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Re: My country, my country, I know it's wrong my country...

Posted by Child Advocate on December 02, 2007 at 09:48:16

In Reply to: Re: My country, my country, I know it's wrong my country... posted by Caveat on November 30, 2007 at 19:06:55:

You've rightly pointed out that the issue I raised is really quite complex. For a very long time, I've been interested in the question, "What sort of cultural values and beliefs enable child abuse and neglect? Conversely, the question is, What sort of cultural values protect children?"

This question is based on a multi-factoral model of child maltreatment developed by a guy named David Finkelhor. Child maltreatment occurs at several levels of analysis: 1) Personal factors (the abuser's pre-disposition; characteristics of the child), 2) Family factors (family relationships, distribution of power), 3) Social factors (lack of education, isolation, poverty), 4) Cultural factors (beliefs and values, such as gender roles or "spare the rod and spoil the child").

There's an interaction effect between all the levels of analysis, but particularly between family factors and culture, since the family is a primary means for the transmission of culture. This is what your observation has focused on, and it's an excellent point about the complexity of the subject.

Yah, it's academic, but then, child maltreatment is a really, really complicated phenomenon--kind of like rocket science. Some academics, like Finkelhor, have spent a lifetime studying it. Unfortunately, other academics who have NOT studied it (such as James Chancellor), perpetuate rather simplistic ideas about how a few written rules and changes in organizational practice will alleviate child maltreatment in a religious culture where it was institutionalized.