January 5, 1994

Genie: An Abused Child's Flight From Silence

Author Affiliations

New York, NY


by Russ Rymer, 221 pp, $20, ISBN 0-06-016910-9, New York, NY, HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.

JAMA. 1994;271(1):71-72. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510250087044

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In this portrait of "Genie," a girl confined to a profoundly neglectful, depriving, and abusive household until the age of 13, Rymer focuses on the study of language and the issue of exploitation in the scientific study of children.

Rymer explains that the study of language has come from information provided by children. His reference to the earliest identifiable study from the 7th century BCE notes the cruelty of the experimentation, in which two Egyptian infants were isolated from birth in Psamtik I's search for the protolanguage.

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