With special guests:
- John Forsyth
- John Cook
John Forsyth is a Scottish journalist who was a co-founder of Men in Scotland a blog which has now developed into a registered charity Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS). The problem that John describes sounds all too familiar to us in other parts of the world, namely that when the issue of domestic violence is raised there is a silo vision restricting the view to only male violence against their female partners.
John tells us that although support services for men and their children suffering from domestic abuse are pitifully inadequate in Scotland there are a few “green shoots” that give some cause for optimism. AMIS has received some government funding. At the Scottish Parliament level over 50 Members from all parties have signed a motion acknowledging the importance of the issue and the contribution AMIS has made to support men who are often in a desperate predicament.
AMIS provides support and help for victims while exposing the real figures on domestic abuse or violence. It does not seek the reallocation of current funding to women affected by domestic violence but until all victims are recognised this type of violence will remain a blight on Scottish society.
Finally John tells us his special reason for making his song selection which informs us a little about his personal story.
Ever wanted to kill a myth stone dead but found that after you have used all your best arguments the myth seemed to multiply like the heads of Hydra in Greek mythology? John’s work in this area reveals that refuting misinformation involves dealing with complex cognitive processes. Our brains do not work by simply downloading data in the way that your hard drive does. The evidence is that no matter how vigorously and repeatedly we correct information, mud sticks!
The Debunking Handbook gives practical tips on how to effectively debunk misinformation and yet avoid the backfiring effects. One area where myths are prevalent is domestic violence. As just one example, Federal Minister Tanya Plibersek issued a statement that “domestic violence claims more Australian women under 45 than any other health risk, including cancer.” The reality is that domestic violence does not figure in the top 5 causes but this false “statistic” has never been corrected and keeps appearing. John praised the One in Three website as dealing with myths in exactly the way set out in The Debunking Handbook.
John gives us some practical advice on how to deal with the barbeque know-it-all as well as the deliberate misinformer. For more information you can go to John’s website Skeptical Science or refer to a book by Chip and Dan Heath called Made to Stick. In the meantime listen in to hear from John directly and find out just why he chose a great song from Crosby Stills Nash and Young.
Song selections by our guests:
John Forsyth: Days by The Kinks
John Cook: Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young