Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Trauma Myth

The NY Times reports:
For a graduate research project at Harvard in the mid-1990s, the psychologist Susan A. Clancy arranged to interview adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, expecting to confirm the conventional wisdom that the more traumatic the abuse had been, the more troubled an adult the child had become.

Dr. Clancy figured she knew what she would find: “Everything I knew dictated that the abuse should be a horrible experience, that the child should be traumatized at the time it was happening — overwhelmed with fear, shock, horror.”

But many carefully documented interviews revealed nothing of the sort. Commonly, the abuse had been confusing for the child but not traumatic in the usual sense of the word. ...

First, her data flew in the face of several decades of politically correct trauma theory, feminist theory and sexual politics.

Second, Dr. Clancy found that the world had little appetite for scientific subtlety ...
I guess that means that it is difficult to get scientific data on this subject. People will spread false myths, and the scientists will not have the guts to correct them. I think that there are a bunch of areas where science has been corrupted by political correctness.

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