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It Ain't Necessarily So...Ch 8-9...

Chapter 8 dealt largely with the idea of indirect information being the basis for reports that are used to write news stories. I think it is important to note that just because there are more reports surfacing on a specific topic of interest such as child abuse, it does not mean that conditions are worsening. I agreed with the book when it said that instead of child abuse becoming more prevalent amongst Americans, the standards by which we label 'child abuse' have become more strict. These ways of judging child abuse vary from one person to another and no consenses can truly be drawn on opinion alone. One family might think that telling a child to kneel in a corner is child abuse because it often hurts there knees. While another family might beat their child with a belt and think its normal and non-abusive. You can be the judge.

The book referenced a study stating: "between 1986 and 1993, the number of children who were physically abused nearly doubled." Though changes in reports can be mistaken for changes in reality. Maybe child abuse is actually becoming more common. There is still the possible discrepancy between reports and reality. It can also be gathered that the study on child abuse reflects heightened awareness to the issue rather than an actual increase in abuse. These same cases may have been going on before the study was done, but they were never reported or noticed/observed. A minor detail like the fact that some reports include "endangered children" (those in danger or being abused)along with those that are actually abused may change report results.

The text describes this child abuse study as the classic bait and switch. In this case the increase does not stem from more cases of physical abuse but from heightened awareness and sensitivity among child welfare professionals that report more things as abuse than they did in the past.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 5, 2005 10:40 PM.

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