Naturally Sexual Breast-Feeding: An Evolutionary Prescription for Emotional Health
Publication Date:December 2001
Breast-feeding, from the deepest evolutionary perspective, merges our emotional experiences of sexuality and intimacy at the very beginning of life to promote a more holistic concept of self. The obvious physical parallels between breast-feeding and reproductive coitus are examined. An historical analysis illustrates how patriarchal religious anti-sexualism ultimately caused breast-feeding to become inappropriately "redefined" as an asexual experience, in parallel with the inappropriate attempts to "redefine" masturbation as self-abuse, and even reproductive coitus as an asexual experience. Such "redefinition" of breast-feeding is then linked to the sexual repression of women as part of their stigmatization in the 18th Century as maternal beings too "pure" to have any sexual needs at all. Lingering sexual fears are shown as a continuing plague to a mother's enjoyment of the process, even to the point of causing her to cease breast-feeding early when such feelings arise. In addition to other benefits, long-term intimate breast-feeding is shown not to promote, but rather to discourage incestuous relations with the mother. The revelation of the original experience of breast-feeding is described based on the most primitive of hunter-gatherer societies in confirmation of the evolutionary perspective. Finally, the philosophical, social, and practical implications of breast-feeding as a form of "love-making" are discussed.
Beckstrom, J. (1993). Darwinism Applied. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.
Buss, D. (1999). Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind. Needham Heights, MA, Allyn & Bacon.
Brecher, E. (1969). The Sex Researchers. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.
deMause, L. (1974). The History of Childhood. New York: Harper Torchbooks, Harper & Row.
Eiger, M. and Olds, S. (1981). The Complete Book of Breastfeeding. New York: Bantam Books.
Freud, S. (1955). Complete Works of Sigmund Freud. London: Hogarth Press.
Gaines, W. (1915). A contribution to the physiology of lactation. American Journal of Physiology, Vol. 38.
Geraldo, transcript of August 5, 1993 show, 16-23. Livingston, N.J.: Burrelle's Information Services.
Glantz, K., and Pearce, J. (1989). Exiles From Eden: Psychotherapy From the Evolutionary Perspective. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Holmberg, A. (1969). Nomads of the Long Bow. Garden City, N.Y.: The Natural History Press.
Martinson, F. (1980). "Childhood Sexuality", in Handbook of Human Sexuality, ed. B. Wolman and J. Money, 29-59. Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson, Inc.
May, G. (1931). Social Control of Sex Expression. New York: William Morrow & Co.
Money, J. (1986). Lovemaps. New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc.
Newton, N. (1973). "Sexual Responsiveness, Birth, and Breast Feeding", in Contemporary Sexual Behavior, ed. J. Zubin and J. Money, 77-98. Baltimore: John Hopkins Univ. Press.
Orwell, George. (1993). Animal Farm. New York: Knopf.
Perry, R. (1991). "Colonizing the Breast: Sexuality and maternity in Eighteenth-Century England", in Forbidden History, ed. J. Fout, 107-37. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Powell, J. (1949). Herodotus (TV) Translation, Vol. 1. London: Oxford University Press.
Rossi, A. (1977). "A Biosocial Perspective on Parenting", in Daedalus, v 106, n 2, 1-31.
Symons, Donald. (1981). The Evolution of Human Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stevens, A. and Price, J. (1996). Evolutionary Psychiatry. New York: Routledge.
Yates, A. (1978). Sex Without Shame: Encouraging the Child's Healthy Sexual Development. New York: Morrow.
Dale Glabach, J.D., MA.*
* Dale Glabach, a clinical evolutionary psychologist, describes himself as the first person to receive a graduate degree in clinical evolutionary psychology from a fully accredited university. He may be contacted at 5000 Town Center, Suite 2604, Southfield, MI48075. Phone (248) 584-0417