Feral Children

Topics: Feral child, Kaspar Hauser, Oxana Malaya Pages: 4 (1411 words) Published: February 3, 2013
“... Are we a product of our genes or are we a product of our experiences?...” (Perry, Wild Child: The Story of Feral Children, 2002). For years researchers debated whether or not nature or nurture contributes the most to the development of a child. This can continue to be debated in the case of feral children. Feral children can be defined as children who have been neglected. These children have limited or no contact with humans. Feral children or wild children are deprived of the love and care from family. Feral children lack social and emotional skills. That is to say that a feral child is unable to feel empathy. It has been reported that some wild children survive in the wilderness, raised by animals or raised in isolated confinement. How does this condition affect the behaviour and development of these children? Professor James Law, an expert in Language and Communication Science, said that part of being human is being raised by humans. Children absorb information rather quickly and emulate behaviour that has been displayed. One example of this behaviour is in the case of Oxana Malaya. Oxana Malaya was found at age eight in Ukraine. Her parents were alcoholics and were unable to take care of her. At a tender age of three, Oxana started living in a shed which was inhabited by dogs. Oxana learned their mannerisms and started imitating their behaviour. According to records, she growled, barked and walked on all fours. Anna Chalaya, an institute director, stated that Oxana had the ability to speak. However, Oxana thought that speaking was not necessary. Social and emotional skills were difficult to acquire. Due to her lack of human exposure, Oxana lacked verbal skills and was unable to properly develop these verbal skills. On the other hand, not many cases of feral children being raised by animals are reported. One example is in the case of Genie. Genie lived with her parent in California and was locked in a bedroom for thirteen years. She...
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