3.3.2 The Case of Shamdev

In 1978, a boy of about five years was also discovered playing with wolf cubs in the Mussafirkhana forest in India. When came into contact with people, he hid himself from them and would play with dogs only. At night, he turned restless and it was necessary to tie him so that he could not go out and followed the jackals that prowled around the village at night. If people cut themselves, he would smell the blood and rush across to it. His favourite food was chicken. He caught them, killed them and eat them raw. (Observer, 30 August, 1978, Quoted from Stephen Moore, 1997).

These two examples indicate that the learning process and human interaction are very important. If socialisation is impaired, this can prove to bring about irreversible damage to the person's sense of self and personality. Without socialisation, an individual cannot function properly and thus complete isolation indicate that without emotional ties, contacts with other human beings, severe personality damage can result. Research has also supported these facts.

For instance, Harry and Margaret Harlow (1962) placed rhesus monkeys in conditions of isolation for a period of six months and found that this seriously disturbed their developments. They were fearful and unable to defend themselves. The Harlows also isolated infant monkeys with an artificial mother made up of wire mesh, wooden head and a nipple of a feeding tube as breast and saw that the latter were unable to interact with their mates. Yet, when the artificial mother was covered with a cloth, the infant monkey would cling to it and there was also lesser signs of emotional distress. The conclusion made was that mother-infant relationship was important for the emotional development of the latter.

In 1945, another research conducted by R.A.Spitz compared children in an orphanage and those in a women's prison nursery. Infants in prisons were allowed interaction with their mothers during their first year of their lives while infants in the foundling home were attended by nurses and spent the rest of their days on their own, seeing and interacting with very few people. Conclusion made out of this research was that after two years, some children in the foundling homes were retarded and had psychological and social underdevelopments. In short, these researches underscore that nurture is quite important and valuable for the proper functioning and survival any specific specie, including man.