In the 1990s Jame W. Prescott, former director of the National Institutes of Health’s section on Child Health and Human Development, concluded that the most peaceful cultures on Earth feature parents who maintain extensive physical, loving contact with their children (for example, carrying their babies on their chests and backs throughout the day). In addition, these cultures do not suppress adolescent sexuality, viewing it instead as a natural state of development that prepares adolescents for successful adult relationships. He also found that children (and animals) that do not experience loving touch are unable to suppress their stress hormones, an inability that is a harbinger of violent behavior. Says Prescott, “As a developmental neuropsychologist, I have devoted a great deal of study to the peculiar relationship between violence and pleasure. I am now convinced that the deprivation of physical sensory pleasure is the principal root cause of violence”
Prescott’s persuasive research has been ignored in “advanced” societies where the natural process of birth has been medicalized; where newborns are separated from their parents for extended periods; where parents are told to let infants cry for fear of spoiling them; where parents goad young children to achieve more by telling them they’re not good enough; where parents, believing that genes are destiny, let children develop on their own. All of these unnatural parenting behaviors are a recipe for continued violence on this planet.