The Childrearing Differences Between the Efe and the Japanese

The Childrearing Differences Between the Efe and the Japanese

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The Childrearing Differences Between the Efe and the Japanese


The Japanese and the Efe have managed to hold on to their cultural practices amidst rising narcissism levels. Such are the cultures that have kept them as communal families, with so few instability cases. Though culturally different, the two communities achieve the same goal, which is to propagate infant growth and development in a way that protects the cultural beliefs of the society (Rogoff, 2003).

Differences in Childrearing

The rearing of an infant is collective responsibility among the Efe. A child is shown love and care by every member of the community and grows into the communal adaptation.Unlike the Efe that encourage communal lifestyle, the Japanese embrace childrearing from a different angle. Infant education is a mother’s responsibility and the father rarely exhibits the love that is characteristic of the Efe (Kent, 2006).The Efe mothers have the responsibility of feeding and caring for the infants. Breasts are infant reservations and cannot be used otherwise, including for sexual stimulation. As such, nursing and breastfeeding is prolonged. If there is milk left upon satisfaction of a child, younger siblings all get to have a taste. Resultant to that, children grow active and healthy.Mothers carry their babies, most of the time at the front with no garment between to facilitate skin contact. Wrapping of the kids to protect them from the cold is done in a way that is inclusive of both the mother and the infant. The skin contact creates a nursing situation that is baby-led and continues for a period of six months (Kent, 2006)..The intensive nursing by the mother is an activity that goes on for up to five years, even after some other deliveries. The Efe also believes in guidance by nature and do not take so many precautionary measures for their children. Children are hardly punished by adults.The father equally plays a central role in the molding of a child. They prioritize to be present during delivery and pride in holding their youngsters just after delivery.Fathers hug, plays with and hold their children for extended durations of time. That, they believe, is their way of showing the father’s unconditional love.Though the Efe lives as a tightly knit social unit, not as much attention is given to the children by the community and the extended family. They have an obligation to show love and care but the primary is left to the mother and a father (Kent, 2006)..Among the Japanese, the mother plays an equally vital role in the nurturing of the children and breastfeed their babies for the first one year. They involve the infants in face to face games and carry and rock them a lot. They use an affect-salient communication and do a lot of baby talk to improve the infant speech abilities (Rogoff, 2003).The Japanese encourage close physical contact and believe that children should be treated with leniency (Doi, Shwalb, & Shwalb, 1996).The father does not play an essential role in childrearing among the Japanese and most of the activity is lefty to the mother. The father’s primary duty is to provide protection and economic sustenance. He only actively participates in meting out punishment (Doi, Shwalb, & Shwalb, 1996).


The wide contrasts in the way the two societies bring up their children marks the disparities between them. The Japanese form a more individualistic society and the Efe develop a communally based organization that requires the participation of all.


Doi, T., Shwalb, B. J., & Shwalb, D. W. (1996). Japanese childrearing: Two generations of scholarship. New York [u.a.: Guilford Press.

Kent, S. (2006). Cultural diversity among twentieth-century foragers: An African perspective. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge University Press.

Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. Oxford [UK: Oxford University Press.