Thomas Sowell

We may become the first society destroyed by its own experts -- especially experts in fields where there is no expertise that can be verified by facts.

Over the past several decades, no one has been victimized more by so-called experts than parents and children. And no one has done more to expose the frauds of "experts" in child-raising and education than Kay Hymowitz.

Her recently published book, "Liberation's Children," is a devastating debunking of fashionable ideas that have brought much frustration and heartache to parents and children alike. As in her previous book, "Ready or Not," Ms. Hymowitz shows what personal and social disasters have followed from treating children as if they were already adults.

Premature sex is just one of the consequences of the "liberation" of children in accordance with the theories of child-raising experts. We are not talking about teenage pregnancy. We are talking about kids experimenting with sex before they become teenagers.

This is about "ten- or eleven-year-old girls arriving at school looking like madams," about group sex at thirteen, imitating things they saw on the Playboy channel. Contrary to the trendy notion that early sex is due to "raging hormones," Kay Hymowitz argues that this and many other signs of degeneracy are due to adults' abdication of responsibility.

Busy parents, latchkey kids, and fad-ridden schools are all part of the problem, as spelled out in "Liberation's Children." But behind all these things is a pervasive undermining of authority throughout society -- largely in response to untested theories by glib experts.

A whole chapter is devoted to the courts' role in making it virtually impossible to assert authority in the schools, even in the face of disruptive students who prevent other students from learning -- and who sometimes assault the teachers. This includes hoodlums who have sexually assaulted teachers and have then been returned to the classroom, for fear of lawsuits if they were kept away.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate