Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Raised in Captivity

In general, children are not permitted to leave parental custody. Exceptions to this are few, and almost always involve reassignment of custodial responsibility, e.g., teachers at school, or other children's parents on a play date.

Parallels could possibly then be drawn between childhood, and a term of imprisonment. Neither state is voluntary, and involves a curtailment of freedoms to varying extent, with greater privilege given to those who cooperate the most. Care in some form is given by the captor(s), but the quality of care varies widely, from earnest attempts at education and support, to blatantly abusive neglect and mistreatment.

So when a child grows up holding the same insupportably antisocial views as their parents, or rationalizes their own obvious ill-treatment, or makes excuses for their parent's questionable decisions; in short, when a child molds himself or herself to emulate the parent as closely as possible, with all behavioral tendencies intact... are we seeing a variation of the Stockholm Syndrome?