If Only Dante Were Alive!

To the recent Australian study showing that 88% of allegations of child sexual abuse made in family courts were false and 20% were intentionally so, comes this response.  That such utter nonsense should find a publisher simply boggles the mind, but it’s fairly representative of the type of narrative being peddled by the Australian MSM, extremist feminists and the academy.  It’s worth a read to, if nothing else, get an idea of how deeply dishonest these people are and the depths to which they’re willing to stoop to denigrate men, damage children, mislead the public and skew court proceedings.

The writer is one Grant Wyeth.  Quoth he:

Despite demonstrating the sexual abuse of children is far more widespread than reported, the authors found that in only 14 percent of cases judges expressed a belief that the allegations of sexual assault were true.

From that sentence, you might think that the authors of the study had actually found that “the sexual abuse of children is far more widespread than reported,” but they did no such thing nor did they even make an effort to do so.  Here, in fact, is the list of questions they addressed:

RQ1. How often did judges indicate a belief that allegations of child sexual abuse were true or likely to be true?
RQ2. How often was a risk of sexual harm found in contested hearings?
RQ3. In cases in which a judge did not find that a risk of sexual harm existed, how often were the allegations found to be genuine but mistaken or deliberately misleading?
RQ4. How was parental responsibility allocated following contested hearings?
RQ5. How were parenting arrangements allocated following contested hearings?
RQ6. How often were restraining orders or warnings imposed on the parent making sexual abuse allegations?
RQ7. Were any allegations abandoned during a hearing, and what effect – if any – did this have on any of the above questions?

See?  Demonstrating the extent of child sexual abuse was simply not something they attempted to do.  What they did in passing was cite studies that found that,

Considered on a spectrum – from exposure to unwanted touching, through to penetrative assault before the age of 18 years – a Cochrane meta-analysis of data collected from retrospective studies of adults in countries and cultures worldwide (Walsh, Zwi, Woolfenden & Shlonsky, 2015) reported evidence that 10% to 20% of female children, and 5% to 10% of male children, have experienced child sexual abuse.

Now, that might sound like a lot of sexual abuse, until we realize that it includes 17-year-old couples engaging in foreplay or sex, or simply sending each other photos of themselves partially clad.  The literature chooses to call them “children,” but in most countries, the law does not and, in any case, they themselves almost certainly consider their actions consensual and anything but “abuse.”  Plus, “child sexual abuse” includes, according to the authors, a child walking into his/her parents’ bedroom and inadvertently seeing one of them naked.  In short, the authors cast an extremely wide net in order to catch the figures they did.

And of course the studies they cited were of “adults in countries and cultures worldwide,” not just in Australia.  But Wyeth is content to let readers assume that the figures quoted can be generalized to that country.  Obviously, they can’t be.

And, speaking of assumptions, he, like every other commentator of his ilk, simply assumes that all allegations by mothers against fathers made in family courts are true.

The study’s findings are consistent with global trends in custody proceedings where mothers — and children — are being punished for bringing child abuse to the court’s attention.

Notice that, according to Wyeth, what’s brought to the court’s attention aren’t allegations of child abuse, but “child abuse” itself.  Nowhere does he even suggest the possibility that Mom might be making her claims to gain an advantage in the child custody dispute, a tactic well known to family court judges, but apparently not to Wyeth.  That’s true despite the fact that the very reason for his article is a study finding that false allegations in Australian family courts are very much the rule, not the exception.

Undeterred, Wyeth stumbles on:

This is driven by a considerable ideological shift in family courts over the past few decades that has made it far more difficult for mothers to protect children from abusive fathers. 

What’s that “ideological shift” he refers to?  It’s called “science.”  (Memo to Wyeth: science is different from ideology.)  What’s happening is that, in some places at least, judges and legislators are actually taking cognizance of the very large body of science demonstrating that children do better with both parents actively involved in their lives than in any other living arrangement.  That in turn leads them to issue orders that, where possible, avoid marginalizing one parent in the lives of their children.  It’s an extremely beneficial trend, one that needs to continue.

And what mindless attack on such a healthy trend would be complete without a bit of utterly dishonest male-bashing?  Wyeth doesn’t disappoint.

This pro-contact culture has been advanced into family courts by “fathers’ rights” and other male supremacist groups as not only a way to avoid consequences for abusive behaviors, but in order to reassert male household dominance due to a belief that this is a natural order that is being undermined by social advancements in women’s rights and capabilities.

His evidence?  None.  I’ve been an advocate for family court reform since the late 90s and I’ve never seen anything like what Wyeth asserts or met a “male supremacist.”  On the contrary, what we do want is equal parenting, or as close to it as circumstances permit, post-divorce.  We want that because it’s best for children, best for fathers, best for mothers and best for society generally.  That’s not “male supremacist,” it’s “good-sense supremacist.”  Does Wyeth even know that single mothers and their children are the poorest demographic in society?  Does he care?

Those with facts and logic on their side tend to use both; those with neither resort to the type of disgraceful agitprop and frank dishonesty deployed by the likes of Wyeth and others who promote their ideology at the expense of children’s well-being.  Were Dante alive, he’d surely find a special circle in Hell for their sorry ilk.

 

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