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  • Roberts_AFS_paper_final10.12.15

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australian Feminist Studies on 08/04/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/08164649.2016.1148098

    Accepted author manuscript, 145 KB, PDF-document

    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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Psychology, evolution and the traumatised child: exploring the neurophysiology of early sexual development

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Australian Feminist Studies
Issue number86
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)377-385
Early online date8/04/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Epidemiological research indicates that adopted children are at increased risk of early sexual development. Evolutionary psychology tries to explain this connection in two ways: arguing that early stress hastens sexual maturity through a kind of embodied fear of death; or by suggesting that early development is an adaptive response to improved life situations. Both explanations are problematic. In contrast, research by Stephen Porges on the evolutionary neurophysiology of early childhood trauma provides important insights into the persistence of behavioural and physiological patterns in neglected and abused children and may go towards explaining early development. More broadly, this work also highlights new avenues for theorising the entanglements of body, brain and behaviour that are central to contemporary feminist thought.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor //////