."480 His nurse, Mercier, usually slept with him and used him sexually. When asked "What have you seen of Mercier?" he answered, "I've seen her hole." "Is it pretty then?" "No, its pretty fat." "How do you know that?" "He answers that he has pissed on her."

The constant sexual use of little children in the past cannot be written off as harmless, as Ariès does when he writes, "All that was involved was a game whose scabrous nature we should beware of exaggerating."481 Nor was it limited to poor, illiterate peasants or workers. It was universal-indeed, it is still the rule for most of the children on earth-and it was done solely for psychological reasons. The final two sections of this chapter will examine more deeply the rape first of girls and then of boys throughout history.

The attitude of most adults until the twentieth century toward raping girls is summed up in the comments of a British journalist in 1924 who wrote: "Cases of incest are terribly common in all classes. [Usually] the criminal goes unpunished...Two men coming out from [a rape] trial were overheard saying to a woman who deplored there had been no conviction, 'What nonsense! Men should not be punished for a thing like that. It doesn't harm the child."482 The conviction that girls always "forget" about being raped after they grow up reaches back to Maimonides, who assures us that the rape of a girl under three was no cause for alarm for, once past three, "she will recover her virginity and be like other virgins."483 Guilt about rape was simply missing in the past because men recognized only two sexual categories: rapists and raped, dominators or dominated. Socarides' pedophile patient tells him why he rapes little girls:

"Women are filthy. They have menstruation, blood...Kids are cleaner...I have sex with kids so I won't die. It keeps me young, keeps me youthful. Having sex with women means that you are grown up already. Kids don't have sex with women, only grownups have sex with women. If I don't grow up, I don't die."484

Child rapists are so afraid of individuating that "grownup sex" with women means leaving their neglectful/destructive mothers, which means death to them. Raping a child means having possession of a "good breast devoid of frightening configurations" and overcoming an overpowering sense of emptiness, abandonment and death. Rapists in history over and over again tell how "rejuvenating" raping children can be. Epictetus gives this advice to those who want to help others overcome their fear of death: "What if you offer him a little girl? And if it is in darkness?"485 The traditional world was full of children-slaves, servants, sisters, street urchins, child prostitutes-all available to stave off death and loneliness and to revenge oneself upon the unloving mother.

Empathy for raped girls was missing in traditional societies. Even when the rapist was punished-and this was rare-it was only because "rape or seduction without paternal consent undermined the father's sovereign authority over his daughter.486 "A girl was quite unprotected if she did not live under the actual supervision of her father. Moreover, this protection did not extend to lower class girls, and if the guilty person was of high rank he was never prosecuted.487 Moreover, it was the general practice to brutally punish the girl if she was raped, so few ever told anyone about it.488 Vives says, "I know that many fathers have cut the throats of their daughters [if raped]...Hippomenes, a great man of Athens, when he knew his daughter debauched, shut her up in a stable with a wild horse, kept meatless, [who] tore the young woman [apart] to feed himself..."489 Girls in the past-as in many Arab countries still today-would often be killed if they had been raped.490 Even today in rural Greek communities, anthropologists report that "incest may sometimes be practiced, with the father, or both the fathers and the brothers, exploiting the growing girl....If the girl should become pregnant...her brothers or her father will kill her [in] an 'honor' killing."491 Or, in antiquity, "the father could exercise his power by putting the raped girl up for sale."492 Or the father would "give his daughter to the ravisher in marriage,"493 a custom still practiced in many areas of the world today.494

Men began raping girls when they were extremely young. Even today, the average age of rape is 7 years, with 81 percent of sexual abuse occurring before puberty and 42 percent under age 7.495 Well into the modern period many people thought raping little girls was a good idea because it was "instructive" for them; a woman physician wrote in 1878:

Infants but two and three years of age are often raped, by men of all ages, not only for present gratification, but to familiarize girls of immature ages with carnal matters and to excite, so that seduction may be easy in the future....We cannot too strongly impress upon the fathers of daughters their duty in seeing that their little girls are instructed in regard to the certainty of protecting themselves against rapes, by grabbing the testicles.496

