Genie

Female, Film subject

1957 –

51

Who is Genie?

Genie is the pseudonym of a feral child who was the victim of extraordinarily severe abuse, neglect and social isolation. Her circumstances are recorded prominently in the annals of abnormal child psychology. Born in Arcadia, California, Genie was locked alone in a room from the age of 20 months to 13 years, 7 months, usually strapped to a child's toilet or bound in a crib with her arms and legs completely immobilized. During this time she was almost never exposed to any speech, and as a result she did not acquire a first language. Her abuse came to the attention of Los Angeles child welfare authorities on November 4, 1970.

In the first several years after Genie's life and circumstances came to light, psychologists, linguists and other scientists focused a great deal of attention on Genie's case, seeing in her near-total isolation an opportunity to study many aspects of human development. Upon finding that she had not learned language as a child, linguists saw Genie as potentially being an important way to gain further insight into the processes controlling language acquisition skills and linguistic development. Extensive observation of their new-found human subject enabled them to publish academic works testing theories and hypotheses identifying critical periods during which humans learn to understand and use language.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Born
Apr 18, 1957
Arcadia
Nationality
  • United States of America

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Genie." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/genie_1957>.

Discuss this Genie biography with the community:

0 Comments

    Browse Biographies.net