A sociological reflection of the BBC documentary.
Some people may think that it’s not right to experiment on a human being if she may not be living the normal life she should be and could be living. Although they help her by teaching her, they also profit off her which some people view unethical. The lawsuit held by Genie’s mother should be invalid and Genie’s mother should have been charged more severely with child abuse, especially because of the serious problems Genie developed.
We believe that the experiment was more of a mutual relationship in which both Genie and the experimenters benefited. Genie is better off with the experimenters than she would have been with her mother, or even worse, all alone.
When it comes to learning language, we think Lindberg’s theory is more accurate than Chonsky’s. Lindberg says that there is a specific time where a child needs to learn the language and if that time expires, the child will not be able to learn it anymore. This is relevant to Genie’s case because Genie was learning the language fine until a few months after puberty, where she began slowing down and eventually never learned the language.
When it comes to the Rigglers, we don’t believe that they cared about Genie, they only cared about the funding. Once they were told that they couldn’t get anymore funding, they decided to give her up. This made them look bad and lead us to believe they didn’t really care about Genie, they cared about the money.
We don’t believe the Rigglers deserve that much money because they didn’t really care for Genie. If their main purpose was to take care of Genie, they would have donated some of the money to the experimenters to help Genie’s cause. The documentation was harmless so I believe it was important. It taught others about Genie and about how important human interactions can be to a child. She was not harmed at all in the making of the documentation, it only helped.
There were many things that were learned. One of these things is that there is a specific time to learn a language and in Genie’s case, she was past the time and failed to accurately learn the language. Another thing we learned is that Genie wasn’t stupid, when something horrific was mentioned from her past, including the vomiting, you can tell Genie was furious and scared at the same time. Also, she picked up easily on some of the language concerning shapes, colors, and emotions. She struggled with sentence structure and grammar.
We believe that the way she was handled was suiting. It was much better for Genie to be in the care of these experimenters than to be in the care of her abusive mother. The experimenters knew what was good for her and only did the things they thought would help her improve. If we were the lead researchers involved, we would have done many of the same things they did but instead of the excessive amount of testing, we would have her interact with other children her age. By doing this, it would improve her social life because she never really ever had one.
This video tells us that socialization is a key part in every person’s life. Without socialization, people would not even be able to look after themselves because they are missing a huge part of their lives. Genie got started a few years delayed so she had to learn to socialize much faster than she would have had to if she started as a baby. It was also much harder to be taught because Genie did not have the basic knowledge. This proves to us that humans do not have instinct and just about everything necessary for survival needs to be learned.