Not all fathers in the past were protective of their daughters' virginity. Although only three percent of women report incest with fathers in America today,497 Gorden found far more widespread incest in nineteenth-century American families, with biological fathers accounting for nearly half of the cases that reached Boston courts498 and Lowndes reported that the only reason British courts were not swamped by paternal incest cases was that they simply didn't believe the victims and that the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children was precluded from touching incest cases.499 "Cases were hushed up, the rapist bribed parents not to report them, and wives might refuse to believe that the husbands were capable of such monstrosity, and even turn on their own daughters if they tried to complain."500 Records of mothers colluding with the fathers' rape were legion, as in the colonial American family where the mother "forced her daughter to go to bed with her stepfather, and, as the girl told the court, 'my mother held me by the hand whilst my father did abuse me and had his will of me.'"501 Many if not most "delinquent" girls in the past were simply victims of incest:

A Chicago study of delinquent girls in 1917 included many anecdotal cases of [sexual] abuse by relatives or neighbors, including "one girl raped by her own father when she was ten years of age, one by an uncle, two by boarders." In such accounts, phrases like "incest with a father" and "raped by a lodger" recur in a bleak litany. Jane Addams noted in 1913 that "a surprising number of little girls have first become involved in wrongdoing through the men of their own households,' often as a result of assaults that occurred before the victims were eight years old.502

Many societies prefer incestuous marriages-n China, for instance, some families would avoid marriages to strangers by adopting girls when infants and raising them with their sons so they can marry their sisters.503 In many poor countries, "girls were regularly allowed to die off-through giving them less food and by other neglect-if they did not appeal sexually to the men around them. Even though this meant very high sexual abuse rates for young girls and severe sexual problems for them as women, the girls' flirtatious traits were adaptive..."504 Again, the entire gynarchy often colluded in the rapes. One of Madam Du Barry's main duties was "to search the land for the most beautiful girls who could be bought or kidnapped [as] 'baby-mistresses'" for Louis XV: "And with each of them, it was his custom before violating them to have them kneel with him in prayer at the edge of the bed which was to be the place of their defloration."505 Even Queen Elizabeth was made to play sexual games in bed with her foster-father in the home where she was sent as a teenager506-which could be the reason why she never married.

The fact that most girls were routinely badly beaten in the past made rapes more easy to cover up. A typical case was reported by a Boston physician:

A relative began masturbating her when she was about 8. He threatened to tell her father about some childish error if she wouldn't let him do as he pleased and she was afraid of her father....She has cut herself 28 or 30 times...Cuts herself slowly to bring out the pain...Mother whipped her with horsewhip...A Dr. in Lynn told her she should have connections [sexual intercourse] that it would cure her desire to cut herself...Stuck pen-knife in her vagina...Dr. Briggs [a previous physician she'd consulted] got a 'hard-on.[ Took her hand and put it on his penis...Then he masturbated her breasts and genitals over an hour...[her uncle] often used to hurt her horribly when he masturbated her.507

If the father had no daughter, he could use his son's child bride:

Fathers marry their sons to some blooming girl in the village at a very early age, and then send the young men either to Moscow or St. Petersburg to seek employment...when the son returns to his cottage, he finds himself nominal father of several children, the off-spring of his own parent...This is done all over Russia.508

It is not surprising that Duby reports of medieval families that they were "a hotbed of sexual adventure...penitentials forbid a man to know his wife's sister or daughter, his brother's wife...maidservants, female relatives, women still 'vacant,' or not yet disposed of [were] an open invitation to male licentiousness. In this small enclosed Paradise every man was an Adam: the young, the not so young, and first and foremost the head of the family, all were constantly exposed to temptation."509 Grandfathers in particular had to be warned by early psychoanalysts not to insert their fingers into their granddaughters' vaginas.510 The traditional family of the past was similar to families in less advanced areas today: for instance, a recent report of Middle Eastern women found four out of five recalled having been forced into fellatio between the ages of 3 and 6 by older brothers and other relatives.511 The molestation begins with masturbation or fellatio and proceeds to intercourse: "In most cases the girl surrenders and is afraid to complain since, if there is any punishment to be meted out, it will always end up by being inflicted on her."512 Sometimes, as in contemporary rural Greek villages, the young girl might invite the seduction in order to act out a fantasy of conquest of the abusive male. As one anthropologist reports:

