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Feral Children: Cases and Learning Development

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Young People
Wordcount: 1916 words Published: 6th Jun 2017

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Feral children, wild child, gazelle boy, undomesticated; these are all names that have been given to children throughout the decades defined as A child who is raised without human contact, often raised by wild animals as a result of being abandoned. This is indeed a fact in history that these children exist. There are so many stories, examples and cases of feral children raised by animals in history. Examples like Victor The Wild Boy , Kamala and Amala sisters raised by a wolf, and Robert who was raised by monkeys in Uganda. It is incredible that these children were able to survive. How did they manage to stay alive, and at what cost to their humanity? Are they ever able to gain what they did not learn when integrated back into society? This is a cruel way to treat a little child, either with abuse or even just negligence to care for the child. Today feral children could be defined as any human child suffering from sensory deprivation and can be caused by their own parents. Today they can be children who have grown up with very little contact or none at all.

Feral Children explore the boundaries of environmental factors on human beings, how they develop to become what society deems to be a respectable human and the overall influences of nature versus nurture paralleled to unconditional love and the surrounding of other humans.

Many cases of feral children have occurred over several centuries. These children were isolated for so long and to a point where they do not know English or have not even seen another human being. Tales of children living and surviving in the wild, brought up by animals are almost too unbelievable to be true. Feral children are kids who have been confined with little to no human contact. Sometimes they live and survive on their own, or they have been raised by animals. Many cases prove that these feral children are not just some made up tale, but real life children living without any speech or knowledge of what is happening to them. There are many effects that occur to these children from being cut off from the real world. They include learning animal behaviours and possibly never learning to speak. Some of the children became super fast runners at times on all fours, some even covered with hair. Feral children s senses were often more developed than those of children living with humans, particularly their sense of smell and hearing. Various children found in the wild could adapt easily to changes in temperature and tolerate more pain. You may need to site some of this information, where did you get the facts?

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Many people believe that these stories of children raised by animals are just that, stories made up by writers and people with vivid imaginations. This is not true; there are many documented cases of these children. In January of 1799, a young boy with no clothes on was spotted outside a small town of France, near Aveyron. This boy was named Victor, and was around the age of eleven or twelve. Victor behaved like an animal, he ate rotten food with pleasure, he was incapable of distinguishing hot from cold, and he spent much of his time rocking back and forth like a caged animal

He lived with a scientist named Dr. Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard. He was dedicated to the education of the young boy trying to get him to be able to speak. Victor made little progress in all these areas and was only able to perform small tasks, such as setting a table. Eventually scientists lost funding for Victor and he was sent to live with a housekeeper. Victor died at the age of 40 in 1828.

In a more modern version of feral children is the story of the Romulus and Remus, two young girls who were discovered under the care of a she-wolf in 1920, in Godamuri, India. In order to get to the girls the wolf defended the two girls like they were her own babies, but the wolf was killed because it was attacking the men trying to save the two girls. The two girls were Kamala who was aged eight and Amala aged only 18 months old. The two girls would sleep all day and wake up at night, remained only on all fours, liked eating raw meat, and would bite or growl at people bothering them. They worked with these girls for a long time to try and find out as much as possible about feral children. Amala only lived for a year until she died but Kamala lived for nine more years until she passed away of illness. Kamala did learn a small vocabulary and eventually learned how to walk up right, but still had a good sense of sight in the dark and of raw meats at a great distance.

A feral child does not have to be a story about a lost child raised by an animal. Many cases of abused or forgotten children have come up over time. Stories such as kids being found tied to toilets or locked in a basement, some kids forced to live in a dog house because their parents are too drunk to remember them. Genie was a 13 year old girl when police took custody of her on November 25th, 1970. Genie was found only because her mother had applied for welfare and prior to this no one knew she even existed. She would be strapped to a toilet in an empty room where her parents kept her. Also was forced to sleep in a sleeping bag that was way to small for her, genie now has deformed legs because of this. She was kept in such isolation that she couldn t talk or understand people. She could only make small grunts or moans if she needed something, she could also mumble the words no more .

