It’s time to start discussing sterilization

I read a story on today that really was tragic and made me really sad. It was about a parent brutally beating his son. I urge you to read it and then come back here for my opinion on the matter.

Setting aside the fact that the store security should have alerted police to the abuse by the father, I want to take a second to talk about what I consider to be a big problem in our society today that nobody seems to discuss: There is a cycle here that needs to be broken and nothing we are doing is breaking the cycle.

I would wager a fair amount of money that the father was abused as a child and I would wager even more that the son will end up abusing his children (if he has any). In my travels around the city I see parents hitting children all the time for minor things. I’ve seen parents wheeling their children around in strollers while completely doped out on heroin. I’ve seen all kinds of things that seem so obvious to me are part of a cycle. I’m certain that these parents got this way by the way they were raised (or not raised). And I’m certain the children I see are going to end up repeating the same things again.

Could we fix this problem with better education? Perhaps there is a chance. Could we fix this problem with better mental health programs? Or better drug programs? Maybe all 3 of these things could help.

But I feel that we need to do some more drastic things. And they all involve sterilization. Before you start calling me Hitler, you have to agree that it makes some sense to sterilize obviously bad social people. Drug addicts, criminals (especially sexual abusers, animal abusers, murderers) and the like are obvious bad actors.

I’m not saying that the urge to be an abuser is genetic, I’m just saying that these people should not be allowed to be parents. If you don’t want to sterilize, then you take the babies away when they are born.

Yes, I know what you are thinking : How do we decide who is a bad actor and who is not? Where is the line drawn? How do we measure? And if we establish a line, how do we ensure it doesn’t move? I don’t know the answers to these questions but perhaps with discussion we as a society can start to answer them.

Another thought that came to me and I know it is a tragic one, but what about this child? Do we think he should be allowed to have children? What kind of a parent will he become after all the abuse he’s most likely suffered?

Lastly, look at the comments on the post. From those alone you can see that we are creating a society that is going in the wrong direction. The commentors who are saying “good job” to the father. Seriously?

One thought on “It’s time to start discussing sterilization

  1. You know it’s a bad idea to start sterilizing bad people…like you said, where do you draw the line. I worked at Elwyn 30 years and many older clients had been sterilized when it was in vogue to sterilize retarded people. Retarded people with babies need tremendous support to raise children properly. Nowadys, sex education and contraception have replaced sterilization for this population.
    However, I doubt this would address the issue you are discussing: to break the chain of child abuse by sterilizing the abusers, or potential abusers. To deny the abused son procreation ‘rights’ because of his father’s behavior…is wrong, wrong, wrong. Does it surprise you to know that some neglected, abused kids grow to become decent parents? We need more efforts to identify, punish and police known abusers…more treatment, protection, and advocacy for victims. This starts with truly effective social services, unlike what you find in Philadelphia. Every year I read numerous news articles about the failure of caseworkers to identify and prevent abuse.
    More education in schools can help children recognize they are being abused and teach them what steps to take to get help. I have a friend who’s father practiced corporal punishment regularly. It wasn’t til adulthood my friend realized, ‘hey, that was child abuse!’
    I have learned that hitting your children teaches them 2 things: Your parents are unpredictable and they will hurt you.


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