To be raped or be the victim of an incestuous attack may have the appearance of a villainous assault upon innocence. [But while they usually] are angry at their seducers and exploiters, they can be very pleased by conquest [and] are not above seducing priests, fathers, and brothers as well as the husbands of their neighbours.513

Sexual slavery-whether of actual slaves or of foster children, servants or apprentices-was very widespread in the past. Even today there are over 100 million sexual slaves around the world, most of them starting their sexual services as children.514 Nor is the sale always forced by poverty: "A recent survey in Thailand found that of the families who sold their daughters, two-thirds could afford not to do so but instead preferred to buy color televisions and video equipment."515 Rape of girl servants in the past was nearly universal:

Masters seemed to believe that they had a right to their servants' or apprentices' sexual favours, a right they would claim by force if servants did not acquiesce...In 1772, when Sarah Bishop, aged sixteen, claimed to her mistress that her master had raped her, she told her "he always served all his servants so the night they came into the house." ...Rape seems to have been almost a ritual assertion of the master's authority...he believed that he had committed no crime.516

The majority of girls raped were done so with some sort of collusion of their parents. Mothers commonly rented out rooms to borders and forced their daughters to sleep with them.517 Throughout medieval Europe "daughters were loaned to guests as an act of hospitality."518 In Victorian London, "children went out onto the streets 'with the connivance of the mother,' returned home at night, and made their contribution to 'the profit of the household.'"519 Children as young as six were openly offered for sale and sexual use by public advertisements in most cities of Europe.520 One British chaplain declared that trying to stop child prostitution was like 'taking a spoon to empty the Mersey;"521 it was estimated in Victorian London one house in sixty was a brothel (6,000 in all) and one female in sixteen a prostitute.522 Virtually all prostitutes began either after rape in homes as children or because they were sold by their parents into prostitution.523 In antiquity, either "sacred" prostitution-with as many as six thousand prostitutes available in many temples-or profane prostitution or sex slavery was the lot of the majority of little girls born.524 Fathers sold and rented out their daughters for sexual use without the least guilt.525 If Genesis is to be believed, Lot handed over his two daughters for sexual use without even a payment.526 Chinese chiefs would provide harem girls to guests to rape, and one of them, Shihu, chief of the Huns, even had one of his harem girls cooked and served to his guests as a delicacy.527 Greek plays portray the sexual use of slave-girls as routine.528 Greek wives were often not allowed to do farming chores lest they be raped.529 John Chrysostome tells parents to frighten their children not to go out into the streets because they "ran the risk of sexual attack by pedophiles offering sweets and nuts."530 Christianity changed little in the use of young girls for raping. Convents were open brothels where "monks and confessors alike treated nuns and young novitiates as wives, but their victims' mouths were sealed by the 'dread of excommunication threatened by their spiritual fathers."531 In many cities, "nunneries were often little more than whorehouses [providing] fornication between nuns and their gentlemen callers."532 The clergy-in the past as in the present-was often reported as preferring little children to rape: "At Pope Alexander VI's celebration of Catholic Spain's victory over the Moors, children were passed amongst the clergy in a veritable 'sexual bacchanalia.'"533

Girls who went into the streets alone sometimes carried knives for protection against rape.534 Since rape was thought to be "a mere trifle (paulum quiddam)," rapists until very recently were rarely prosecuted and even more rarely found guilty (since there had to be others who witnessed the rape),535 and even if found guilty, most were let off with a mild fine.536 One of the most-used excuses for raping girls was the widespread belief that rape of a virgin cures one of venereal disease; if you said this was your reason for rape, you were usually let go.537 The belief was the typical "poison container" theory, that sexual intercourse with the pure was an antidote to the impure. Even the bubonic plague was thought to be cured by raping pure girls.538 Many brothels in the past and in the present specialized in providing "virgins" to men suffering from venereal disease for supposed "treatment" for the disease.539

