Adoption Survivor

dealing with it


with 2 comments

I was going to post about this exact same topic, but Harlow’s Monkey beat me to it.  Well said.

Written by girl4708

December 4, 2009 at 7:26 am

Posted in Infinite Longing

2 Responses

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  1. I have no idea what Harlow’s Monkey means, but she’s got a really good blog!


    December 11, 2009 at 6:23 am

  2. Harry Harlow was a behavioral scientist. His studies on rhesus monkeys proved how emotional needs being met are as critical to species survival as physical needs.

    Studies have shown that animals respond to warmth, softness, and loving faces, and that in the absense of emotional attachment, baby animals can literally die. but Harlow’s monkey refers to the baby monkey in his experiment whose first mother was a faceless wooden effigy of a female monkey. In subsequent trials with new more comfortable mothers with faces, the baby monkey would turn the head around until the new mother appeared faceless before it would respond. It had bonded with the first mother and all subsequent mothers were pale substitutes to the monkey.

    Prior to his study, infant attachment was considered easily replaceable. The loss of a first attachment can emotionally haunt a person throughout their lives, and many of us adoptees refer to ourselves as Harlow’s monkeys, and how I referred to myself prior to ever discovering that wonderful blog.

    A Korean adoptee majoring in social work, Harlow’s Monkey is exploring as her life’s work what I only dabble with on a personal level.

    There is a great episode on This American Life about Harry Harlow, called “unconditional love”


    December 11, 2009 at 8:08 am

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