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Mammalian Parenting: Biochemical, Neurobiological, and Behavioral Determinants

David A. Griesemer, MD
JAMA. 1991;265(8):1033-1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460080103044.
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Mammalian Parenting is a fascinating and carefully edited book that draws from many disciplines to describe the current understanding of parenting behavior. Several chapters are superb reviews of basic neuroscience and animal behavior studies that may be of limited clinical interest. There are other chapters, however, that have immediate relevance for physicians.

Leon Eisenberg's "Biosocial Context of Parenting" is a beautifully crafted article that should be read by all medical students and physicians. He tells of the "cataclysmic transformation" of today's family structure, which has left the United States with the highest teenage birth rate and the highest teenage abortion rate of any industrialized country. He writes with poignancy about child abuse and infanticide that result from our tolerance of conditions in our society that are associated with high infant mortality. Martin Daly's "Evolution Theory and Parental Motives" and Michael Yogman's "Male Parental Behavior" are thoughtful reviews that will offer


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