Saturday, August 01, 2009

Do you think a person who is taken to court for drunk driving should be let off if they say they were drinking coke?

Most people understand the above question and will say that a person should not be let off for drunk driving if they say they were drinking coke.

This survey, released by Barnardos, asks kids what researchers think is a similar question, in th hope that most people will give a no answer. Do you think adults who are taken to court for hitting a child should be let off if they say they were disciplining the child? The kid had to make up his or her own mind whether the question implied an excuse for abuse, or whether they think the question meant that the person was conducting reasonable discipline but was charged with assault of a kind that should attract sanctions.In short, bad question that unlike the drinking question, can be interpreted in multiple ways.

If they were disciplining someone else's child they never had a legal defence before the old section 59 law.If they were not disciplining at all they shouldn't be either. Nearly 52 percent of kids who were asked that question thought parents should not be let off. Fair enough. They probably didn't see it as a physical discipline implication without probing, which was probably the intention of the interviewers.

But in an attempt to twist the research further, they took comments from 0.6 percent of callers, who expressed a range of opinions. Those writing up the survey results did not specify the proportion of the 48, who thought hitting parents should not be let off court charges and those who should be. They asked questioned about whether kids thought they should be hit and reported them as to whether kids thought they should be disciplined. They reported that some kids explicitly said that some parents who hit children should themselves be disciplined. Note the language. No examples were given. Perhaps there weren't any and they made it up.

One kid answered the question and then tried to turn the question around to the discipline angle. She was then asked if she thought it was OK to smack. She said yes.Then the leading questions started. The surveyor said, what if something (perhaps a weapon?) was used to smack the kids with - was that okay? The child refused to answer that question so the interviewer then asked what she thought of smacks that cause bruises. The child wasn't happy about bruises. If she was happy about bruises one wondered what the next question would have been - a punch in the head? I guess she was one of the 52% recorded as believing adults should not be let off in court for hitting kids - even though she was OK with parental smacking.

One wonders why these surveys are actually done. They are unreliable, unrepresentative, and invalid. Pointless. One wonders why they go to all this bother to hook up kids, solicit them, and treat them like research prostitutes for political purposes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their are far better ways to spend tax payers money.

August 1, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

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