From the book "Why Gender Matters"
"In a bizzare turn of events it has become politically incorrct to spank your child, but ok to drug him.
Something fundamental has changed. There has been a transformation in the way we think about children throughout most of history in western civilization, parents have assumed that children are inclined to misbehavior. This assumption is manifest in the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity, in the Catholic church doctrine of original sin, and the Jewish belief of yetzer hara, the evil impulse. The role of parents it was thought- was to guide kids along the straight and narrow. Without strict parenting, children were innately inclined to misbehave. Or such was the common belief.
Today the dominant ethos reflects the 1960's flower child belief in the innate goodness of children. Children are born good, according to this world view. If kids behave badly it much be because of: bad parenting, poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care, environmental toxins, ADD, violent entertainment and media.
Take your pick. Even the language used be parents and professional to describe the disobedient child has changed. Fifty years ago a boy who stole from other kids was a "thief" Today he's a boy exhibiting : adolescent conduct disorder with maladaptive social functioning." The change in language results from a change in the way people thing about juvenile misbehavior. Fifty years ago, bad behavior was considered a disciplinary problem. If you misbehaved, you needed to be punished. Today bad behavior is more often considered a psychiatric problem. Kid's who misbehave are referred to a specialist for a diagnosis- and for treatment often with medication.
And psychiatrists have plenty of diagnoses at their disposal. The most recent addition of the DSM-IV, lists half a dozen "diagnoses" that could be applied to plain old disobedience. Consider the official description of "Oppositional Defiant Disorder," DSM-IV 313.81:
The essential feature of ODD is the recurrent pattern of negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior towards authority figures that persists for at least 6 months and is characterized by the frequent occurrence of at least 4 of the following behaviors: Losing temper, arguing with adults, actively defying or refusing to comply with the requests or rules of adults, deliberately doing things that will annoy other people, blaming others for his or her own mistakes and misbehavior, being touchy or easily annoyed by others, being angry or resentful, or being spiteful and vindictive. .......
Parents who would balk at drugging their children for misbehavior would be much more comfortable doing it as a method of treatment. I call this process the "Medicalization of misbehavior."
Do you agree with the bolded statement?
Also, do you agree with the concept that children are "born good" and misbehavior results from some sort of parental or societal failure? Do you think that a lack of parental willingness to discipline children has resulted in the overwhelming increase in the diagnosis of psychiatric problems in children?
Anything else you find debate worthy in this piece?