Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stay The Hell Out of My Crucial Life Decisions - Spanking ed.

The Canadian Medical Association Jounral has come out and said that spanking should be banned. Editor-in-Chief, John Fletcher is calling on the goverment to remove the protection for parents who use reasonable force to discipline their kids (read the G&M article if you want the wording of the law or read the whole thing here).
This is the problem when health experts try to influence the law and politics.  They are so blind to their religion of science that they can't see its flaws.  I am not one to go around calling science a religion.  True science has nothing to do with religion.  But, when you have well-meaning people jump all over shoddy scientific studies to advocate criminalizing normal parental behaviour.

Listen to the study that is being held up as evidence.
Harsh physical punishment such as pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping or hitting was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, and several personality disorders. Researchers found 2 percent to 7 percent of mental disorders were attributable to harsh physical punishment
Ok, pushing, grabbing shoving, slapping are not the same as spanking. This earlier G&M article doesn't even mention these details.

It's hard to let these experts realize that it's a whore they are sleeping with.  They have real feelings for her and they obviously aren't the ones paying, so you just have to shout at them:  SCIENCE IS A WHORE!

Dr. Fletcher says he’s not advocating for the criminalization of the occasional poor parenting choice. “If the aim is to improve parenting,” he writes, “then calling the police is the wrong approach.”
Instead, he’s hoping to shift the focus to how ineffective spanking actually is.

 Just what does he think he's doing?  Obviously he is a medical expert, so he is not too knowledgable about the law (neither am I), but when you criminalize a behaviour, you are calling for the troups (police, CPA) to move in.  The point of the law, is not to protect child abusers. It is to protect parents -who are human and make mistakes and have to deal with real day-to-day issues in the best way they can - who might otherwise have their lives destroyed by the system that has a monopoly on legal violence. The whole unintended consequences argument is totally lost.  I'm not saying that spanking is always necessary - it should probably be used perhaps 1-2 times for most children (in the entire time it takes to raise them).  But allowing the government into the homes of parents should only be done as a last resort in cases of serious abuse.  This do-gooder (mostly leftist) notion to let no single act of harm go unpunished is deeply disturbing.  Do they really blindly believe in the holy grail of government so much that they can't see that the loss of freedom and the potential for severe punishment of minor transgressions is far more harmful than a parent spanking their child once too often?
I truly believe that the love between parents and children can overcome the pain from overuse of spanking (not abuse) and we are better off letting the love heal the wounds rather than some over reaching government agency.

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