When did you stop beating your wife? Challenging loaded questions in FQ

[ My bold ] I don’t know what you mean by this.

The OP was not framed as a neutral factual question. It was loaded with the premise that only empirical evidence about outcomes, specifically abuse outcomes, can justify this parenting strategy. I disputed the premise thus:

So disputing the premise here is a question of ethical beliefs, not something for which an objective factual cite is applicable. And you responded by saying it was a good point but off topic - thus barring any further discussion of the dubious premise.

Ok, let me try to explain it this way.

OP: I’m looking for scientific cites for or against this premise.
Your response: I question the premise!

This is not a helpful answer, is not a cite for or against the premise, and is not a factual answer.

It’s not a question of ethical beliefs. The OP clearly states that they are looking for scientific studies. Nothing else.

A request for scientific cites on a topic (even a dubious topic) is an FQ discussion. A discussion of ethical beliefs is not a topic for FQ.

I responded to requests for clarification in several cases. Of course, once I clarified my question, no one responded with any facts. Maybe there are no studies on point. I can accept that conclusion from someone who has looked into it and can reasonably confidently say there are no such studies. And yes, I reported some responses that I thought were off topic. When I recognized that the discussion was not going where I’d hoped, I requested that the topic be moved so the discussion could continue organically in the direction it was going. It’s not the discussion I requested nor the result I hoped for but people are free to contribute how they choose.

This doesn’t make any sense as a representation of the exchange. The “premise” I was challenging is not thing that OP is seeking evidence for. The premise is OP’s loaded assumption that empirical evidence should exist, and that empirical evidence is the only way to justify that thing.

The synopsis should be:

OP: I’m looking for scientific cites in support of X, because empirical evidence is the only valid way to justify X.

Response: I question your premise that the absence of rigorous empirical evidence should lead to skepticism about X, because
(a) such evidence may be difficult to obtain, so its absence does not justify such strong inference;
(b) X may be justified for non-empirical reasons.

So regarding this:

And I wasn’t seeking to do that. OP was implying what conclusions should be drawn from the existence or non-existence of the empirical evidence they asked for. That’s what I was disputing. It does not require a debate of the ethical issues, but it requires pointing out that non-empirical ethical arguments do exist.

If it’s not fair game to discuss the implicit assumptions of an OP that is loaded in this manner within FQ, then the entire thread should be kicked to another forum. You can’t allow an OP to advance a line of reasoning under superficial cover of a neutral “request for facts” and leave it immune to challenge.

No, it’s not. There are many reasons for adopting a parenting strategy. The OP asking about one of them says nothing of the validity of others. And if you want to discuss the others, nobody is stopping you from opening another thread about them.

For too long FQ threads have been overrun by the IMHO crowd. If you don’t know the answer to a factual question, just don’t post.

I’m starting to wonder if people are reading the same thread as me. To quote OP again:

Are you really claiming that OP is not implying any opinion here as to what conclusions we should draw about the validity of this approach to parenting if empirical data from rigorous scientific studies does not exist?

If an OP in FQ wants to avoid this kind of problem, it should ask neutrally, it should not itself not advance a questionable line of reasoning that amounts to an opinion.

And one of the things that was moderated out of bounds was even to question what kind of hypothesis might sensibly be tested in a scientific study, and the potential difficulty and likely long delay in obtaining reliable empirical data. Without that kind of context, we cannot possibly interpret any cited study sensibly, or infer anything reliable from the absence of data. Is that discussion an “opinion” that should be out of bounds in FQ?

The quoted portions are critical of poor science or non-science being trotted out as scientific rationale and do not address non-scientific rationale — most of what I rely on when interacting with children FWIW — that is recognized as such. I ask more experienced adults “what works/worked for you?” but that’s completely different from asking “has this been studied?” and, particularly important for sociology research, “how?”

Go ahead and start the thread you want instead of trying to turn someone else’s into the one you want.

Sorry, no. OP does not own a thread, and if a thread advances a line of reasoning, I don’t want to be told that the appropriate place to dispute that line of reasoning is to open another thread.

…the premise, as presented in the OP, is that it’s a “parenting strategy” designed so that “if they learn about consent and bodily autonomy early, they will be more likely to maintain those boundaries later and so will be less likely to be sexually manipulated or abused.”

But is it though?

I don’t think it is.

I think consent is consent. And if I ever have kids, I’d teach this to my kids not " so will be less likely to be sexually manipulated or abused", but so that they won’t sexually manipulate or abuse other people. Its about teaching them to respect other peoples boundaries.

Its an ethical position. Not an abuse prevention strategy.

The question “Is there any scientific or sociological evidence that this parenting strategy reduces rates of sexual abuse?” assumes the premise the OP sets up is correct. But I don’t think it is, and the OP doesn’t present any evidence to back that premise up.

The question on its own is fine.

But to answer the question effectively additional context should be allowed. Because I think the question is fundamentally based on an utterly bullshit premise, and its important to be able to point that out.

If you don’t think there is a single person out there who has adopted this “parenting strategy” designed so that “if they learn about consent and bodily autonomy early, they will be more likely to maintain those boundaries later and so will be less likely to be sexually manipulated or abused,” then you don’t have the factual answer the OP has requested.

Perhaps a reductio ad absurdum might help?

