Twins are a strange and utterly fascinating phenomenon of human birth. It seems incredible that two people can incubate as humans within the same body. It makes people wonder about what life is like before birth: What is it like to be snuggled up to a sibling for so long? Are twins aware of another presence inside of the womb? Do they recognize that there is someone in there with them? Well, according to Italian scientists some of these questions have been answered. But the legitimacy of their results has yet to be determined…
Scientific American reported that researchers in Italy recently stumbled upon interesting observation. Working at the University of Parma, they claim newborn twins are able to socially interact, imitating and responding to facial gestures, merely hours after birth. Their theory was that twins have the ability to socialize actually within the womb. So the researchers set out to observe social behavior of twins in the womb.
The researchers claimthat the twins started reaching for each other at week 14. At this point in the pregnancy, they begin making social contact with each other, which increases as the pregnancy progresses. To prove that these touching actions are not accidental, researchers demonstrated that instead of touching themselves or the walls of the uterus, the twins overwhelming pass the time touching and stroking their sibling. By the time the twins reach the eighteen week mark, thirty percent of movement is one twin touching the other. And the Italian scientists claim that they aren’t just squishing faces and bumping elbows in there, they claim that the twins actually stroke and holding each other.
But, really? Think about how much room is inside of just one uterus. Yeah, it’s not a lot of space. Especially for two human babies, and when two organisms grow inside of a confined and contained space, to the point where they fill the space, it is hard to imagine them NOT having a lot of physical contact.
Cristina Becchio is a co-author of the study and reported:
“These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior. The implication is that if social development can be observed in the womb, then perhaps developmental disorders relating to social behavior might also begin in utero.”
In other words, it is possible that some of our social traits may actually begin earlier than we think… However, one study is certainly not enough to prove ANYTHING, especially when there was only one subject and one pregnancy observed. That sample is useless and is definitive by no means or measures and would have to be observed again, and again hundreds of times before it is accepted as a scientific fact. It is also not outside of the realm of possibilities that Italian culture is influencing their scientific results – they are a very conservative nation, that is about as Catholic as you can get, and scientific findings that prove that humans start socially interacting at only 14 weeks would be PERFECT fodder for the Catholic church and conservatives everywhere to grab their clubs and start beating the dead horse of the abortion argument all over again.