Titled Licensed to Hug, the report, which will be published by independent think-tank Civitas on 26 June, goes on to suggest that in a climate where many adults feel uneasy about acting on their healthy intuition, they are now wary of interacting with any child other than their own. Consequently, the generations are drifting further apart, as adults suspect each other and children are taught to suspect adults.
Licensed to Hug also argues that vetting culture encourages risk aversion, thereby giving rise to a feeling that it is better to ignore young people, even if they require help, rather than risk accusations of improper conduct.
It also notes that vetting can create a false sense of security as it can only identify those who have previously offended and have been caught – not what people will do after they have been cleared to be near children (since the establishment of CRB checks in 2002 millions of adults have had to get a certificate to say they are safe to be near children, and from October 2008 more than one in four adults in England will be vetted).
Professor Furedi, whose general research focuses on the way that risk and uncertainty is managed by contemporary culture, says: ‘Suspicion of grown-up behaviour towards children has fostered a climate where it has become normal for some parents to only trust adults who possess official clearance.
‘However, although most of those we spoke to or surveyed in the voluntary sector accepted that “unfortunately” a system of national vetting was now a fact of life, a significant minority have been discouraged from working with children because it’s not “worth the effort” – which is, in effect, a double tragedy since, given the evidence, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the national vetting scheme represents an exercise in impression management rather than offering effective protection.’
However, according to the report, perhaps the most damaging outcome of child protection policies associated with vetting is the distancing of inter-generational relationships. Professor Furedi says: ‘Such policies foster a climate where adults are forced to weigh up whether, and how, to interact with a child.
‘One regrettable outcome of this is to estrange children from all adults – the very people who are likely to protect them from paedophiles and other dangers that they may face.’
Licensed to Hug concludes with the argument that a more common-sense approach to adult/child relations would be preferable to a system of vetting and checks, based on the assumption that the vast majority of adults can be relied on to help and support children, and that the healthy interaction between generations enriches children’s lives.
The full report is available from Civitas, 77 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2EZ (Tel: 020 7799 6677/Email: www.civitas.org.uk), price £6.00 inc. pp.
Gary Hughes | alfa
Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy