Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Maternal Instinct Is Real

People used to know these things intuitively. It makes perfectly good sense to believe that human females, being mammals, possess a maternal instinct. And it makes sense to believe that the instinct is not a social construct.

Certainly, the social institutions that have been entrusted with ensuring the nurturance of babies take the maternal instinct into account. They designate a baby’s mother as the person best equipped to nurture the baby. The same applies to an infant and a toddler.

The notion that the gender of the lead parent does not matter is an ideologically-driven illusion. It runs directly counter to everyone’s intuition and now to scientific fact.

A recent study from Europe shows that pregnancy changes a woman’s brain, the better to prepare her to care for her child. This should not come as a surprise.

The New York Times reports the research:

Pregnancy changes a woman’s brain, altering the size and structure of areas involved in perceiving the feelings and perspectives of others, according to a first-of-its-kind study published Monday.

Most of these changes remained two years after giving birth, at least into the babies’ toddler years. And the more pronounced the brain changes, the higher mothers scored on a measure of emotional attachment to their babies.

The changes increase a mother’s emotional attachment to her baby and enhance her sensitivity to the baby’s needs.

The study took place at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain. It was led by Elseline Hoekzema, a researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

She concluded, the Times reports:

Pregnancy, she explained, may help a woman’s brain specialize in “a mother’s ability to recognize the needs of her infant, to recognize social threats or to promote mother-infant bonding.”

And also:

Researchers wanted to see if the women’s brain changes affected anything related to mothering. They found that relevant brain regions in mothers showed more activity when women looked at photos of their own babies than with photos of other children.

Obviously, we all want to know whether expectant fathers experience similar transformations. The researchers discovered that they do not:

The researchers also scanned the brains of 17 men who were not fathers and 19 first-time fathers before and after their partners’ pregnancies. The two male groups showed no difference in brain volume.

Culture warriors have put in an enormous amount of time and effort ridding the language of all references to the difference between the sexes. They have forced people to neuter parenthood, replacing mothers and fathers with lead parents and not-lead parents.

In truth, the language was right all along. Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable. Mothers and fathers do not relate to babies and even to toddlers in the same way. This means that babies are best cared for by their mothers.

Or perhaps by another woman who had been pregnant herself.

Since we have already seen that babies are especially attuned to the sound of their mother’s voice, it does not make a lot of sense to think that it does not matter which parent is bringing up baby.

7 comments:

Trigger Warning said...

The study referenced above is most remarkable for its acceptance by "Nature", a venerable journal most notable these days for the extreme political correctness of its editorial board.

Nevertheless, it is refreshing, both because the authors did not over-interpret the visual voxel blobs produced by signal processing software and because the authors failed to describe the results in a slavish twist of Narrative reification.

Combined with emerging results showing libido supression and emotional blunting caused by oral contraceptives, it's a testament to the fact that we are in the midst of the largest, most comprehensive uncontrolled experiment ever conducted on human sexuality and biological adaptation.

I suspect there is an extreme backlash waiting in the wings. I'm glad I shall probably be dead by the time it occurs.

David Foster said...

Trigger..."Combined with emerging results showing libido supression and emotional blunting caused by oral contraceptives"

I've seen studies (excerpts of studies, at least) suggesting that oral contraceptive may change a woman's sexual preferences and possibly reduce her libido during what would otherwise be the most fertile part of her cycle, but not seen anything on emotional blunting...unless you mean PMS symptoms, etc?

george boggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The scientific discovery of a maternal instinct is shocking... to scientists. To normal people, this is not news. To Democrats, this is "fake news." To Leftists, this is part of the "War on Women." And to gender feminists, this is simply a patriarchal conspiracy to keep women in bondage. So whether or not this news is received at all matters depends on whose ears receive it, not these politically incorrect facts. And that has more to do with the human condition than Mother Nature. We are the only species in the world that finds ways to confuse, distort and obviate the understanding of basic mammalian truths.

Trigger Warning said...

David, my poor choice of words. I meant suppression of the natural dynamics of sexual attraction. Is emotional blunting a term of art?

And now that you mention it, I believe I do recall PMS as a reason for some MDs to prescribe BC pills.

Ares Olympus said...

I don't think there is ANYONE who says that mothers SHOULD go back to work during the first two years of a baby's life, that this is an ideal situation,

So for women who can afford not to, I'd predict the vast majority won't. I do imagine many career women who consider staying away for a full 2 years, that they'll worry that they're going to be left behind and have a hard time getting back in to their old job,

I expect that's why many big corporations, especially ones with women leadership look into having onsite daycare, so new mothers can visit their babies on a regular schedule for nursing and such.

OTOH, a cousin of mine who works at the University of Minnesota had her boss admit that the Daycare at the University was too expensive for her income. So she had to find a neighbor with her own kids to have cheaper daycare.

I also recall that statement from Trump:
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/politics/trump-breast-pump-statement/
---
Donald Trump had an "absolute meltdown" when a lawyer requested a break from a 2011 deposition to pump breast milk.

"He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, 'You're disgusting, you're disgusting,' and he ran out of there," attorney Elizabeth Beck told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday morning.
---

Perhaps "breast pump" was a trigger word for him. Instead women need to offer a white lie and say "I need to use the powder room."

Olympus Ares said...

Faithless electors:
--- 71% were faithless to the Democrat
--- Of the Democratic faithless, more than half voted Republican

:-D

Pump that.