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The Role Of Immaturity In Human Development

581 words - 3 pages

The prolonged juvenile period provides humans with the physical, social, and cognitive capabilities that are unmatched to any other species. The slow maturation process allows the human species to live longer and live smarter than any other mammal of comparable body size, and is the mechanism responsible for producing modern day humans. Immaturity has resulted in many benefits to the human species and can be directly linked as a product of evolution.
The extended period of physical immaturity serves helpful purposes for the human species. The limited motor capabilities that are endured by infants and young children make the child more dependent on the caregivers, and as a result this prevents the infants from wandering far from the caregiver. The extended period of physical immaturity serves as a survival advantage in that a child will remain close to his/her caregiver due to necessity. A specific physical immaturity that signifies the benefit of depending on caregivers for an extended period of time is the presence of baby teeth at the age of 7. Children are still reliant on their caregivers, even during late childhood, to receive adequate nutrition, and as a result this solidifies the relationship between caregiver and child (Bjorklund & Pellegrini, 2002). Humans have also displayed a retardation in the onset of puberty when compared to other species. The elongated period of low fertility, which extends the nonreproductive years, enables the individual to maintain their juvenile characteristics and continues to grow their cognition and social skills before producing offspring, ensuring that they are better suited to aid in the development of their own offspring’s development (Bjorklund & Pellegrini, 2002).
Social gains have also been prevalent as a result of the lengthened juvenile period in our species. According to the text, the extended developmental period allows for increased social play and other...

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