Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

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social/emotional development

Refers to the process wherein the individual members of a species acquire the "rules" which govern social interaction and emotional functioning. From the perspective of ethnology or evolutionary or sociobiology, this social/emotional development proceeds upon a course which more or less parallels sexual and physical development, aimed at creating a state of "conscious" readiness for the evolutionary goal of reproduction and protection of the young for species survival. Because such parallel social/emotional development is REQUIRED in order to render an individual "available" for reproduction, evolutionary and sociobiological theory argues that the normal course of such social emotional development follows a "program" common to the species and is encoded in the individual's DNA.

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