The 1970s: The Pit of Despair
Comparative psychologist Harry Harlow, after the death of his wife, moved from maternal attachment research to the study of depression and isolation. He experimented with rhesus macaque monkeys.
In his experiments, he isolated 16 baby monkeys from their mothers soon after birth. He put them in specially designed metal cages that didn’t allow the monkeys to look outside in any way.
Four stayed in isolation for 30 days, another four were kept there for 6 months, and the rest four were isolated for 12 months. The result was that the monkeys became enormously disturbed, incapable of social interactions and sexual relations.
Females from the test groups were put on specially designed ‘rape racks,’ and when they became mothers, some ignored their offspring while one of them held her baby’s face on the floor and brutally chewed off the baby’s feet and fingers!