WERE OUR FOREBEARS AWARE OF PRENATAL ALCOHOL EXPOSURE AND ITS EFFECTS? A REVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER

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James L Sanders

Keywords

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, history, alcoholism

Abstract

Many historical records have been taken out of context when reviewing the history of prenatal alcohol exposure, and the impacts of these histories on modern-day FASD research have been overestimated. Historical records, as early as biblical times, do suggest at least a working awareness of an interaction between alcohol and reproduction of some kind. Contrary to assertions made in some fetal alcohol research, these records do not suggest an ancient awareness of the deleterious effects of alcohol on the developing fetus. Historical records regarding alcoholism and reproduction need to be interpreted critically, in context, and in consideration of the Zeitgeist, or the Spirit of the Times.

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