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Feral Children - Making Up for Lost Time - Term Paper Example

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This research paper, Feral Children - Making Up for Lost Time, presents feral children, as they are called, who have lived isolated from human contact from a very young age. They have had no, or best-limited opportunity for human care or contact. …
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Feral Children - Making Up for Lost Time
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Download file to see previous pages Ancient mythology has many stories of children nurtured by animals, but the first “true” account of a feral child was recorded by the undoubtedly dependable Roman historian Procopius. A baby boy abandoned by his mother during the chaos of the Gothic wars in about AD 250 was found and suckled by a she-goat. When the survivors returned to their homes, they found the boy living with his adopted mother and named him Aegisthus. Procopius states he saw the child himself.
In eighteenth and nineteenth-century European reports concerning “wild children” were beginning to filter in. Academics, naturally skeptical and seeking empirical evidence, judged the phenomenon far off and probably a product of superstition on the part of isolated social groups. Their contention: witnesses were few and mostly peasants (unreliable). The children themselves, many by now adults, had never learned language sufficient to recount their early lives. As a result, testimony was generally dismissed and studies conducted on such individuals few, far between and cursory.
For many years, despite several intriguing cases from early on in history, the attitude of science persisted that precluded much serious study of feral children, and the children were viewed as mostly curiosities. One would think that cases such as that of Jean de Liège in 1644 would have set the stage for a more serious approach. A five-year-old during the religious wars, Jean took to the woods with fellow villagers to avoid the invading army.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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