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Breastfeeding: In search of the right questions
ByJames J. McKenna

It is no wonder that one of the most esteemed and celebrated breastfeeding scholars, Penny Van Esterik, at the beginning of this volume, started with a confession that is as funny as it is familiar to many anthropologists who stretch their intellects across biology, culture, linguistics, politics, history, chemistry, and prehistory and many other specific disciplines. The willingness to engage with a variety of approaches and forms of evidence can also lead to greater openness to engaging with diverse audiences both within and beyond academia. Breastfeeding researchers often share a heightened sense of responsibility to do something more with their research findings than simply publish a paper or book on their findings. Breastfeeding is physically, socially, and psychologically challenging at the same time as it can be immensely fulfilling and emotionally satisfying. Some feminist concerns focus especially on the dangers of biological determinism and the uses of evolutionary perspectives.