Only guess where it's worst of all?
This is a damning report on a country which seems to put moral and family issues first; even balanced per-capita, this seems to show the USA in a pretty poor light indeed.
I've been threatened with the belt for not falling asleep on command--and this is in Alabama--the belt is the least of my worries, once in a high school class, my classmates compared the various objects they'd been beaten with during their lives.
None of them were particularly bad people--just your average cruel kids, so I highly doubt they were beaten like this for stealing or anything--I mean, I was beaten once for wetting the bed--that's about how things get handled here.
You don't like how the kid is snarking at you? Beat the shit out of it! That's how things are handled, and people don't consider it from the child's point of view, or how instead of creating respect, it simply makes them loathe their parents and want to act up more.
I'm not surprised child abuse is rife in Texas--I bet it's that way all over the south--the place where people are poor and often the only social structure is via the most simplistic means--sexual attraction, physical appearance--the ability to do violence to others. I know my own parents feel threatened by my level of intelligence, and I bet the same thing happens with these children.
The other thing is that you don't have to get a certification to be a parent. You just have to have the ability to have sex--I think classes on how to properly discipline children is going to solve the problem partially--but it still won't stop sociopaths from taking advantage of children--like the young girl who was raped by her mother's partner--most abuse is also perpetuated by secondary partners--2nd husbands, etc. And really, people need to be allowed to step in when they know something is wrong--and children need to know that they can go to an adult and that something will be done when they say something about it--I was never protected from bullying in high school, I knew they wouldn't do jack when it came to my shitty parents.
Just because someone has children, it doesn't mean that they're qualified to be a good parent. And it is possible to teach people to be parents--and the proper ways to discipline a child, and when discipline graduates into full-out child abuse--parents may not understand this, especially young parents.
If anything, this reinforces the reason I don't need to have kids. My own parents abused me--I'm terrified of doing the same and perpetuating the cycle.
It seems lots of people who have children have no clue how to raise them--at the very least, requiring parenting classes(for BOTH parents) alongside prenatal care will help curb some of the parents that are misunderstanding things and are simply foolish rather than abusive sociopaths.
Also, as much as people love religion and want to be jesusy here, I find the opposite is more often true--People tend to go on very apelike instincts rather than the moral choice or the adult choice.
Divorce is actually very high here, usually people get married at the end of high school, then divorce around the husband's mid-life crisis--so there's a lot of single mothers or older single mothers around. Even the football coach of my high school had an infidelity that became the gossip of the town. Nooobody follows the book they claim to love, but I've been accosted before for not wanting to pray with people.
And it goes all the way through to young adults being subjected to Conversion Therapy. Pretty horrifying stuff.
This isn't "poke fun at America" it's pointing out that there's a deep problem with child abuse in a culture which considers itself to be deeply Christian.
It's really that simple.
Moreover, the worst problem is in Texas - G. Walker Bush was raised in Texas, for instance.
We're not immune to it here - and since I've been accused of physical abuse against a child myself (and exonerated after a two-year struggle) smugness is not something I'm party to.
May I admonish you to be more careful to see conspiracy around every corner. This is about a possible connection between extreme religion and lousy child protection: nothing more.
If I wanted to bash America or her people, which I do not, I can think of far more potent arguments than that. For instance (this nugget from James Dyson of Dyson vacuum cleaners) did you know that more patents are copied/stolen by US corporations (from other territories) than anywhere else? A factor I've had to consider in developing my own patents - seems that Christianity goes out of the window when profit is involved.
I've been thinking about morals recently - and I think as a mother of 3 boys at 35 years old, I am now in a position in society to think about and pass on some moral thinking to my kids.
I didn't get it as a kid. I don't remember my parents telling me what was right or wrong specifically - although I did get a general sense of right and wrong.
As parents we are in a special role of leadership when it comes to forming ideas of morality based on natural feelings of repulsion and social comfort.
You can condition children to think that any thing is OK or not OK. It's a powerful position and needs to be taken on seriously and responsibly with care and love and compassion. It links in strongly with building self esteem also, and self worth.
Humour is a great tool also - for when they stay across into social taboos - such as farting in public or picking their noses. It turns out there is some much to learn as a child growing up into a complex social world.
About your (and my) getting no moral thinking from parents.
I heard a lot of "Children should be seen and not heard" when I was young. Decades after both of my parents died, I learned in a German-language movie of the European tradition they had known: "If you say more than five words, they say you are a good-for-nothing shirker."
They seldom spoke and they both used violence to get the silence they needed. Perhaps due to a lack of confidence in their ability to give their kids any moral thinking, they sent us to Catholic schools.
I feared them, and my fear became anger. I decided to have no children and married a woman who'd decided similarly. I finally put my parents out of my life. After years of various kinds of therapy, I came to see my parents as tragic figures--victims of their culture.
In the late-1970s I moved to California and cheered when I heard of children being removed from violent homes.
I recently googled <child abuse laws history> and learned a lot. Such as, until the 1970s the law gave more protection to domestic animals than it did to children.
It's a familiar story. My dad was naturally of that school - although he did have some ideas outside of that - he found it hard I think to step away from his own childhood conditioning.
I had the same - fear that changed to anger and then the counselling - I would say now that as of about 2 or 3 years I am sane and can cope as an adult in life - I am relative normal and am an OK parent as things go - although my dad doesn't seem to think I'm doing a very good job - to be honest I believe that we all do our best based on our circumstances, experience etc. Most parents want the best for their children - but it's a tricky thing - because at first I think we identify with our children as ourselves - and as they grow up they become separate identities and it's tricky for a parent to go through this transition to the benefit of both parties - I think use of altruism and clear moral values are useful tools.