- Aug 17, 2002
Originally posted by Code Monkey
If every time your nephew cried at the big hairy spider his mother reassured him and continued exposure was made along with reassurance and education, the fear would dissipate and become respect. But, for most children this is not the case. They see their parents and their peers shrieking and acting like frightened monkeys at the little spider, and/or habitually killing the "nasty, dangerous" critters and what is a base instinct becomes phobia because it is constantly reinforced.
I couldn't agree more. Arachnophobia is considered socially acceptable. With many other phobias, although people try to be careful of others' sensitivity, a lot of the time people are encouraged to overcome them, whether it be fear of heights, crowds, or other things. Pressure can, and does, come from external sources in getting people over such phobias. Regarding arachnophobia, however, the vast majority of people who overcome it do so due to internal pressure, i.e. they try to change themselves. Society puts no pressure on people to get over a fear of spiders and in fact seems to consider it 'normal'.