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Why Victoria University Health Services Research Centre’s research is so easy to ignore.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 8, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Why Victoria University Health Services Research Centre’s research is so easy to ignore.
Sunday, 08.04.2007, 06:24pm (GMT12)

Children `seen as not fully human’

By PATRICK CREWDSON –
The Dominion Post | Saturday, 7 April 2007

Opponents of anti-smacking legislation are more likely to see children as not fully human, a study says. Researchers from Victoria University and Save the Children analysed submissions to the parliamentary select committee on Green MP Sue Bradford’s bill to repeal section 59 of the Crimes Act.

They contrasted submissions viewing children as “human becomings” – developing adults “not yet quite human” and requiring correction – with those that considered them fully-fledged human beings able to make decisions about their lives and possessing human rights.

They sampled 170 of the 1716 submissions to the select committee, taking 10 organisations “for” the bill and 10 against, and 75 individuals “for” the bill and 75 against. Submissions were categorised depending on their language describing children, childhood, the parenting role and parenthood. Forty-eight of the 50 submitters who saw children as human beings supported the bill, while 39 of the 41 submitters who viewed them as human becomings were opposed.

The research was conducted last year by Marie Russell, Sophie Debski and Sue Buckley, from Victoria University’s health services research centre, and Sonya Hogan from Save the Children. Their findings went to the final day of the Social Development Ministry’s three-day Social Policy Research and Evaluation conference in Wellington on Thursday.

The seminar – also including research from Otago University academics and the Churches Agency on Social Issues – had a last-minute renaming to delete the smacking reference from the title. The researchers said many submitters who supported physical punishment saw children as impervious to logic or reasoning but able to learn through pain. Thirteen submitters said children were bad, wilful, and sinful. Nine said they did not have cognitive ability and could not be reasoned with – putting them in the “human becoming” category.

The researchers called for a re-evaluation of how New Zealanders saw children, noting parallels to other “power relationships”, like colonisation. “The `child’s view’ of the world could be promoted as having equal validity with that of an `adult’s view’,” they wrote. “It might also be worthwhile to raise challenges to the common presentation of the child as `developing towards adulthood’ that occurs in many settings, and promote the child as a `complete human being’ entitled to all human rights, who is rational and competent and makes a contribution to society.”

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie, one of the bill’s vocal opponents, was unsurprised by the research. There was a movement to politicise the rights of the child, and the bill’s supporters failed to appreciate parents’ role in raising children with appropriate direction, guidance and correction.

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One Response to “Why Victoria University Health Services Research Centre’s research is so easy to ignore.”

  1. Jay said

    I did my early training a a shrink at this university. I did post grad etc overseas. Who were the scnmucks that thought up the idea that persons oppossed to Bradfords’ pathetic bill. must think kids are only part human. How drole.
    What planet are these jive turkeys on.
    A definitive case of mouth open and running, brain still out of gear.
    Short term prognosis. Put other foot in to keep first one company
    Know-all Ditz’s are the worst kind and most dangerous.
    I further suggest, if in future if they want to share similar thoughts;
    shove head down dunny and tell the world that way.
    If any drongos are reading this,
    sue them, as they are giving other drongo’s a bad name.

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