Can you imagine being isolated from all other people from the age of 20 months to nearly 14 years old? Left without enough food or any kind of stimulation?
That’s what happened to “Genie.” Her story is frightening, and this is why she left scientists studying her case puzzled beyond belief.
Genie’s Father Was A Monster
Genie’s father, without any medical input, decided she was mentally retarded at the age of 20 months.
His solution to this was to bind her body so that she couldn’t move her arms and legs and leave her alone with no ability to interact with people or anything of interest. He also left her starving.
A Whole Childhood Lost
Genie’s situation was not discovered until she was 13 years and 7 months old. It was a horrifying moment for health professionals and scientists alike.
Her extreme isolation had left Genie unable to talk or even to understand basic human interaction.
She Was A “Wolf” Child
The myth of children raised by animals, such as Mowgli in the Jungle Book, has long held a fascination for scientists.
How would a child with no knowledge of people reintegrate into human society after being so long apart from it? In Genie, they saw an answer to this question.
Genie Became A Scientific Experiment
Genie’s situation meant that scientists around the world clamored to get access to her.
Linguists were the first to arrive — they thought that they would be able to better understand how language is acquired by teaching Genie to speak.