Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Stating the obvious

Otago University researchers have discovered that beating your children is bad for them:

Smacking young children not only causes anti-social behaviour, but impairs academic achievement, according to a research review from Otago University.

Physical punishment of children has often been cited by children's rights advocates as a catalyst for bad behaviour in later life.

But the new study, from the university's Children's Issues Centre, said smacking was also associated with poor academic achievement, low IQ, inferior performance in standard tests and poor adjustment to the school environment.

Researchers surveyed more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, published at home and abroad in their investigation.

The Greens are right: This is a vindication those who have campaigned for the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act. The government should take the opportunity to admit its mistake and change the law. Sadly, though, they're not doing it.

Meanwhile, I can hear the conservative family-values crowd screaming from here. And they're going through the usual checklist they follow whenever they want to deny inconvenient facts. NZPundit is already starting the "not peer-reviewed" line (which shows that he understands neither peer-review, the academic process in general, or the idea of a literature-survey), and Christian Heritage has "questioned its quality" on the basis that someone, somewhere, once said that smacking might not be bad. Can an allegation of communism be far behind?