Monday, January 4, 2010

Interesting Article on Spanking

Read it here.


Anonymous said...

Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of professionals agree that child buttock-battering isn’t healthy. A marginal few (mostly religious fundamentalists as those at Calvin) think that child bottom-slapping is good. They use the same selective literalist interpretation of the Bible as was used to justify “witch”-burning, depraved torture methods for those accused of sin and heresy, slavery, racism, wife-beating, oppression of women and a host of other social ills.

David Rudel said...


First I should apologize for not giving some heads up that the results were found at a Christian college. That does not invalidate them, but it does inform their judgment.

However, I would claim that people are biased on both sides, with the "enlightened" view being that spanking is obviously archaic...and that view biases research as well.

In any event, you bring up negative aspects to spanking...but it seems you are unwilling to accept there are negative consequences of not spanking. If children were all perfect, the discussion would be moot...however, given that discipline of some sort is part of parenting, the question is "what are the positives and negatives associated with a given ensemble of discipline strategies."

Anonymous said...

There are negative outcomes to not DISCIPLINING your child. This is different from child buttock-battering.

People used to think that "spanking" adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners was necessary. In some countries they still do. In our country it is considered sexual assault, but only if one is 18 years old or older.

David Rudel said...

The pro-spanking view suggests that other forms of discipline, at least at particular age ranges, are inadequate.

I would claim two things [though I'm not a parent...and even if I were I'm not sure anyone is really qualified to claim the second of these...]

1. If the number of times a child is spanked is small, my guess is no significant longterm psychological harm is done.

2. If the number of times a child is spanked is large, my guess is that the parent is not doing a great job of parenting elsewise.

But, as I least that second one is probably being unfair and is not perhaps true in all cases.

Mike said...

Spanking kids is a touchy subject.
I was pretty much spanked every day up until about forth grade.One day my uncle came home from work early,saw her whaling on me and gave her a bit of her own medicine.I don't remember if I deserved these beatings or not.My mom would lock me in her room and I would watch through her bed room window as she would go to the garden shed,get the hand snips and make a switch from the mulberry tree.She would switch me on the butt and legs with my pants down which left welts and did sometimes bleed.Got hit some more when I couldn't sit still in school though it might have had something to do with the welts on my butt.The game was to not cry and take it a as long as I could.Not crying was the only control I had.If you met my mother today you'd never believe she would be the sort of person who could of done that kind of abuse.In raising my own children their were smacked when out of line when small but nothing near like what my mom did to me.Restricting privileges works when their older....

David Rudel said...

Thank you for sharing what must be difficult memories here, and please accept my apologies for not responding sooner! I don't think I would ever advocate the type of treatment you received (even without any further knowledge of the particulars).

Thanks again.