Dalrymple has an essay in today’s Telegraph about a new study in The Lancet that supposedly shows that disobedient children typically suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and thus are “primarily the victims of their genetic inheritance”, rather than just, you know, children. He predicts that the popular reaction to such a report will be to use its findings as an excuse for the poor behavior of one’s children and maybe even oneself.
It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. I recall a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles where I witnessed a child begin to cause trouble, and the father’s complaint to his wife was, “He’s getting that ADHD again!” Apparently, a child’s disobediance can be indicative not only of a biological disorder but of one that comes and goes almost at random. Otherwise, children are saints.