The chief characteristic of postmodern secular liberalism is its tendency to openly deny reality.
The most recent occasion of opposing the obvious is Psychologist Erica Komisar, whose new book, Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters, has come close to causing fainting spells among the Cultural Authorities.
What did Komisar claim in this seemingly innocuous book that has so traumatized our cultural elites?
That “mothers are biologically necessary for babies.”
She also claimed that a mother provides different benefits to a newborn child than a father, and that the absence of mothers can lead to developmental problems for the child later in life.
Komisar came to these conclusions after treating families for three decades, first as a clinical social worker and then an analyst. As she told the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto:
“What I was seeing was an increase in children being diagnosed with ADHD and an increase in aggression in children, particularly in little boys, and an increase in depression in little girls. More youngsters were also being diagnosed with ‘social disorders’ whose symptoms resembled those of autism—‘having difficulty relating to other children, having difficulty with empathy.’”
Taranto says Komisar “started to put the pieces together,” and found that “the absence of mothers in children’s lives on a daily basis was what I saw to be one of the triggers for these mental disorders.” She began to devour the scientific literature and found that it reinforced her intuition.
Of course, this should come as a surprise to no one with any experience of family life. But while Komisar’s opinions are based on both experience and research, there are those who oppose it based on ideology.
Her book has been welcomed on Christian radio and Fox & Friends, but shunned by NPR, and covered coldly by Good Morning America, whose interviewer (according to Komisar) told her before going on air, “I don’t believe in the premise of your book at all. I don't like your book.”
Literary agents rejected her book because it “would make women feel guilty.” She was rejected from a speaking engagement for a similar reason and told, “How dare you.”
Unfortunately, Komisar is an outlier in a world in which ideology now trumps reason, evidence, and common sense.
Martin Cothran is the editor of Classical Teacher magazine, published by Memoria Press, and the director of the Classical Latin School Association.