5.2 Our Conclusions about Harm

Part: 
Two
Chapter: 
5

We present in the following sections our conclusions regarding the harms we have investigated with respect to the various subdividing categories we have found most useful. To the extent that these conclusions rest on findings from the social sciences, as they do to a significant extent, we do not in this part of the Report describe and analyze the individual studies or deal in specifics with their methodologies. For that we rely on our analysis of the social science research which is included later in this Report. Each of us has relied on different evidence from among the different categories of evidence, and specific studies that some of us have found persuasive have been less persuasive to others of us. Similarly, some of us have found evidence of a certain type particularly valuable, while others of us have found other varieties of evidence more enlightening. And in many instances we have relied on certain evidence despite some flaws it may have contained, for it is the case that all of us have reached our conclusions about harms by assimilating and amalgamating a large amount of evidence. Many studies and statements of witnesses have both advantages and disadvantages, and often the disadvantages of one study or piece of testimony has been remedied by another. Thus, the conclusions we reach cannot be identified with complete acceptance or complete rejection by all of us of any particular item of evidence. As a result, we consider the social science analysis, which is much more specific than what we say in this section, to be an integral part of this Report, and we urge that it be read as such. We have not relied totally on that analysis, as all of us have gone beyond it in our reading. And we cannot say that each of us agrees with every sentence and word in it. Nevertheless, it seems to us a sensitive, balanced, comprehensive, accurate, and current report on the state of the research. We have relied on it extensively, and we are proud to include it here.