Ethical Issues Of Genie Case Study

Due to this, Genie’s case is the closest we are ever going to get to a child being brought up in these circumstances.

Although there were many mistakes made, within her case the chances something like this happening again are extremely rare.

Benzaquen describes this as, “for people in general, Genie was an object of pity; for the scientists, she was an object of knowledge” (2006: 245).

Although Genie was a great case to study, many people who cared for her failed her and this is something we have to consider when thinking about the validity of the results.

Her care is another issue that people have used to challenge the validity of her study because Genie was constantly moved to and from different people and even moved back to the house where the abuse took place.

There was confusion about the funding behind her study which meant she was constantly being moved between specialists who all wanted to learn from her.

Rolls provides a detailed account of Genie’s story and describes it as a “catalogue of unfortunate or misguided mistakes” (2015: 132), leaving us to consider the ethics of Genie’s case and as a result of this, if we can even take anything from it at all.

The ethics behind this study mean that it could never be recreated, as abuse of a child is involved.

Due to this we may have to accept that though the study may not have been completely ethical or carried out how we would do now, the results are the closest thing we will ever get to studying a child that has never been exposed to language.

BETHAN WINNER, English Language undergraduate, University of Chester, UK References Benzaquen, A.


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