Sticks and stones

By Noel O'Hare In Health

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24th April, 2004
Some folk wisdom is incredibly stupid. Take the expression "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me". Non-physical abuse, even emotional neglect and indifference, can be profoundly damaging to both psychological and physical health. For example, it's now known that racism can play a key role in the development of illness. Last year, the British Medical Journal, noting the growing body of research showing an association between racism, disease and mortality, argued that "countering racism should be a public health issue". Overt racism in New Zealand is less common ...

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