In this book, Touching — the Human Significance of the Skin, Ashley Montagu relates how Larry Rhine raised an orphaned kitten. Everyone knows that kittens. A passionate and committed plea for good touch using evidence based results Ashley Montagu was an anthropologist, who amongst other. TOUCHING THE HUMAN SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SKIN SECOND EDITION. by ASHLEY MONTAGU Copyrightowner ASHLEY MONTAGU.

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What he did with his orphaned kitten was to use a moistened Q-Tip cotton swab to massage the path that food takes through the kitten’s body. Furthermore, the skin, as we know from human faces, carries its own memory of conditions experienced in the remote and immediate past.

This is most strikingly seen in the increase in size of the human fetal brain, which by the time of birth has acquired a volume of between and cubic centimeters.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Comedic gestures are vertical movements and tragedic ones are horizontal. Transmitted through the atmospheric environment, in addition to air movements, are gases, particles, parasites, viruses, bacteria, changes in pressure, temperature, humidity, light, radiation, and much else.

Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin

Of course, there is a marvelous synchrony about these recipro cal changes, but their very tuoching underscores their in terdependence. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: But it is SO fascinating! In cesarean-delivered infants the amount of sugar produced in response to this glucagon factor is much less than in vaginally delivered infants, in the absence of labor.

Hence there is a high mortality rate among montau puppies, caused by failure to eliminate, unless some substitute for maternal licking, such as stroking by the human hand, is provided.

The nervous system is, then, a buried part of the skin, or alternatively the skin may touchkng re garded as an exposed portion of the nervous system.


Montagu was clearly a deeply compassionate individual, and the fine combination of heart and head in his writing is refreshingly balanced.

The research, the ideas this book presents. Cesarean-delivered babies suffer from a number of disadvan tages from the moment they are born.

Contents The Womb of Time. Rats, mice, rabbits, and those mammals depending upon the mother for sustenance in the early days of life apparently have to be taught to defecate and urinate.


This blissful existence is rudely inter rupted largely owing to a fall in the levels of the pregnancy- maintaining hormone progesterone in the mother’s blood stream, resulting in the turbulent series of changes which the fetus begins to experience as the birth process. This is a very different arrangement from that which existed in the fetus. The brain growth of the anthropoid infant presents no such problems, particularly in view of the mother’s generous pelvic arrange ments.

We speak of a person as having grown so “callused” that he has become insensitive to human feeling. The findings of many independent re searchers indicate that there exist certain types of normal spe cies-specific behavior dependent upon particular experiences during critical periods in the life of the individual animal.

The evidence, as we have seen, tends to support this hypothesis, that the uterine contractions of labor constitute the beginning caressing of the baby in the right ashlfy a caressing which should be continued in very special ways in the period immediately following birth and for a considerable time thereafter.

In the preface to the third edition he writes: They were not easily frightened. It will be necessary for us to discuss this matter ashely, in order to gain some insight into the precarious condition in which the young of human kind is born, and why it is necessary that the human neonate undergo certain motagu of cutaneous stimulation. Why are human beings born in a state so immature that it takes eight to ten months before the human infant can even crawl, and another four to six months before he can walk and talk?


It is quite simply the effect of tactile experience upon human behavioral development.

Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin – Ashley Montagu – Google Books

I have often explained to people that if our brain were fully developed at childbirth, we would all be stillborn because we awhley be unable to pass through the pelvic girdle of our mothers. The average duration of gestation in the gorilla is about days, in the orang-utan about days, and in the chimpanzee 23 1 days. This group was high-strung, exhibited fear, and bit those who tried to hold them. In that exception, I reasoned, there probably also lay an interesting story, as, indeed, we shall later see.

It struggled to force its body through that little hole. Approaching Elvar with all the affection, interest, and respect he deserved, I proceeded to stroke the top of his head. Mar 05, Jonna rated it it was amazing.

These stimulations are greatly intensified during the process of labor in order to prepare the sustaining systems for postnatal functioning in ways somewhat different from those which were necessary in the aquatic environment in which the fetus has thus far spent his ashleh.

In none of these, nor in the normal uncollared groups, was the inhibition of mammary develop ment anywhere nearly as great as in the collared group.