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Marginal views misrepresented as mainstream

5 December 2007

Marginal views misrepresented as mainstream

The Green Party is disappointed that the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First have sunk to the level of misrepresenting the perspective of a religious lobby group as balanced research, and refutes their conclusion that smacking is an effective form of discipline.

"As was discovered during the two year Select Committee process there is a vast amount of research from New Zealand, the United States and around the world which thoroughly disputes that position," Green Party Children's Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"It seems the sky has not fallen since the amendment of Section 59, nor are the courts being flooded with spurious assault charges.

"Groups like the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First are merely clutching at straws in a bid to persuade politicians to turn the clock back," Ms Bradford says.

"It's fine for the 'American College of Paediatricians' to have opinions, and the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First are more than welcome to share them, but portraying this as scientific or medical information rather than the work of a conservative think tank and lobby group is dishonest.

"This is becoming a common tactic for those on the far right, as is the process of mimicking the names of established medical bodies they have been formed to oppose," Ms Bradford says.

"The ACP, which boasts less than 60 members, was formed five years ago as a protest against the direction of the 75-year-old, 60,000 member American Academy of Paediatrics.

The American Academy of Paediatrics states that "Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behaviour."

"The American Psychological Association, the Canadian Paediatrics Society, England's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Paediatric Society of New Zealand and numerous other groups from the American Humane Society to the United Methodist Church all agree that children are best raised without violence," says Ms Bradford.


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