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Irrational Women and Child Discipline

© Peter Zohrab 2006

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Submission on the Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill by the New Zealand Equality Education Foundation (slightly edited)


Child Discipline

As the Explanatory Note to this Bill shows, the motivation for this Bill is irrational. It states:

"The purpose of this Bill is to stop force, and associated violence and harm under the pretence of domestic discipline, being inflicted on children."

Since this Bill aims to make all force by parents against children illegal, the Explanatory Note is claiming that all "violence and harm" used against children by parents is merely a pretence of domestic discipline. That is completely absurd, and demonstrates the loose thinking of the Member of Parliament concerned. Parents who use force against their children cannot be seriously accused of pretending to be disciplining their children, in most cases. You may disagree with how they are doing it, but they are obviously genuinely disciplining their children!

What is even more irrational is that the Bill makes no attempt to place the issue in the context of the need for children to be disciplined, and the serious problems that families, schools, the police, the courts, and society as a whole have with out-of-control children. This is a serious issue, and a rational Member of Parliament proposing such a Bill would at least address this obvious issue.

In the view of the New Zealand Equality Education Foundation, it is doubtful that outlawing the use of reasonable force by all parents will stop a few parents from using excessive force, which is already illegal. If the courts seem to interpret the legislation too liberally too frequently, then it should be possible to tighten the wording.

The risks that out-of-control children pose to themselves and to everyone else -- especially when they grow up -- is too great to allow ourselves to be carried away by irrational urges to protect a very few children. In most cases, the problems arise because natural families have been broken up by women being forced out into the workplace, where the opportunity for adultery is vast, by permissive attitudes towards adultery, and by no-fault divorce laws. This results in solo mothers who cannot control their children, and in child-stepfather relationships which can never be as close as natural child-parent relationships -- leading to discipline problems. The answer to this problem is to go back to tougher divorce laws.


Irrational Women

It is no accident that Sue Bradford has proposed this irrational Bill. As the Neuroscience article "Sex differences in functional activation patterns revealed by increased emotion processing demands*" shows, men's and women's brains process emotional stimuli in different ways. It states:

"These findings suggest that men tend to modulate their reaction to stimuli, and engage in analysis and association, whereas women tend to draw more on primary emotional reference."

To put it simply, women have evolved to get emotional about things, and men have evolved to be rational. Sue Bradford's Bill is evidence that women would be better off at home, indulging their emotions on their children, leaving the men to make decisions outside the home -- e.g. about legislation -- that require rational thinking in the face of emotional stimuli.

*by Geoffrey B.C. Hall, Sandra F. Wittelson, Henry Szechtman and Claude Nahmias, in Neuroreport Vol. 15 2004, pp 219-223.




Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

3 July 2015