Thursday, 24 May 2007

Harmonious homes no guarantee


Social ills: Harmonious families no guarantee
13 May, 2007

Kota Kinabalu: A harmonious family does not guarantee that its members are not involved in social ills, a social scientist said here Saturday.

Prof. Dr Abd Hadi Zakaria. from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya, said based on his research conducted in Johor in 1999, youths from harmonious families also indulged in anti-social activities like incest, drug abuse, alcohol consumption and pornography.

"Almost all the incest cases that we studied occurred in harmonious families where family members were close and cordial," he said.

He said the family members involved conducted their "in-house" activities together like watching pornographic films, while in the case of incest it was usually consensual.

Prof. Abd Hadi had earlier presented a paper entitled "Research on Adolescents and Youths" at a seminar and workshop on current social issues research, jointly organised by the Social Institute of Malaysia under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

He said the research in Johor was sponsored by the Johor Family Foundation and was conducted via questionnaires involving 1,300 respondents.

The target group was youths under 18, including students, and from various family backgrounds.

"If anti-social behaviour exists in harmonious families, what more in broken or turbulent families where the young members could also be involved in illegal racing, gangsterism and vandalism as had been found in many previous studies," said Abd Hadi.

"This means we have to rethink about our common views or assumptions that harmonious families produce good, responsible youths while broken families produce otherwise.

"So where we are now? What do we do? We need to study. We have to look for new approaches guided by other principles which will enable us to curb such unhealthy activities," he said, adding some social scientists also concurred with his new finding. - Bernama

[Source: ]

The scenario in India would surely be no different. Yeah. The big question. What do we do? We detest anti-socials, but many of them didn't really choose, in their right minds, to become what they became. They were victims themselves, and though it is not right to "justify" their conduct, we can try to imagine what horrendous effects sexual abuse can have on the psyche of a weak and impressionable kid. If we want children to grow up to become productive members of the society, actions have to be taken. The law-makers of our country have to realize that "curbing such unhealthy activities" in our "harmonious families"would require a transparent legal system, wherein a wronged child seeking justice gets it without all the hassles. Stringent and effective laws will act as a deterrant for further perpetration. I have already emphasized that one of the reasons sexual abuse of a child happens, especially at home within close family circles, is that the perpetrator knows very well he can get away with it. If strong action is taken against the accused in each and every case that is reported, the potential perpetrators will start thinking twice before royally fiesting on a child's body. The tag of crime will be associated with the act, and the perpetrators, most of whom don't even realize that it's a crime, will feel the guilt of doing something wrong and hesitate.

Writing is so easy I know. I know what a heinous task it is to convince the goverment to start thinking about it. The recent National Study on Child Abuse has thankfully caused some stir. At this point of time, effective lobbying by influential NGOs and social activists, authors, journalists and individuals like us should produce some effect. Let's go about doing our jobs. I, for one, will do mine.

1 comment:

  1. I feel incest is an entirely separate issue.. not connected exactly with CSA.. though sometimes the two intersect.. this is becoz the former is mostly voluntary and the latter is often forced on ignorant minds