Can Sips at Home Prevent Binges? is a fascinating article in the New York Times. It turns out there’s very solid evidence about this:
“The best evidence shows that teaching kids to drink responsibly is better than shutting them off entirely from it,” he told me. “You want to introduce your kids to it, and get across the point that that this is to be enjoyed but not abused.”
What is the evidence? In 1983, Dr. George E. Vaillant, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, published “The Natural History of Alcoholism,” a landmark work that drew on a 40-year survey of hundreds of men in Boston and Cambridge.
Ironically, the Times decided to ask their readers: “Do you think teenagers drinking wine with their parents at home encourages reckless drinking or more responsible habits with alcohol later in life?” See the sidebar. Without any disrespect to people reading the Times, why would we care what they think about this? We have evidence of what really happens. Why not ask “Why do you think we can’t fix a broken law?” or “Would you vote for a candidate who promised to fix these laws?”
Relatedly, Adam Barr wrote:
I saw an article today about how the Smart ForTwo (that tiny car you see around) had earned top marks in safety tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Despite this, the Institute decided to disqualify the car from potentially earning its “Top Safety Pick” designation because it is just too dang small. “All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better,” says the president of the Institute. (“Things that Everybody Knows.”)
Experts are experts because they have data and the tools to analyze them. That’s why we listen to them. When did we become so resistant to science?