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Cuddles and epigenetics

Posted by Baldur on Tuesday, October 02 2018 at 5:40:20PM

Some of this dates to about a year ago, but the general idea has been known for some time. Namely, that cuddles and skin to skin contact are really important for babies. I suspect it is also necessary for young children. Specifically, cuddling has epigenetic consequences on a child's health, changing the expression of genes in positive ways, including increased intelligence and physical health even in later years. By contrast, a lack of cuddling can mean lower intelligence and poorer physical health.

It may not be the newest information, but it's information that needs to be repeated every so often. Touch is extremely important to children and to their development. In fact, I have a suspicion that the sudden rise in the crime rate that occurred circa 1900 in western nations, and which has never abated (unlike the secondary spike that began about 1960 and peaked about 1990 before receding) might be a consequence of changes in patterns of child-rearing that began around 1880, and specifically the move towards less touch and affection.


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