Monday, March 03, 2008

Spanking may lead to sexual problems later (?)

Out of the zillions of studies on corporal punishment, the guy apparently found only FOUR that supported his prejudices! And three of those are unpublished! What about all the other studies? The guy is just a missionary, not a scientist

Children whose parents spank them or otherwise inflict physical punishment may be more likely to have sexual problems later, according to research to be presented Thursday to the American Psychological Association. The analysis of four studies by Murray Straus, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire-Durham, suggests that children whose parents spanked, slapped, hit or threw objects at them may have a greater chance of physically or verbally coercing a sexual partner, engaging in risky sexual behavior or engaging in masochistic sex, including sexual arousal by spanking. "It increases the chances of sexual problems," though "it's not a one-to-one causation," Straus says.

Elizabeth Gershoff, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, who reviewed 80 years of spanking research in 2002 in the APA's Psychological Bulletin, says Straus' work appears to be the first to link spanking with sexual problems. Gershoff says that though many children have been spanked (85% in one 2007 survey), problems may depend on how they process the spanking. "They may internalize that to mean that in loving relationships sometimes there's pain or physical aggression," she says. Another possible lesson is that "whoever is stronger and has more power can overpower the other person and use physical aggression to control the other person's behavior."

But linking sexual problems with spanking is a "big leap," says human-sexuality researcher John DeLamater of the University of Wisconsin. "It's probably one of many elements that might contribute to sex problems or risky sex, but it's a long leap."

Most children who are spanked escape from long-term harm, says Straus, 81, a sociology professor who says he occasionally spanked his own children but later became a staunch critic of spanking. His work on violence in families is regarded as landmark research. He is scheduled to present the studies today at the psychological association's Summit on Violence and Abuse in Relationships in Bethesda, Md. Three are yet unpublished; one has been submitted to a journal. He plans to include two in a book this year. The fourth was included in a 1994 book.

The two most recent studies examine sexual coercion and risky practices among 14,252 college students between 2001 and 2006. The third study, of 440 high school students from New Hampshire, examined risky sex, such as premarital sex without a condom. The fourth study, of 207 students from the Northeast, focused on masochistic sex. In each case, Straus found that those who had experienced corporal punishment had increased probability of coercing sex, risky sex or masochistic sex.

The literature on effectiveness of spanking to correct behavior is still "very mixed," says Robert Larzelere of Oklahoma State University, who has studied parents' disciplinary methods. "Like any discipline tactic, it depends on how it's used," he says.


If you think British food is bad, wait until you see British army food

Prince Harry returned yesterday from Afghanistan clearly unbowed by the threat of serious injury, kidnapping or death from a Taliban attack. But he admitted that sinking, defeated feeling when faced with some of the dismal army food. Harry said: "Rations are miserable. I've been on rations now for, I can't remember how long. The guys here [in Afghanistan] have been on rations even longer than I have. They're fed-up with it."

Responding to the suggestion that Jamie Oliver could be drafted in to help boost morale with some ration recipes, he said: "Yeah, Jamie, please. Bangers and mash with gravy, in a bag, would be brilliant. I don't think you can screw that up. I'm sure someone would manage to, but bangers and mash with gravy in a bag would be awesome." Harry, who typically prefers Big Macs, spent weeks living on rations while operating around Musa Qala, the former Taliban stronghold. "There are people out in the villages who have got less stuff than us, so I suppose we should be happy with a corned beef hash," he said.

The prince has, however, broadened his culinary experiences in Afghanistan - eating goat curry with a unit of Gurkhas. "Everyone is well looked after here by the Gurkhas, the food is fantastic - goat curries, chicken curries . . . it's good fun." The Gurkhas praised Harry for his good manners, noting how he would visit the camp kitchen after every meal to thank the cook. "We are very lucky to have a prince on our team working with us," said Captain Yambahadur Rana. "He's getting on very well with our boys. He has even started learning a few Gurkha words."

The prince's culinary experiences were broadened further when he join Fijian troops on manoeuvres in the Afghan desert. Their rudimentary breakfast entailed blending butter and jam in a tub and then spreading it on a wholemeal biscuit.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

9). And how odd it is that we never hear of the huge American study which showed that women who eat lots of veggies have an INCREASED risk of stomach cancer? So the official recommendation to eat five lots of veggies every day might just be creating lots of cancer for the future! It's as plausible (i.e. not very) as all the other dietary "wisdom" we read about fat etc.

10). And will "this generation of Western children be the first in history to lead shorter lives than their parents did"? This is another anti-fat scare that emanates from a much-cited editorial in a prominent medical journal that said so. Yet this editorial offered no statistical basis for its opinion -- an opinion that flies directly in the face of the available evidence.

Even statistical correlations far stronger than anything found in medical research may disappear if more data is used. A remarkable example from Sociology:
"The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre's yield of cotton. He calculated the correlation coefficient between the two series at -0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic conditions and lynchings in Raper's data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his analysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic conditions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added."
So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. But in medical research, data selectivity and the "overlooking" of discordant research findings is epidemic.

"What we should be doing is monitoring children from birth so we can detect any deviations from the norm at an early stage and action can be taken". Who said that? Joe Stalin? Adolf Hitler? Orwell's "Big Brother"? The Spanish Inquisition? Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde? None of those. It was Dr Colin Waine, chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum. What a fine fellow!


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