May 30th, 2007
|12:38 pm - Protecting Children - lies, hypocracy, and denial|
There's little point in me writing more about the recent lj deletions and the actions of "warriors for Innocence". Instead, I'd like to discuss that larger issue. With groups like "Warriors for Innocence" or perverted justice and the regular calls for laws to "protect the children", I see a mixture of denial and a desire for control.
The truth is that only around 4% of cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by strangers , and the percentage of incidents of violence is even lower, since many incidents committed by strangers consist non-violent events like "flashing". Similarly, while children are regularly abducted as part of all manner of horrid family drama, according to the FBI, in the US, fewer than 300 children are abducted every year by strangers.
In short, the strangers lurking in the bushes or on the internet are a fairly minimal threat, but they are far easier to talk about, legislate against, or attempt to hunt down than the actual problem – parents, relatives, teachers, and priests abusing children and messy divorces resulting in children literally being kidnapped by one side of the family. From my PoV, I see the vast majority of the actions by both private individuals and law-makers aimed at "protecting children" to be a mixture of efforts to control children ever more rigidly [], and an effort to deny or avoid the truth that almost all children know their abusers quite well by attempting to make the problem about nameless and faceless men lying in wait for children living in happy and loving homes.
[] I read about and observe the lives of children today and am horrified by the degree of scrutiny they are subjected to by their families in the name of "safety", despite the fact that rates of child abuse and abduction are no higher now than in the early 1970s. Incidents are far more likely to be reported, but are no more common, especially by strangers. Every school shooting or widely publicized case of child sexual abuse by a stranger seems to become an excuse for authorities to both make laws and school policies and to encourage parents to restrict the freedom of children and to more carefully examine the ways in which they do not fit some mythic standard of normalcy.
Current Mood: annoyed
YES. thank you. I have neither the patience nor the fortitude to go into this at length myself, and I'm so glad people are bringing this up.
I agree with you 100%. When I compare the amount of freedom and private space my sister and I had growing up (in an urban environment) versus what kids today have I feel sorry for them. I can't imagine what it must feel like to be watched all of the time and so thoroughly mistrusted.
Another issue I've run across from a teaching point of view is that so many sites and online activities are restricted when we are at school that we can't use the internet (for research, blogging, communication, etc) at anything like the level the kids are able to use at home. Meaning that school becomes even more behind-the-times and irrelevant.
Abductions by strangers, terrorist attacks on US soil, welfare millionaires, satanic D&D cults.... it's a dangerous world out there.
And this is just yet another of many opinions we have in common, and why you are on my Awesome List of folks who get to sleep at my house. :)
(The fact that you dress like The Villain and look all cute and not-so-innocent at times is another. ;) See you this week!)
*HUG* I'm very much looking forward to seeing you & B again.
"I read about and observe the lives of children today and am horrified by the degree of scrutiny they are subjected to by their families in the name of "safety", despite the fact that rates of child abuse and abduction are no higher now than in the early 1970s. Incidents are far more likely to be reported, but are no more common, especially by strangers. Every school shooting or widely publicized case of child sexual abuse by a stranger seems to become an excuse for authorities to both make laws and school policies and to encourage parents to restrict the freedom of children and to more carefully examine the ways in which they do not fit some mythic standard of normalcy."
That is why I'm in favor of allowing homeschooling. The schools are preoccupied with sorting kids into mythical boxes, testing them, and drugging them into compliance with Ritalin et. al. at the expense of educating them. Of course, anyone who homeschools their children should have to prove that their child's course of study is on par with national standards (no creationism being taught as science, child gets math, English, other subjects as appropriate, etc.) Parents would not be forced to counteract governemnt propaganda inherent in today's abstinence-only sex-ed or be forced to send their child to a substandard school with inadequate materials (DC public schools sometimes have no textbooks at all). Homeschooling would also give families more freedom to move about instead of having to be ruled by some arbitrary school year that forces everyone to go on vacation only at certain times.
National educational standards that all schools (public, private, charter, or homeschool) regarding science and math would take care of "intelligent" design and other such garbage.
Children who are different would also be spared the agony that is middle school and high school if they were educated at home, avoiding being labeled with some mythical psychiatric disorder.
From what I've seen, many parents are vastly worse than schools with controling their children. Being allowed to play outside seems to becoming an idea filled with terror for most parents.
And there's a big difference between an old geezer going out to try to find a thirteen-year-old to hook up with for sex, and Harry Potter slash fiction. I am for getting rid of the former. The latter does not actively seek to harm, seduce, etc. minors.
|Date:||May 30th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)|| |
The amount of child abuse that's committed by non-strangers, and the fact that it (at least to my knowledge) seems nearly impossible to do much to effectively prevent it, is one of the more pressing reasons why I think humanity really needs a superintelligent AI as an enlightened despot. As soon as it's safely possible.
The only alternative that I can come up with, that could have a chance of catching such things, would be a participatory panopticon scheme with cameras installed in every home... but I'd much rather trust a well-built AI to watch over those than all of humanity, or worse yet, a small group of people.
A lot of parents, like myself, are under a ton of pressure to comply with these so called safety standards under possible threats of state involvement or worse. While I haven't been directly threatened by anything state related, I do see school as really turning into more of an indoctrination/socialization mechanism than an educational institution. My son is on the autism spectrum and is receive county pre-school services for this. I admit that they have really helped him with a lot in regards to expressive speech (his one word vocabulary is fantastic but he tends to parrot quite a bit) and they have even helped with some of his issues with sharing with other kids (I'm not around anyone that has kids) and controlling his meltdowns to some extent. The main issue I have is that I think they put a little too much pressure on him sometimes. His teacher wants me to put him on a rigid schedule on the weekends. I don't really know how to tell her that I can't do schedules and that most of the time I'm luckily if I can make it semi-close to on time to work, much less a schedule. I know that autistic children need structure, but they're still kids and they should be allowed to be spontaneous and learn a little bit of fluidity. Real life is not scheduled.
Ironically their biggest complaint and reason for them wanting us to put him on a schedule has to do with the fact that he's moody and screams for about an hour on Mondays. I can think of plenty of Mondays where I was bitchy at work because I would rather be home sleeping in or laying on the couch vegging in front of something stupid that I didn't have to pay attention to so I could take a nap. Imagine that manifested in 4 year old form -- screaming yelling and stomping.
"Incidents are far more likely to be reported, but are no more common"
Okay, this one always bugged me. If the incidents aren't reported, how does anyone know how common they are? What's the source for this? O.o
This data comes from several sources. In part, the assumption of a lack of increase is a logical inference because rates of reporting rose drastically in the late 70s and 80s, but since the mid-late 80s, the rate of reported assaults has remained fairly constant for a few years and then declined significantly though most of the 90s data from here
. This indicates that the rise in reporting may be causing less of this nonsense to happen. Clearly, the rates of child sexual abuse is much lower now than it was in the early 90s (which was in general, a peak period for all violent crime).
Also, various groups have interviewed moderately large (several hundred to 1,000 or so) numbers of adults to see how many were abused as children and their data also bears the other data out.
Also, every other crime rate (both violent and not) has remained roughly constant since the 1950s, some years the violent crime rate is up, some years it is down (like the rates of child abuse, the rates of all violent crime decreased in the mid to late 90s). The stories of continuously increasing rates of violent crime are universally lies told by conservatives.
I'll see if I can dig up the hard data on this, I last saw it several years ago.