Perhaps the most popular way to rape girls in the past was in the "raping gangs" that existed in nearly every country from antiquity to modern times. Roving gangs of "youths"-which practiced homosexual submission to the older among them540-practiced nightly collective raping attacks on unprotected women, "forcing the doors of a woman's house and, without concealing their identity and mixing brutality with blandishments, threats and insults, would rape their prey on the spot [and] drag the victim through the streets, eventually pulling her into a house whose keepers were accessories to the plot, where they would do as they pleased, all night long."541 Gang rapes made up to 80 percent of all sexual assaults in many areas,542 and violent gang rape "constituted a veritable rite of initiation" for youth in the past.543 Neighbors did not intervene; indeed, the rapes were considered "public performances" and the gang rapes were considered just normal, youthful "sporting" activities by their fathers and other city officials.544 Over half of the youth of the cities participated in the gang rapes, and over the years a large minority of the young girls of the city would end up being raped, giving credence to the conclusion that gang rape was a rite of initiation for youth in traditional societies, a preparation for the violence of knightly society.545

Finally, even when the girl got married, the marriage was usually at a very young age and to a man who was chosen by the parents, so in fact it would be considered child rape today. Girls were usually married off in antiquity between 12 and 14, to men in their 30s;546 "it was not uncommon," says Blümner, "since Greek girls married very early, for them to play with their dolls up to the time of their marriage, and just before their wedding to take these to some temple...and there dedicate them as a pious offering."547 Christian canon law ostensibly forbade child marriage, but the legal age for girls was twelve, and for most of medieval times "It was not at all uncommon for a girl to be a bride at ten [since] one of tender years [could] be married to a septuagenarian while 'church laws did not rescind the nuptials.'"548 Marriage thus was simply the final rape for most girls throughout history until modern times.

Pederasts past and present use boys for sexual purposes to make up for the traumas of their own childhood, "the male child representing his ideal self, whose youthfulness protects him from annihilation (death anxiety)."549 The boy is the smooth, maternal breast, the penis is the nipple, and raping the boy is an act of revenge toward the mother, showing that the pederast is in total control, dominating the boy to overcome his sense of emptiness and abandonment. As one pederast put it, "I want to hold him in my arms, control him, dominate him, make him do my bidding, that I'm all-powerful."550 The pederast's sexual targets are so interchangeable that he often seduces hundreds of boys in his lifetime. The sexual use of boys is not to be thought of as "a lack of impulse controls" or even as "only a different object choice" as most historians claim; pederasts are driven not by their sexual instincts but by their overwhelming anxieties.

Domination rather than tender love was in fact the central aim of all sexuality until modern times. Raping boys was by far the preferred sexual activity of men; it was considered more "according to nature" than heterosexuality, "an ordinance enacted by divine laws."551 Pythagoras, when asked when one should have sex with women rather than boys, replied: "When you want to lose what strength you have."552 As one historian of sexuality put it, "The world was divided into the screwers-all male-and the screwed-both male and female."553 Because the boy represented the ideal self with whom the rapist merged, he must be without hair: "I like the smooth surface of the young boy's body, I don't like hair on it, I can't stand it..."554 So as soon as boys reached puberty, they were felt to be useless for sexual purposes, and all pederastic poetry mentions the first hairs terminate the boy's attractiveness. According to graffiti and poetry, the boy is most often raped anally.555 Lucilius compares sexual relations with boys and women: "She bloodies you, but he on the other hand beshits you."556 While the vagina is "castigated in invective as smelly, dirty, wet, loose, noisy, hairy, and so such feeling seems to have been applied to the anuses of pueri."557 Boys' anuses were called "rosebud, sometimes compared to the sweetest of fruits, the fig, other times again equated with gold."558 The only precaution taken was to depilitate boys' anuses, says Martial and Suetonius.559 Indeed, as Martial put it, men must only penetrate the anus of boys, warning a man who was stimulating a boy's penis: "Nature has divided the male into two parts: one was made for girls, the other for men. Use your part."560 Boys were far preferred over women; Propertius vowed, "May my enemies all fall in love with women and my friends with boys."561 It was important that the boy not experience pleasure, only "pain and tears...of pleasure he has none at all."562 The painful assault on the boy's anus also restaged the painful routine insertion by mothers and nurses of fingers, enemas and suppositories into the rectums of children. In particular, "initiatory" pederasty was always anal, involving a fantasy of "the intrinsic spiritual value of sperm" that-as we have seen in the previous chapter-was needed to ejaculate into the boy's anus in order to "make him a man."563 Parents taught boys in antiquity to "Put up with it: not as a pleasure, but as a duty."564 Physicians were regularly expected to provide ointments and other lubricants for anal penetration of boys and they were asked to repair the rectal tears and other injuries that were the usual results of the rapes.565

Pederasty was widespread in preliterate tribes around the world, from the "customary pederasty" of Australians and the sexual use of berdaches in North and Central American tribes-where boys were dressed as girls beginning in infancy for raping-to the "boy-wives" of Africa.566 All early civilizations practiced boy rape and even had boys serve as temple prostitutes, including the ancient Hebrews, Sumerians, Persians, Mesopotamians, Celts, Egyptians, Etruscans, Carthaginians, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Aztecs, Mayans, etc.567 The rape was expected to be violent; men were expected to take along with them when going out in the streets "scissors, to make a hole in the trousers of the boy [and] a small pillow to put in the boy's mouth if he should scream..."568 Tutors and teachers often raped their pupils along with beating them; as Quintilian warned, "I blush to mention the shameful abuse which scoundrels sometimes make of their right to administer corporal punishment. Fathers in Greece chose the penetrator of his boy, often obtaining gifts or favors in return.569 Aristophanes shows one father in Birds complaining to another, "Well, this is a fine state of affairs...You meet my son just as he comes out of the gymnasium, all fresh from the bath, and you don't kiss him, you don't say a word to him, you don't hug him, you don't feel his balls! And yet you're supposed to be a friend of ours!"570 Pedagogues were hired to guard boys against rape by unapproved men, but the pedagogue might assault the boy himself.571 Boys. in Greece were blamed if their failed to find a pederast for themselves; every boy was expected to have one.572 Greek and Roman soldiers brought boys along with them on campaigns to use sexually.573 Slave boys were often furnished to guests for sexual use.574 Doctors prescribed sex with boys as therapy.575 Boy brothels and rent-a-boy services were widespread, and pederasts chosen by the father could even sell his rights to rape a particular boy to another man.576 With the number of boys prostitutes worldwide still in the millions,577 it is not surprising that every city in antiquity had its boy-brothels; in Rome, boys could be picked up at the barbershop or at the exit of any of the games.578 All men, even when married, were expected to have sex with boys. "Almost all of the great democratic leaders of Archaic Athens were...pederastic."579 Wives found it hard to compete with their husbands' boys. Juvenal says wives were "always hot with quarrels...bitching away...about his boy-friends,"580 and Martial describes a wife yelling, "Bumming a boy again! Don't I have a rump as well?"581

A few early Christians began to object to using boys sexually. John Chrysostom complained about fathers taking their boys to banquets where they were made to perform fellatio on men "under the blankets," recommending that boys be placed in the care of monks at the age of ten to avoid seduction.582 But most medieval authors gave the pro-pederast advice of antiquity, with medical books recommending sex with boys as "less harmful [than] sexual union with women [which] leads more quickly to old age..."583 The reason men in medieval times waited until their 30s to get married was because they routinely used young boys for sex until then; in Florence, for instance, only a quarter of the men in the fifteenth century were married by the age of 32.584 Since over a third of most households had servants or apprentices, sexual relations between masters and male servants were even more common and even acceptable than between masters and female servants.585 Tutors and teachers in schools were expected to use their students sexually, and those who protested that it was a "vice so inveterate [and] so strong a custom" that it was "hardly likely to be discouraged" were thought odd.586

