Extended Breastfeeding Survey
(preliminary results only)
by Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology,
Texas A&M University
Prepared by Kathy Dettwyler, 3-22-2004.
"Extended Breastfeeding Survey"
A survey of "extended breastfeeding" - beyond three years - was conducted by Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4352. The data summarized below come from the United States , and most were collected between December of 1996 and March of 1998. Most of the respondents were middle- and upper-class, well-educated, and of European ancestry. These are preliminary results, for use only in legal proceedings. These results are not for citation in any general publication.
Although I have not published these data yet, I have reported on them at a number of professional conferences, and presented more on the implications of my research at the 2002 American Anthropological Association conference in New Orleans , in response to an invitation to give the annual "distinguished researcher" lecture to the Council on Nutritional Anthropology.
In brief, I surveyed 1,280 children in the US who breastfed for a minimum of three years. The mean age of weaning for these children was 4.24. years, with a median of 4.00 years, a mode of 3.5 years, a standard deviation of 1.08 years, and a range of 3.00 to 9.17 years. The half-yearly break down of ages at weaning was:
3-3.49 years 297 children
3.5-3.99 yrs 286 children
4.00-4.49 yrs 213 children
4.50-4.99 yrs 162 children
5.00-5.49 yrs 154 children
5.50-5.99 yrs 58 children
6.00-6.49 yrs 50 children
6.50-6.99 yrs 17 children
7.00-7.49 yrs 22 children
7.50-7.99 yrs 7 children
8.00-8.49 yrs 7 children
8.50-8.99 yrs 2 children
9.00-9.49 yrs 5 children
Dettwyler, K.A. 2001 Weaning. Breastfeeding Annual 2001 . Washington DC : Platypus Media.
Dettwyler, K.A. 2001 Believing in Breastfeeding. ORGYN , XII(2):42-45.
Dettwyler, K.A. 1999 Evolutionary Medicine and Breastfeeding: Implications for Research and Pediatric Advice. The 1998-99 David Skomp Distinguished Lecture in Anthropology , Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 47405.
Dettwyler, K.A. 1995 A Time to Wean: The Hominid Blueprint for the Natural Age of Weaning In Modern Human Populations. In Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives , edited by Patricia Stuart-Macadam and Katherine A. Dettwyler, pp. 39-73. New York : Aldine de Gruyter.
Dettwyler, K.A. 1995 Beauty and the Breast: The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in the United States . In Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives , edited by Patricia Stuart-Macadam and Katherine A. Dettwyler, pp. 167-215. New York : Aldine de Gruyter.
Last updated March 22, 2004, by kad. Contents copyright 1999-2004 Sue Ann Kendall
and Kathy Dettwyler. Thanks to Prairienet, the Free-Net of east-central Illinois
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