Monday, January 27, 2003

A Conservative Case for ADHD?

Michael Fumento tries to make a conservative case in the New Republic for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Although he concedes kernels of truth to every conservative suspicion about ADHD -- that hyperactivity is a normal condition for childhood, that there are lazy parents, teachers, and institutions interested in making their lives easier by medicating more challenging children, and that androgyny-pushing feminists seek to quash budding maleness -- he argues that medication can increase personal responsibility. A medicated child can no longer blame his behavior on a disease.

Fumento also says that medicating ADHD reinforces the conservative contention of physiological disparity between the sexes. This seems incorrect, however. If you're medicating more boys than girls, the original conservative argument that hyperactivity is merely maleness gains strength.


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