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Posts tagged ‘Children’

Something that should be illegal

I found this article advocating that parents who don’t vaccinate their kids be subject to criminal charges or civil sanctions.

The article makes a good point. Anti–vaxxers are a threat to public health. There are certain people, such as those with weakened immune systems, or the extremely young, who cannot take them. Those people are therefore dependent on herd immunity to avoid getting sick and possibly dying. Anti–vaxxers therefore are potentially giving a disease to people who might die from it.

And people who (falsely) think vaccinations cause autism are either outright malicious or haven’t thought through to the logical consequences of their beliefs. I mean, vaccines prevent deadly diseases. And by refusing vaccinations for their children, they are in effect choosing a greater risk of dying over (according to their beliefs) a lower chance of autism. In other words, they’d rather their kid die than get autism. Do those people even know what they’re saying about themselves?

So yes, there should be no “philosophical” or religious exemptions for vaccinations, and refusers should be criminally charged. Anti–vaxxers are a threat to themselves and others, and in this respect are clearly unfit parents.

And while we’re at this, can we also treat refusals of newborn screening and choosing faith healing over modern medicine for dependent children? Far too many children have ended up dead because of this.

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Worst argument against marriage equality EVER

I think we should file this under the “You can’t make this up” category (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON — Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.

By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.

This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.

This argument from shotgun wedding pretty much shows how opponents of marriage have no real arguments. That’s why they’ve come up with an argument that actually comes up with a reason to support same–sex marriage. Also juxtapose how many of those who oppose marriage equality also attack Planned Parenthood and seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception.

The apparently disturbing thing about this argument is that it has been used before and apparently accepted by some US court.

Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

Shut up because the views must be the same

A guest blogger at the Volokh Conspiracy is doing a series of posts about treaties and the United States’ Congress’ powers and the ability to enforce them.

Rather than offer my own views on that subject (which is way beyond my expertise, in part because IANAL), I’ll instead draw attention to a curious contradiction among many in the religious right wrong. In concerns the United States’ Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2), which reads as follows:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

The people in the religious right wrong use this section to argue that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, if ratified by the US Senate, will somehow threaten “parental rights” or homeschooling or other such stuff. (As every other country [except Somalia, which hasn’t signed] shows, such claims are nonsense, but showing why is beyond the scope of this post). In other words, they are required to believe that any international treaty overrules whatever laws are in force in the US, even if Congress legislating in that area would be ultra vires (beyond its powers).

The religious right wrong also believe that the US is founded as a Christian nation. This is in spite of the Treaty of Tripoli, which the US Senate unanimously ratified over two centuries ago. The relevant section is Article 12, which reads as follows (spelling and wording in original):

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

In other words, the religious right wrong believes that treaties overrule law when they provide rights to children, but not when they refute the Christian nation myth.

Those two positions are contradictory. One cannot rationally believe both. If they truly believe that the US was founded as a Christian nation and that the Treaty of Tripoli does not apply, then they can forever shut up about the UNCRC overruling any other law and threatening parental rights. If, by contrast, they believe that the UNCRC does overrule other laws, they then can shut the fuck up about the US being founded as a Christian nation.

More evidence that LGBT parents are good

Yet another study has found that gay and lesbian parents are just as good as straight parents, even when the circumstances are (for lack of a better term) stacked against them. It examined (at 2, 12, and 24 months after adoption) 82 high–risk children who were adopted. Of those children, 60 were adopted by different–sex couples and 22 by same–sex couples. The result?

From the abstract:

On average, children in both household types showed significant gains in cognitive development and maintained similar levels of behavior problems over time, despite gay and lesbian parents raising children with higher levels of biological and environmental risks prior to adoptive placement. Results demonstrated that high-risk children show similar patterns of development over time in heterosexual and gay and lesbian adoptive households.

And as mentioned at Salon, LGBT couples were more likely to adopt higher–risk high–risk children.

These results are entirely consistent with numerous previous studies: same–sex couples are just as good at parenting as different–sex couples, and perhaps even a little bit better.

Of course, I know that (almost certainly) not one wingnut or homophobe will change their views about this. Besides being driven by homophobia, I also see those people’s opposition to LGBT adoption as being driven by misogyny. After all, if you truly, truly believed that abortion was murder, how the hell could being adopted by a same–sex couple possibly be worse than killing someone? Now, you would think that it would be better to be adopted by a same–sex couple than to be dead. This would apply even if same–sex couples were the worst possible parents (which they’re not). This is why anyone who is why simultaneously being both anti–choice and anti–LGBT adoption is a hopelessly incoherent position. These people cannot possibly think that research going on since the 1970’s and all showing the same result (same–sex couples are just as good as different–sex couples) is inadequate. The only possible explanation is that they really do believe that being raised by a same–sex couple is worse than death. If they do believe that then they really are the worst sort of homophobe. If they don’t, then they are simply the usual anti–choicer who sees forced birth as a woman’s punishment for daring to have sex. That’s why those people’s opposition to LGBT adoption is motivated not only by homophobia but also by deep misogyny.

Via slendermeans.

Spanking causes mental illness in kids

A new study suggests that substance abuse and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders are more common in children who were physically punished (without meeting the legal definition of child abuse).

From the abstract:

Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.

If you can’t beat the shit out of your own child who can you beat the shit out of?

CBC reports on a new study to be published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that physical punishment of children (such as spanking) has severe negative health consequences, and that the exemption in the Criminal Code that allows it should be repealed. The issue of spanking was covered by the Supreme Court in 2004, which allowed the exemption to stand.

Children who have experienced physical punishment tend to be more aggressive toward parents, siblings, peers and, later, spouses, and are more likely to develop antisocial behaviour, said Joan Durrant, of the department of family social sciences at the University of Manitoba and Ron Ensom of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

Physical punishment is also associated with a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and use of drugs and alcohol.

[…]

They noted that when parents in more than 500 families were trained to reduce their use of physical punishment, the difficult behaviours in the children also declined.

[….]

Although working to outlaw spanking is the correct move, one shouldn’t focus so much on corporal punishment that one neglects to target other forms of child abuse. There are destructive things that parents can do to their kids that don’t involve any hitting. For example, Clarissa has mentioned force–feeding. Another example is arbitrarily denying healthcare.

The title of this post is taken from a comment by Jake Squid at an old Pandagon thread.

Lesbian parents don’t abuse children

A new, open access study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior has the finding that children of lesbian mothers are not abused by their parents (via).

Not like we needed any more evidence that lesbians are just as good at parenting as heterosexual couples.

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