You want evidence that "proper" spanking doesn't cause negative effects. On the Nospank page I provided in my original comment, several such studies are documented -- often including links to the full text of the studies themselves. Yet you kept asking for that study like some complete illiterate -- which you aren't, you are a highly intelligent and literate man, which just illustrates my point below. Just to give you a couple examples of the studies listed there:
Spanking by Parents and Subsequent Antisocial Behavior of Children
Murray A. Straus, PhD; David B. Sugarman, PhD; Jean Giles-Sims, PhD
Article - August 1997-- Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescents Medicine
Full text linked above, summary from AMA news update, all emphasis mine:
CHICAGO--Spanking children to correct or control their behavior may seem to work in the short term, but has the opposite effect in the long term, according to an article in the August issue of the AMA's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Murray A. Straus, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, Durham, and colleagues studied data on 807 mothers. Each had at least one child age 6-9 years when they were
interviewed as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-Child Supplement in 1988.
The researchers found that 44 percent of the mothers reported spanking their children at least once during the week prior to the interview. On average, the children were
spanked 2.1 times during that week.
After measuring the children's antisocial behavior scores through interviews with the mothers, the researchers found that children who were spanked even once during the
week prior to the base interview, showed an increase in antisocial behavior two years after the base interview. They also found that the more times a child is spanked, also
known as corporal punishment, the more likely the child is to display antisocial behavior.
Antisocial behavior in this study is based on six items:
- cheats or tells lies
- bullies or is cruel or mean to others
- does not feel sorry after misbehaving
- breaks things deliberately
- is disobedient at school
- has trouble getting along with teachers
The researchers write: "We suggest that reduction or elimination of corporal punishment could have major benefits for children and for reducing antisocial behavior in
Unlike previous studies, this study was able to separate corporal punishment and antisocial behavior from parenting style, socioeconomic status, sex of the child and ethnic
Despite the fact that some parents believe that emotional warmth and cognitive stimulation can override the effects of corporal punishment, the researchers found that it had
no bearing on the situation.
In addition, the link between corporal punishment and antisocial behavior remained valid after adjusting for socioeconomic status, the sex of the child and ethnic background.
The increase in antisocial behavior because of spanking was smaller for girls and minority children; however, the researchers caution that the increase was in direct
proportion to the amount of corporal punishment the children received.
They write: "Considering research showing that antisocial behavior in childhood is associated with violence and other crime as an adult, society as whole, not just children,
could benefit from ending the system of violent childrearing that goes under the euphemism of spanking." Spanking has also been linked to low self-esteem, depression and
low educational attainment.
They add: "If the finding in minority group children is valid, it is particularly important because many minority group parents believe that under the conditions of inner-city life
their children 'need strong discipline' ... Children growing up in those difficult circumstances no doubt need closer supervision and control, but attempting to do this by
corporal punishment may exacerbate rather than help the situation."
Corporal punishment in this study is defined as "the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or control of the child's behavior." Parents using corporal punishment almost never use the term, rather they call it "a swat, "a spanking," or "a whooping."
In the current sample, 10 percent of mothers reported spanking their children three or more times during the week preceding the original interview; 14.1 percent spanked
their children twice; and 19.8 percent spanked their children once.
(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:761-767)
Or take this study:
Slapping and spanking in childhood and its association with lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a general population sample
Harriet L. MacMillan,*† MD; Michael H. Boyle,*† PhD; Maria Y.-Y. Wong,* MSc; Eric K. Duku,*† MSc; Jan E. Fleming, MD; Christine A. Walsh,*† MSW
Canadian Medical Association Journal 1999;161(7):805-9
This study examined adults "who did not report a history of physical or sexual abuse during childhood, was used to assess the relation between a history of slapping or spanking and the lifetime prevalence of 4 categories of psychiatric disorder." Summary:
The majority of respondents indicated that they had been slapped or spanked, or both, by an adult during
childhood "sometimes" (33.4%) or "rarely" (40.9%); 5.5% reported that this occurred "often." The remainder (20.2%)
reported "never" experiencing these behaviours. Among the respondents without a history of physical or sexual abuse
during childhood, those who reported being slapped or spanked "often" or "sometimes" had significantly higher lifetime
rates of anxiety disorders (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.041.96), alcohol abuse or
dependence (adjusted OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.273.21) and one or more externalizing problems (adjusted OR 2.08, 95% CI
1.363.16), compared with those who reported "never" being slapped or spanked. There was also an association between
a history of slapping or spanking and major depression, but it was not statistically significant (adjusted OR 1.64, 95% CI
There are many more studies like this, including many European ones. Some of them have been done in the seventies. Large scientific organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics have released official statements discouraging parents from spanking their kids. Of course there are also many studies on severe child abuse, but most of those who examine spanking have gone to lengths to exclude this kind of abuse from their samples. Although this is of no scientific value, even conservative governments in some countries have accepted the impressive amount of research which shows negative effects of spanking and discouraged people from spanking children. In some countries, this has been turned into law.
Science is obviously not the problem. Selective perception is, and my discussion with you has clearly illustrated this. You have changed your arguments as I have changed my questions -- because the brain works first by giving you the emotion and then it produces the desired result. The emotion is "spanking = good", and your brain will do everything it can to convince yourself and others that this is the case. It will adjust itself to the respective situation, often ignoring contradictions with past statements. (Religious fundamentalists are another good example for this.) You will question any scientific study on grounds that the kids referred to therein were not properly spanked, or that the scientists were prejudiced, or that their methodology was flawed, or that the whole study was bought, or that the effects were not really that bad, or that they spanked their kids too often, or that science is not an appropriate way to describe reality and should be replaced with faith (of course, in your case, there would be emotional reasons not to use this last argument, but in other cases, there aren't). If that all doesn't help, there's still ad hominem.
Humans have pretty powerful processors, but our value system is very primitive and animalistic. Selective perception is a very powerful mechanism, and there's nothing I can say to convince you -- I am not talking to your rational mind, I am talking to your limbic system, your reptile brain. It has been programmed to accept spanking as necessary long ago. If I'm wrong, then please explain this:
The article to which this discussion is attached reports that a 10-year-old was beaten so severely that he had open wounds on his stomach. The people doing this justified it as necessary to prevent children from committing crimes. If you discussed it with them, they would use the exact same arguments you have used, plus some Bible crap. You know that. Yet few of the pro-spankers have clearly condemned these actions. Instead, many have started their comments with "I was spanked, and it didn't harm me". I don't say that you or these people are justifying the actions of these barbarians, although the spanking ideology leads downward this spiral, as my discussion with you has shown.
There are people working to stop serious physical child abuse. Why are you, the pro-spankers, not helping them and put your personal pro-spanking agenda over condemning obviously barbaric acts instead? If spanking is such a great tool that is only dangerous when "abused", then why not found a pro-spanking organization that explains the scientific basis of your arguments and rebuts the arguments of those who argue for strong physical punishment? I'll tell you why: Because your argument base is the same. You know that if you start questioning the "improper" corporal punishment seriously, your own mindset is in danger. That's why you don't do it. When a child is beaten half to death, you don't condemn the action. Instead, you point to your right to spank your kids.
Selective perception is a powerful mechanism, and a very dangerous one. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to change the mind of those that already have an emotionally strengthened opinion. But if you know that you're wrong and only feel that you're right, you should at least have the honesty to STFU and stop spreading this obviously completely idiotic, self-contradictory and dangerous spanking meme. Because this time it's not some excuse for censoring speech -- it's really about the children.
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