OP: What scientific studies and empirical evidence are there to support the trendy notion that I’ve heard recently that I should not eat babies? Because all that stuff about peanuts didn’t have any solid science behind it and that turned out to be stupid and wrong.

Response: Well, there probably aren’t any studies, because what would you study that would be relevant? The belief that we shouldn’t eat babies doesn’t derive from empirical evidence that they give you indigestion, it derives from an ethical belief in their right to life.

Moderator/Ruken: This is FQ. If you don’t have the factual information that OP has asked for, please refrain from off-topic comments and opinions, if you wish you may start your own thread.

Studies on prion diseases might be appropriate.

That’s why you should pay a little extra for organic cage-free babies.

…a single person isn’t statistically significant enough for anybody to conduct scientific research. And thats kinda key to the whole discussion. How many parents do believe this? Who is advocating for this?

To Hug or Not to Hug: Teaching Kids About Consent | Magination Press Family.

The first three websites I visited on Google, NONE of them mentioned it was to prevent later sexually manipulation or abuse. I’m sure if I dug a bit deeper, some would pop up.

The OP is based on, essentially, a strawman. It presented a premise that they asserted to be true, then challenged the board to provide evidence to support the premise they essentially just made up.

We should either be allowed to challenge the premise in that thread, or the thread should be moved to a more appropriate forum so the premise can be debated.

One of the issues I’ve heard with horse meat is that horses are often given medication that is unsuitable for animals intended for human consumption. Jonathan Swift did not consider this.

But I see a distinction between:

Are there studies on X?
We should all X and here’s why.
Government policy on X
What do you think about X? / Should we X?
I read this article about X
People who X are poopheads

where if placed in the appropriate category/topic or whatever we’re calling the bins these days, I’d prefer the responses in that thread be tailored to FQ/GD/etc.

Whereas the 2nd link in my search returns:

According to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, one in 10 children will be victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18. As a parent, that statistic is terrifying — especially as you’re about to send your baby out “into the world” for the first time. But rather than become consumed by fear, my husband and I focused on safety and education.

We have always talked to my son about the parts of his body using proper names, and reinforced the message that when it comes to his body, he is the boss. My son understands that if he needs help cleaning himself in the tub, we will ask before washing him. And he knows that his doctor may need to examine parts of his body during checkups, but likewise, she will ask him first. We let him know that he doesn’t have to give hugs and kisses to people if he doesn’t want to, and that includes mum and dad. We’ve also discussed the importance of privacy, and the idea that certain parts of his body shouldn’t be seen or touched by other people. There is no awkward sit-down or big Power Point presentation here. The focus is on guidance, and getting the message across in a way that isn’t scary.

It then goes on to discuss other reasons, e.g. respecting others’ bodies. Obviously important IMO but not what the OP asked about. And also possibly not the subject of any studies.

Or, the OP is based on a topic you are not knowledgeable about and nobody is forcing you to participate. That’s why I don’t respond to the vast majority of FQ threads.

…yeah, but that really doesn’t back up the OP’s premise. Its an anecdote on why a mum was motivated to do something, later in the post she says:

So what she wanted to accomplish was to teach her son how to navigate relationships, to respect other people, and to become a respectful adult. Which is pretty much what the other cites I provided also said. I’m pretty comfortable now that the entire premise that the original thread is based on is nonsense. Thanks for providing additional evidence.

Well, I didn’t participate in that thread, so thanks for informing me that nobody is forcing me to participate, but I already know that, thanks.

And the assertion that the OP is based on a “topic that I’m not knowledgeable about” is incorrect.

And thus is confirmed to be a parenting strategy to reduce abuse of the child. The existence of other motivations doesn’t negate this. Other motivations being more important to many or even all parents doesn’t negate this. The strategy exists; anyone who doesn’t already know that from casual news exposure and who inexplicably can’t confirm it in 30 seconds* would be threadshitting by arguing otherwise in that thread.


protect kids from abuse consent hugging

into Google provides ample results.

That doesn’t mean there are studies. What few papers I found adjacent to the request mentioned little research outside a few specific areas, like adults in medical setting.

…I haven’t argued that in some instances it may well be a parenting strategy to reduce abuse of the child. Of course that happens. But it’s a holistic strategy. As in the primary goal is to make their kids better people. It really isn’t anything more than that.

Except they aren’t just “other motivations.” They are the motivations.

“Casual news exposure” is exactly the reason why the premise of the OP should be allowed to be challenged.

Because “casual news exposure” often leads to bullshit ideas.

It presents extremely targeted results that, in the case of this search, presented many websites or stories that either were focused on sexual abuse in general and presented “make hugging consensual” as one of many different things you could do, or news articles that started with a narrative and then found people that agreed with the premise and quoted them. The problem with overly targeted searches is that you end up largely with “casual news exposure”. That isn’t a good thing.

After all of the moderation in the original thread, after everything was edited and the thread put back on track by the moderators, the OP posted this:

This gives the game away. The OP is insistent they are just asking questions. Insistent that this question is important. Insistent that no nuance is required. They just had to share that with everyone.

The demand for “enlightenment” here, IMHO, is disingenuous. If this really is the case:

then the OP would be open to the responses that they received in that thread that didn’t narrowly answer the exact question posed in the OP, but gave more context and enlightenment on the strategy.

But its clear they don’t want to do that.