Child abuse

Child abuse
In her article "Child abuse and culture" Lisa Aronson Fontes states, "Assessing child abuse is like trying to keep your balance on a seesaw. If you lean too much in one direction, you are in danger of disrupting family life unnecessarily to "protect" children who do not actually need the intervention. If you lean too much in the other direction, you may fail to protect children who are in dangerous situations".

Fontes demonstrates the problem of defining "abuse" and "neglect" and the possible misinterpretation to the different ethnic groups. For instance, the author mentioned that some families from traditional peasant cultures in Asia, Africa, and South America are incorrectly substantiated for neglect because their children sleep on the floor. Families may be incorrectly found to be negligent or suspected of sexual abuse because they share beds, when sharing a bed may be customary in their country of origin.

In some countries, such as Korea, it is traditional for the mother to sleep with her children in a room separate from the father, who sleeps alone. People from cultures as diverse as the Maya of Mexico, the Iu Mien of Southeast Asia, and different groups in East Africa respond in horror when they hear that children in the USA and Canada are often expected to sleep in a room alone, either from birth or from a very young age.

In this case, parents' abuse or neglect can be seen only, if something has happened to the child physically. However, it is not considered neglect according to the specific cultural context of parenting itself.

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