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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Australian Feminist Studies
Issue number86
Volume30
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)377-385
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date8/04/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

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 //////