But placing boys as oblates into monasteries only made them available for rape by monks, who could not keep their hands off them. One abbott wrote about an infant boy brought to the monastery by his father:

...the man turned the child over to me altogether, and I received the baby with pleasure and joy and a clean heart. [But] when the boy got older and had reached the age of about ten...I was tortured and overwhelmed by an obscene desire, and the beast of impure lust and a desire for pleasure burned in my soul...I wanted to have sex with the boy...587

Sex with boys was the central obsession of monks beginning with the early anchorites who went to the desert; Macarius saw so many monks having sex with boys in the desert that he strongly advised monks not to take them in.588 But the need was too strong, and even rules such as those requiring boys to have escorts when going to the lavatory did not prevent monks from routinely using their oblates sexually.589 So many monks raped their novices that there was a common saying, "With wine and boys around, the monks have no need of the Devil to tempt them."590 Priests also commonly used confessions to solicit sex with boys, but early Christian penitentials assessed penances only for the boys, since they were blamed for their own rape. Peter Damian said in the eleventh century that sex with boys in monasteries "rages like a bloodthirsty beast in the midst of the sheepfold of Christ with bold freedom" and suggested both the man and boy be punished as accomplices for a "sin against nature."591

So acceptable was pederasty in medieval times that parents continued handing over their boys for sexual use to friends and others from whom they expected favors.592 Bernardino of Siena condemned parents as "pimps" of their own sons, saying the fathers, pederasts themselves, were the ones most responsible, taking money or gifts from their sons' rapists.593 Boys were so likely to be raped in the streets-"a boy can't even pass nearby without having a sodomite on his tail"-that Bernardino urged mothers, "Send your girls out instead, who aren't in any danger at all if you let them out among such people...this is less evil."594 Mothers, too, colluded in the seduction of their sons. "When a boy started to mature sexually...his mother gave him a bedroom to himself on the ground floor, 'with a separate entrance and every convenience, so that he can do whatever he pleases and bring home whomever he likes.'"595

When beginning in the fifteenth century some more violent pederasty disputes began being handled by courts, the huge number of cases prosecuted revealed that every place boys were gathered-from schools and monasteries to taverns and pastry shops-were "schools of sodomy" where pederasts gathered to violate boys.596 In Florence, according to the thorough analysis of court records by Michael Rocke, "in the later fifteenth century, the majority of local males at least once during their lifetimes were officially incriminated for engaging in homosexual relations" with boys.597 Since many pederasts were never incriminated in court, since courts were reluctant to try any but the most violent cases of boy rape, and since pederasts past and present usually rape dozens of boys each, these early court statistics reveal as nothing else the universality of pederasty in history. If the majority of men were hauled into court for cases in connection with their pederasty, the number of boys actually being raped must have been nearly everyone.

As more parents evolved into the intrusive and socializing modes of modern times, they were more and more reluctant to hand over their boys for use by pederasts. Tutors began being monitored to see that they were not pederasts, and reformers began to warn that servants too often "take liberties with a child which they would not risk with a young man."598 Some suggested that public female brothels should be encouraged as "the best chance of keeping men away from boys."599 The rape of boys in British public schools, "with the full knowledge and collusion, even the approval, of their elders,"600 nevertheless continued into the twentieth century, where every older boy and even teachers had a younger boy as their "bitch" to use sexually.601 Only slowly in recent decades has it become acceptable to defend children against sexual attack, and only in the most psychogenically advanced nations has the rate of sexual abuse of children dropped to only half of the children born.

Obviously, despite the achievement of empathic childrearing among some parents today, most of humankind still has a long way to evolve to get beyond severe abuse and give their children the love and respect they deserve. The ubiquity of severe child abuse and neglect in historical sources makes even the most horrific descriptions found in contemporary clinical and child advocacy reports seem limited in comparison. It is no wonder that historians have chosen to hide, deny and whitewash the record here uncovered, in order to avoid confronting the parental holocaust that has been the central cause of violence and misery throughout history.


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