Communicator (communicator) wrote,

The Origins of Human Love and Violence

There was a quiz doing the rounds recently about which 'language of love' you use. For me it was touch. Harsh words, dodgy looks, dodgier behaviour, all of these melt away with the significance of touch. Like the shoop shoop song says: 'Is it in his eyes, oh no, they can deceive'.

ozarque has been posting a lot recently about touch-oriented people versus visual-oriented culture. I think there is a danger - ozarque is touch-dominant too - for people of a particular type to cluster together telling each other how we are the best.

So I don't think a personal preference for touch makes you better. I think there is a cultural issue though. In this post on touch dominance she says

It has been suggested (eg J.W. Prescott and Douglas Wallace, "Developmental Sociobiology and the Origins of Aggressive Behavior," ) that the more biased a culture is against touch, the more violent it is likely to be. If that hypothesis is valid, a culture that places a high value on violence is going to do everything possible to maintain and nuture its anti-touch bias and keep down the level of acceptance for everything related to nonviolent touch.

and links to a looong anthropological study by a developmental neural-psychologist The Origins of Human Love and Violence which does a massive cross-cultural comparison, to argue that cultures where children are kindly (and obviously, non-sexually) touched by adults, tend to be less aggressive.

In a few cases (for instance the Cheyenne and the Apache) children were warmly treated but adult culture was very violent. In these cases there are restrictions on adult touching.

Anyway, I do think our culture tries to control and prevent touch, and to direct it entirely into a very narrow sexual route. And to emphasise that people must look perfect. Whereas what is really important in a lover is that they feel perfect. I think this is part of why our cultures are violent. I think in cultures even more violent than British (for instance Russia and the US) there is even less touching of children. I see on medical dramas, babies in rows in cots, with the parents behind a glass window. I always find that very disturbing.
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