The Maternal Instinct
?The Maternal Instinct? Response
Caroline Whitbeck makes a very compelling argument against the maternal attachment she refers to as ?maternal instinct? and biological differences resulting from various experiences. She introduces the experience factors of pregnancy, labor, childbirth, nursing and post partum recovery supporting her ?biological differences? theory. The obvious parental attachment shared between parents and their offspring is widely differentiated between males and females. Whitbeck argues that this too is a factor in her argument against ?the maternal instinct?.
In her article, Whitbeck uses primates as an example of this attachment between mothers and their offspring being a learned trait. In this study, the determining factor for me was that while in captivity, many first time mothers in Resus monkeys were hostile towards their first-born even violent at times.
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