journals, and winning extramuralngrants. I am not surprised that ThenNew Republic once devoted a leadneditorial to denouncing publication innacademe. It is shocking that LynnenCheney would repeat the baseless assertionsnthat there is too much attentionnto research in today’s universitiesnand that what little research goes onnhurts teaching. The recent report fromnthe American Council of Learned Societies,nSpeaking for the Humanities,nreminds us (from Martin Finkelsteinnvia Andrew Hacker) that “more thannhalf of all professors devote fewer thannfive hours a week to research, whilenupward of a third admit to none at all.”nWhen the chairman of the NationalnEndowment for the Humanities cannwrite, “it is important to recognize thatnresearch and learning need not alwaysninvolve publication,” she is driving anstake into the heart of the only sourcenof objective standards in academia. Denfacto, she is asking that our children bentaught what people who have nevernwrestled aggressively with great literaturenremember from their graduatenschool lectures. It is important to recognizenthat most people who are notncreative as scholars dry up as teachers.nThe good news is that the leadershipnis there, from university presidents likenJohn Silber to humanities scholars likenCharles Moser (George Washington)nin Slavic and Rufus Fears (BostonnUniversity) in classics, on to the manynsocial scientists who are ready andnwilling to stand up for standards. Thenbad news is that the Trojan Horse —nhatred of minimal standards — is insidenthe gates of Troy. Ulysses and Neoptolemusnare exulting. Priam andnDeiphobus are slain. What is Aeneasnto do?n—E. Christian KopffnCHILD ABUSE has become a nationalnissue. But close scrutiny of thenproblem raises doubts about the currentncrusade to combat it. Before expandingnthe power of the state tonintervene in the home, concerned citizensnought to take a hard look at thenevidence.nWhile it is hardly possible to overstatenthe horror of many particularninstances — children mutilated, scalded,nbeaten, and murdered — seriousnchild abuse does not occur as often asnsome journalists and government officialsnwould have us believe. Of the 2.1nmillion children who were reported tonstate authorities in 1986 as abused ornneglected, only about 30 percent hadnbeen physically abused (and only aboutn10 percent of those children — 3 percentnof the total — had suffered anninjury serious enough to require professionalnattention). According tonDouglas Besharov, former director ofnthe National Center on Child Abusenand Neglect, “nine-tenths of the casesnlabeled ‘physical abuse’ are really situationsnof excessive or unreasonablencorporal punishment that, although anlegitimate matter of government concern,nare unlikely to develop into andangerous assault against a child.”nFar more numerous than the instancesnof serious child abuse are thenfalse allegations of child abuse. Nationwide,napproximately 65 percent of allnreports of child abuse and neglect arendismissed as “unfounded” after officialninvestigation. But even if exonerated,nthose falsely accused of child abusenmust submit to an intrusive and potentiallyntraumatic investigation. Investigatorsnroutinely strip-search the childrenninvolved and question parents in detailnabout private conduct. Unwarrantednsuspicions may also be planted in thenminds of neighbors, teachers, and relativesnwho are questioned about anynpeculiarities they may have noted in anchild’s behavior. In some cases, childrennhave been preemptively removednfrom a home, only to be returnednmuch later after a lengthy investigationnhas established that the initial chargesnwere false.nNor can it be assumed that theninnocent are always cleared by investigators.nFrequently, those accused ofnchild abuse are presumed guilty untilnproven innocent. Most state statutesnprovide only the foggiest definition ofnchild abuse and neglect, permittingnstate workers and judges unprecedentednlatitude in determining the guilt ofnthe parents. Poor families find it especiallynhard to establish their innocencenof noncriminal neglect. The rights ofnthe accused are further jeopardized bynchild-abuse statutes allowing the courtsnto recognize a lower standard of evidencenthan that allowed in criminalnproceedings. Parents can lose theirnchildren without facing a single criminalncharge.nnnAmid all the furor caused by inflatednnumbers and false accusations, few cannthink clearly about the root causes ofnchild abuse. In fact, many leaders ofnthe campaign against child abuse arenkeeping strangely quiet about importantnresearch into its underlying causes.nContrary to the frequent claim thatnmistreatment of children occurs equallynamong all social groups, nationalnstatistics reveal that families reportednfor abuse or neglect are four times asnlikely to be on public assistance as thengeneral population. Researchers in thisncountry, Canada, and Europe are alsondiscovering that child abuse is far lessnlikely to occur in intact families than innstepfamilies or single-parent homes. An1985 study found that the risk of abusenwas 40 times higher for a stepchildnthan for a child living with both naturalnparents. According to a 1985 study fornthe National Institute for MentalnHealth, violence against children actuallynappears to be decreasing innAmerica’s intact families.nIn perhaps the most provocativenstudy to date, researchers at the Universitynof New Mexico recently reportednin the American Sociological Reviewnthat internationally the murder ofnchildren is linked to rising female employment.nAt a time when child psychologistsnare discovering that day carenoften weakens maternal bonding toninfants, researchers are stressing thenimportance of healthy parent-infantnbonds as a safeguard against abuse.nMany children need protection, andnstate officials should help provide it.nBut to protect children properly, governmentnmust do more to shield innocentnparents from false accusations,nand society must address the culturalncauses of abuse.n—Bryce J. ChristensennFAITHFUL READERS dchroniclesnwill have noticed our newlyinstitutedn”Letter From Washington,”nwritten by contributing editor SamnFrancis. In February the same Dr.nFrancis won the American Society ofnNewspaper Editors’ DistinguishednWriting Award for his editorials in ThenWashington Times. This is a prestigiousnaward and well deserved; we whonbash so many awards are neverthelessnvery happy when the rest of the worldnappreciates one of our own.nMAY 1989/9n