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NCJ Number: 48643 Find in a Library
Title: OUR ABUSE OF CHILDREN - 1971 (FROM NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON CHILD ABUSE, 1972 - SEE NCJ-09640)
Author(s): R G FARROW
Corporate Author: American Humane Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: American Humane Assoc
Englewood, CO 80112
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ACCEPTED CHARACTERISTICS OF MAINSTREAM AMERICAN CULTURE WHICH STIMULATE VIOLENCE AND STRESS IN THE FAMILY ARE IDENTIFIED, AND A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM IS PROPOSED FOR CHANGING THESE VALUES.
Abstract: IT IS BELIEVED THAT AMERICA'S SELF-CONCEPT AS A PEACE-LOVING, NONVIOLENT SOCIETY IS BELIED BY ITS HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AS A PRINCIPAL MEANS OF CONTROLLING AND ORDERING ONE'S ENVIRONMENT TO ELIMINATE THREATS AND ACHIEVE CONTROL OF ONE'S DESTINY. THIS HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AS A MEANS OF CONTROL IS BELIEVED INFLUENTIAL IN DETERMINING CHILD REARING PRACTICES THAT ACCEPT AND EMPHASIZE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT AS A LEGITIMATE MEANS OF CONTROLLING CHILDREN. IT THEN BECOMES DIFFICULT FOR PARENTS UNDER STRESS, WHO FEEL INADEQUATE TO CONTROL THEIR CHILDREN BY ANY OTHER MEANS, TO SET THE LIMITS ON WHAT HAS BEEN TRADITIONALLY ACCEPTED AS A PARENTAL STRATEGY FOR CONTROLLING PROBLEM CHILDREN. OTHER ASPECTS OF AMERICAN CULTURE, SUCH AS PEER COMPETITION, THE ACQUISITION OF MONEY AND POWER AS MEASURES OF SUCCESS, AND THE USE OF MIND-ALTERING DRUGS TO DEAL WITH STRESS, ARE DEEMED CONTRIBUTING FACTORS IN CREATING AN INTERNAL DYNAMIC OF STRESS THAT EXPLODES IN VIOLENCE TOWARD CHILDREN. COMPASSION, SKILL IN VERBAL COMMUNICATION AND NEGOTIATION, THE ABILITY TO ELICIT COOPERATIVE BEHAVIOR WITHOUT RECOURSE TO THREATENING PUNITIVE MEASURES, AND FLEXIBILITY ARE PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES SELDOM TAUGHT OR NOURISHED BY TRADITIONAL CULTURAL CONDITIONING IN AMERICA. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT AN INTENSIVE PUBLIC EDUCATION EFFORT, PERHAPS FUNDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BE LAUNCED TO MAKE AN EFFORT TO REORIENT THE VALUES THAT HAVE DETERMINED THE CITIZEN BEHAVIOR FOR GENERATIONS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Cause removal crime prevention; Child abuse; Child abuse causes; Cultural influences; Violence; Violence causes
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