Lloyd deMause

Lloyd deMause (pronounced de-Moss; born September 19, 1931) is an American social thinker known for his work in the field of psychohistory. He did graduate work in political science at Columbia University and later trained as a lay psychoanalyst, which is defined as a psychoanalyst who does not have a medical degree.[1] He is the founder of The Journal of Psychohistory.

Lloyd deMause
Lloyd deMause
Born (1931-09-19) September 19, 1931
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Academic work

DeMause has made major contributions to the study of Psychohistory which is the study of the psychological motivations of historical events. It seeks to understand the emotional origin of the social and political behavior of groups and nations, past and present. Its subject matter is childhood and the family (especially child abuse), and psychological studies of anthropology and ethnology.

In a 1994 interview with deMause in The New Yorker, interviewer Stephen Schiff wrote: "To buy into psychohistory, you have to subscribe to some fairly woolly assumptions [...], for instance, that a nation's child-rearing techniques affect its foreign policy, yet deMause's analyses have often been weirdly prescient."[2]

Psychohistory table

Psychohistorians endorse trauma models of schizoid, narcissistic, masochistic, borderline, depressive and neurotic personalities.[3]

The chart below shows the dates at which gradual forms of child abuse are believed by psychohistorians to have evolved in the most advanced nations, based on accounts from historical records. The timeline doesn't apply to hunter-gatherer societies. It doesn't apply either to the Greek and Roman world, or the ancient Chinese world where there was a wide variation in childrearing practices. The major childrearing types described by Lloyd deMause are:

With the exception of the "helping mode of childrearing" (marked in yellow above), for psychohistorians the major childrearing types are related to main psychiatric disorders, as can be seen in the following Table of Historical Personalities:

Childrearing Personality Historical manifestations
Infanticidal Schizoid Child sacrifice and infanticide among tribal societies, Mesoamerica, the Incas; in Assyrian and Canaanite religions. Phoenicians, Carthaginians and other early states also sacrificed infants to their gods. On the other hand, the less abusive Greeks and Romans exposed some of their babies to death.
Abandoning Masochistic Longer swaddling in the early Middle Ages, fosterage, outside wetnursing, oblation of children to monasteries and nunneries, and apprenticeship.
Ambivalent Borderline Although the later Middle Ages ended the abandonment of children to monasteries, "ambivalent" parents tolerated extreme love and hate for the child without the two feelings affecting each other. Enemas, early beating, shorter swaddling, mourning for deceased children, a precursor to empathy.
Intrusive Depressive The intrusive parent began to unswaddle the infant. Since infants were now allowed to crawl rather than being swaddled, they had to be formally "disciplined", threatened with hell; use of guilt. Early toilet training, repression of child's sexuality, end of swaddling and wet-nursing, empathy now possible, rise of pediatrics.
Socializing Neurotic Use of "mental discipline"; teaching children to conform to the parents' goals, socializing them. Hellfire and physical discipline disappeared. Rise of compulsory schooling. The socializing mode is still the main mode of upbringing in the West.
Helping Individuated Absolute end of humiliation to control the child. The helping parent tries to assist the child in reaching its own goals rather than socializing him or her into adult goals. Children's rights movement, deschooling.

According to psychohistory theory, each of the above psychoclasses co-exist in the modern world today.


DeMause was a contributor to the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria of the early 1990s, in part via his article "Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children"[4][5], where he labelled the sceptics of the abuse "molesters" and "pedophile advocates"[6]. The article was used as a reliable source by ritual abuse proponents.


DeMause has published over 90 scholarly articles and several books.


  • DeMause, Lloyd (1974). The history of childhood. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 0061318485.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1975). A bibliography of psychohistory. New York: Garland Pub. ISBN 0-8240-9999-0.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1975). The New psychohistory. New York: Psychohistory Press. ISBN 0-914434-01-2.
  • Ebel, Henry; DeMause, Lloyd (1977). Jimmy Carter and American fantasy: psychohistorical explorations. New York: Two Continents. ISBN 0-8467-0363-7.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1982). Foundations of psychohistory. New York: Creative Roots. ISBN 0-940508-01-X.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1984). Reagan's America. New York: Creative Roots. ISBN 0-940508-02-8.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1995). The History of Childhood. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson. ISBN 1-56821-551-7.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (2002). The Emotional Life of Nations. New York: Karnac. ISBN 1-892746-98-0.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (2010). The Origins of War in Child Abuse. The Institute for Psychohistory.

Articles (selection)

  • DeMause, Lloyd (1974): The Evolution of Childhood. In: History of Childhood Quarterly: The Journal of Psychohistory, 1 (4), p. 503-575. (Comments and reply: p. 576-606)
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1987): The History of Childhood in Japan. In: The Journal of Psychohistory, 15 (2), p. 147-151.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1988): On Writing Childhood History. In: The Journal of Psychohistory, 16 (2), p. 35-71.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1989): The Role of Adaptation and Selection in Psychohistorical Evolution. In: The Journal of Psychohistory, 16 (4), p. 355-372 (Comments and reply: p. S. 372-404).
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1990): The History of Child Assault. In: The Journal of Psychohistory, 18 (1), p. 1-29.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1991): The Universality of Incest. In: The Journal of Psychohistory, 19 (1), p. 123-164.
  • DeMause, Lloyd (1997): The Psychogenic Theory of History. In: The Journal of Psychohistory, 25 (1), p. 112-183.

See also


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Stephen Schiff (December 5, 1994). "The Talk of the Town, "Bad Mommies and Other Omens,"". The New Yorker: 55.
  3.  – article by Lloyd deMause
  4. "PsycNET". psycnet.apa.org. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  5. deYoung, Mary (1996-09-01). "A painted devil: Constructing the satanic ritual abuse of children problem". Aggression and Violent Behavior. 1 (3): 235–248. doi:10.1016/1359-1789(95)00009-7. ISSN 1359-1789.
  6. Sjöberg, R. L. (1997-12-01). "False allegations of satanic abuse: Case studies from the witch panic in Rättvik 1670–71". European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 6 (4): 219–226. doi:10.1007/BF00539929. ISSN 1435-165X.
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