This is part four of Michael Pearl’s updated foreword to his book “To Train Up A Child” from No Greater Joy – Attack on Traditional Child Training
Editor’s note: Now Michael goes on to claim that you cannot find cases of abuse in Christian homeschooled children who are spanked followed by saying in the studies that support no spanking that the representative sampling is all among juvenile delinquents. What about Hana Grace Williams? What about Lydia Shatz? What about the countless others that don’t make it into the news but are surely being abused by the letter of Pearl’s awful book? If his book is such a great resource for parenting then why exactly has it been found in homeschooling Christian homes where children have ended up being beaten to death?
Naysayers are wrong in their assertion that “all studies confirm . . . .” When they do reference a study it is taken from a select group of troubled, violent, or emotionally disturbed youth who have ended up incarcerated or as part of a treatment program. Since most children are spanked, the majority of troubled youth will have been spanked, and a number of them will have been physically abused—hit, beaten, or punished severely. We would be in full agreement with the professionals that the children who were genuinely physically abused are more likely to become delinquent or emotionally troubled. So with certainty, counselors will discover that a large number of anti-social youth were physically abused. But their “studies” fail to distinguish between measured spanking by nurturing parents and violent physical abuse. If they were to do a study of 1,000 Christian, homeschooled children who are spanked, they would grow weary searching for cases of abuse, and they would be shocked and—since it doesn’t fit their philosophy—disappointed at the consistently beautiful fruit.
Ralph S. Welsh, PhD candidate and lecturer in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University, offers the perfect example of the methodology employed to support the anti-spanking agenda in his article “Delinquency, Corporal Punishment, and the Schools” ( Crime & Delinquency 24 (3): 336 – 354). Take note of the composition of his “study group”:
“Early in my clinical career, I was alarmed to discover the inordinate number of juvenile delinquents who had been exposed to harsh parental treatment during their developmental years. I took the time to question my delinquent patients and their parents carefully and to tabulate the information regarding parental punishment practices.” In the same article he says, “One extensive study helped to convince me that corporal punishment could not easily be viewed as a harmless American tradition, to be tolerated and supported. This study involved seventy-seven consecutive juvenile court referrals, fifty-eight boys and nineteen girls.”
You will notice that the “studies” are taken from “juvenile delinquents” and “juvenile court referrals.” Symptom-based sampling, where you start with a selected group associated with given behavioral problems and work backward to determine a cause, is totally unscientific. They know better, but they are desperate to “prove” a causative link to something they are philosophically opposed to.
Jason Fuller says in his article “Corporal Punishment and Child Development ( Akron Law Review 44 ) “[P]rofessional methodologists have found that anti-spanking studies are often structured to support the researcher’s personal philosophy, instead of being structured to fairly analyze the results of physical discipline.”
I can understand the frustration of counselors who must deal with broken children every day. Anyone would be desperate to place blame, but the leftist predisposition and the misdirected influence of their academic training leaves them with tunnel vision. Their conclusions are not scientifically justified. Their opinions are emotionally driven. Understandable as it is, it is nonetheless inexcusable for the damage it does to children who will not receive traditional training in self-control, accountability, and responsible action.
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.