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The Affectionate Function 
Whatever else people need, they need intimate human, 'response. Psychiatric opinion holds that probably the greatest single cause of emotional difficulties,. behavior problems, and-Evert of physical illness, is lack of tot», that is, lack of. a warm, affectionate relationship with a small circle of intimate associates [Fromm, 1956; Schindler, 1954, chap. 10; Mahayana, 1968]. A mountain of data shows that the serious delinquent is typically a child whom nobody cares very much about. Infants' who, receive good basic physical care but who are not cuddled, fondled, and loved are likely to develop a condition medically known as Erasmus (from a GreeK word meaning "wasting away"). They lose 'weight, fret and whimper listlessly, and .sometimes die [Ribble, 1943, .chap. 1; Evans, 1972; Mussenetal., 1974, pp. 2~6-223]. A classic study many years ago showed how children in the sterilized but impersonal atmosphere. of hospitals or foundling homes will suffer in emotional development and often show startlingly highrates of illness and death {Spitz, 1945]. Lack of affection actually damages an infant's ability to survive. The evidence 'is overwhelming. that our need for companionship and intimate, affectionate human response is vitally important to us. Indeed, this is probably our strongest  social need-far more necessary than, for example, sex, Many celibates are leading happy, healthy, and useful lives, but a person who has never been loved is seldom happy, healthy, or useful. Most societies rely almost entirely upon the  family for affectionate response. The companionship need is filled partly by the family and partly by other groupings. Many primitive societies had organizations and clubs somewhat like modem lodges and fraternities, filling much the same functions. Yet even these were often organized on a kinship basis and were, therefore, an extension of the family.

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