A Word in Your Ear

Imagine this. You are faced with a number of rooms. Each room has an occupant. One room has a kitten, another a puppy, another a foal, another a lion cub and the last a child. Which room or rooms would you feel attracted to enter, and which would make you feel anxious and wish to avoid?

The “aah” response is nearly universal in response to the young of other animals, but in human society the presence of children of any age group rather than attracting adults, provokes a general retreat.

It seems to me there is a remarkable absence of serious study on why our children generally repel adults. The standard social response to this across many cultures and throughout history is to ghettoise the children with their mothers, in the process excluding women from adult society. Have children and other adults will avoid you in order to avoid your…

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