She was kept in her room for 10 years because her father thought she was mentally challenged as a baby. Genie had very limited socialization and she was abused for making noise which stunted her ability to communicate. They formed a group of scientists and social workers to help Genie have a normal life; this was later called The Genie Project. They worked with Genie for many years with little progress. Eventually they lost funding for her and she had to be sent to live in many foster homes were she was abused again. She currently lives in California with her foster parents.

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Another case of this kind of abuse emerged from the Ukrainians, a girl named Oxona Malaya who was found living in a farm kennel. Oxana s parents were both alcoholics and did not care for her well being. This is the reason why she decided to sleep in the kennel with the dogs at such a young age. For six years she was raised by dogs, not having any human contact. Oxona would walk on all fours, bark at people, and pant like a normal dog would. Oxana did not know what a mirror was and showed no recognition of the reflected image of her. This lack of self-awareness makes her, in some respects, more like an animal than a human. These two cases show people what abusing a child can do to then. As She was growing up and learning how to speak, they discovered in a brain scan that Oxana was mentally challenged because of her time spent with the dogs, if she was just raised like a normal girl she could of a had a normal childhood growing up, instead she has to live in a foster home.

This is the reason why most children are abandoned or forgotten about, because parents do not want to have a mentally challenged child. She could have lived a normal life if her parents just cared a little more to pay more attention, but now she has to grow up learning how to talk and walk like a normal human being.

In a small village in Uganda in 1982 a little boy named John Sebunnya was found living in a tree with monkeys. He ran away from home at the age three because of the abuse he took from his parents, also his parents didn t bother looking for where John ran away. He tells his story to this day of what happened in the little English he knows. Many different councilors and scientists have sat down with him asking about his time living with the monkeys. Different aspects of his story stick out to scientists that make them wonder if this was just a case of the monkeys tolerating the boy. They would just let him eat whatever was left and never cleaned him as they would other monkeys. When it came to cleaning time for the monkeys, they would never clean John, and he said that he would just watch as they pulled bugs from each other s fur. This information made scientists think that the monkeys didn t actually take care of John but just accepted him in the group. Throughout our history, our society has tested the theory of nature vs. nurture. Some scientists believe that we are predisposed according to our genetics on how we behave. This is known as the nature theory. Other scientists believe that we behave in a certain way because of how we are taught. This is known as the nurture theory.

One topic sociologists have studied is feral children to help explain these theories. They have found that children raised by animals acquired the instincts and behaviors of the species that raised them. The study of these feral children and children who are raised or kept in extreme isolation makes it hard not to support the nurture theory or statement. These cases prove the importance of education in our society and

They show that human beings not only can be educated, but must be educated to become a human being at all. Everything that a child knows or learns must be taught; except for normal body functions like breathing or reflexes. Abilities that determine a child s success in school do not happen automatically they must be developed or nurtured . Children also learn how to be friendly, thankful, honest, trustful and respectful. All these skills must be learned and fostered. Psychologists and Scientists have studied feral children to help them gain insight into human socialization and development. By helping these children with human like abilities due to what they were going through as children. When feral children are discovered and returned to society, they often remain significantly developmentally delayed. Researchers are still trying to answer the question whether these children were already delayed or their abnormalities occurred because of their isolation in the wild. So what makes us human? Is it society or is it instilled within us? Babies do grow into adults physically, but our social beliefs and ideas are not transferred in our DNA. Even though our bodies may grow, if we are isolated we become little more than an animal. In order for children to develop into well rounded human beings, they must be surrounded by people that care for them and people that will teach them language and how to walk. Through the stories of the feral children whether true or not, it leaves us wondering what makes us human? Feral children are human biologically but their emotions are limited to what they learned in the wild. These children will now never know right from wrong, or even what their own name is, but it goes to show the little attention a child gets makes a big impact on that child in the future. Children need love and protection from other human beings in order to grow up and develop into a human being themselves. The young age these children get lost at or when there forgotten is the age the child s brain is growing, when they learn speech and ability to walk. It shows us how important it is for children to have the influence of another human to learn and love from. The nurture you give a child as a baby is what gives that child human like behaviors, nurturing a child can last a life time.


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