Advertisement

What is shunning?

Dr. Kathleen Hall
Preventive Medicine
Shunning is an ancient practice that is still used today in many cultures, and humans have an innate fear of it. When a member of any group disagrees with the norms or the values of the family, the family may expel that person from the group. The Amish and other religions use this practice to maintain control of the group.

In the animal kingdom, shunning can mean certain death. When an animal becomes disabled in the wild, the herd will shun the animal, and the immune system of the shunned animal immediately changes.

The animal risks death in isolation. The animal may die, because in a state of isolation it loses the protection of the herd or it may fall to predators in its weakened state. Research tells us that when humans are isolated or shunned by a group, our immune system starts to shut down.
Uncommon H.O.P.E.: A Powerful Guide to Creating an Extraordinary Life

More About this Book

Uncommon H.O.P.E.: A Powerful Guide to Creating an Extraordinary Life

Every day, the little constant stresses and anxieties leave us feeling unfulfilled, not living the best life possible. But what if the life we want to live is with in our grasp and we don't even know...

Continue Learning about Relationships and Family

Narcissism Gets the Girl, But Not for Long
Narcissism Gets the Girl, But Not for Long
We’ve all seen that guy at the party or the bar. He’s the one fluttering from girl to girl, chatting and being overly friendly. At first glance, this ...
Read More
How can I stay connected to loved ones?
Henry S. Lodge, MDHenry S. Lodge, MD
We are wired for real contact, for vision and touch and movement, and we are wired to be working tog...
More Answers
Is Marriage Good for Your Health? The Answer Is Complicated
Is Marriage Good for Your Health? The Answer Is ComplicatedIs Marriage Good for Your Health? The Answer Is ComplicatedIs Marriage Good for Your Health? The Answer Is ComplicatedIs Marriage Good for Your Health? The Answer Is Complicated
Tying the knot can have its health benefits—but it depends on the quality of your relationship.
Start Slideshow
How Do I Influence the Health of Other People in My Social Network?
How Do I Influence the Health of Other People in My Social Network?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.