Saturday, April 28, 2007

Putting Jim Anderton straight

Jim Anderton thinks that physical discipline is linked to animal abuse. As evidence, he refers to a US report that specifically says that there is no link - and I have finally had time to read the report and rebut Anderton.

This is what Jim Anderton says:
"Children who are physically disciplined are two and a half times more likely to abuse animals".
The source report actually said that, in fact, its more likely to be that hitting animals is linked to smacking, as kids get smacked for doing things like pulling the cats tail - although no empirical link was proven in the report. But this is what the Animal Abuse and Youth Violence report Anderton referred to actually says:
"These findings do not establish a direct link between abusing animals and spanking children".
Contradictory, huh? What Anderton did was lift a quote sourced from another report - a 1999 Journal of Marriage and Family. I`ve read that report too. It says the the punishment was only by fathers to only sons and actually happened in the kids' teenage years - after the animal cruelty - which included things like teasing the family cat - not before it, so how on earth can that physical discipline be because of that later animal cruelty?

But get this: the 1999 report said," The association between father's corporal punishment and son's childhood animal cruelty persisted after.... child abuse, father to mother violence, and father's education.. So, lets interpret reports correctly and then you can see why we don't need to ban correction to remove child abuse, because child abuse is caused by factors other than correction.

The report briefly mentioned those who were smacked as little children, and said: the frequency of being spanked by one's father is [not] related to animal cruelty

So there you go. The results of the study of 267 college undergraduates, 90 per cent of whom had pets in the family home, were co-relational, not causal, and the report said the smacking/animal abuse was not clearly delineated. Therefore there can't be an empirical link either way. Using Anderton's logic, you may as well say becoming Prime Minister 15 years after your party lost an election, means that your leadership is the reason that election was lost, and then concluding that you should honourably resign because your leadership lost your party that earlier election.

So, Anderton didn't do his research, did he? He was probably hoping nobody would notice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what do you expect, He is Hellens chum.
and a liberal politician.

What would be interesting is did he know what he was doing or was it a clerk in his office?
If him then he's a liar and a cheat.
you be the judge.