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Anne Atkins and "Thought for the Day"

In today's "Thought for the Day", Anne Atkins claimed that the reason there is so much gun crime and similar problems among the young is lack of parental discipline (and, since this is a religious slot, she made an analogy with God's discipline of us).

According to Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate, parental influence has little if any effect on how children turn out; much of this is due to peer influence. This seems to negate Ms Atkins's theory. Still, when did evidence have any impact on people's religious opinions?

Incidentally, Ms Atkins ascribed the decline of parental influence to families' becoming "dissipated" [sic]. As she is said to be a novelist, one might have expected that she would have had a better command of language. (I presume she meant "dispersed".)


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