Dr. Ashley Montagu, anthropologist and educator, focused on human bio-social evolution and maintained throughout his long career that cultural phenomena are not genetically predetermined. He committed himself to popularizing the findings of modern science in the hopes of improving civil society and the quality of life.
In his groundbreaking book, “Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin”, he brought awareness to the Western World of how the sense of touch was so neglected, and at the same time how critical the sense of touch is for human development. Additionally, he devotes special attention to the relation of the skin and touching to mental and physical health and the discovery of the immunological functions of the skin.
Dr. Montagu states, “The language of the senses, in which all of us can be socialized, are capable of enlarging our appreciation and of deepening our understanding of each other and the world in which we live. Chief among these languages is touching. The communications we transmit through touch constitute the most powerful means of establishing human relationships, the foundation of experience.”
In more than 50 books published for both an academic and general readership, Montagu broadened understanding of human social evolution. His topics ranged from human aggression and the use of profanity to infant nurturing, the importance of touch for the developing baby, the importance of early contact, mother and baby interaction and the nature of human love.
“To be tender, loving, and caring, human beings must be tenderly loved and cared for in their earliest years, from the moment they are born. Held in the arms of their mothers, caressed, cuddled, and comforted.”
- Dr. Ashley Montagu
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