Spartan and Sambian Societies: Psychosocial Development Stifling Emotional Empathy and Supporting Violent Behaviors

Gerald H. Katzman*
Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, USA.

© 2014 Gerald H. Katzman

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, USA; Tel: (248) 661 – 6783; E-mail:


The male children of the ancient Spartans of Greece and the Sambia of New Guinea are exposed to programmed mental maltreatment and physically abusive practices. Through these exposures and societal narratives enforced by coercion and intimidation, aggressive warriors ready to fight to maintain their engrained desire to dominate or fulfill the military goals of the community are produced. Unfortunately, the indoctrination process appears to suppress the capacity for emotional empathy, further facilitating aggressive impulses that are unimpaired due to the lack of orientation to commonly accepted moral values. The implications of the indoctrinations are discussed with suggestions as to what can be done to promote more desirable traits during growth and development.

Keywords: Aggressive impulses, ancient Spartans, New Guinea, programmed mental maltreatment, unimpaired.