The most recent issue of the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics included a report on the use of physical violence as a form of discipline (aka “spanking”) and its relation to intimate partner violence. The study examined a large sample of close to 2,000 families participating in a nationally representative study of families across the USA. The authors were interested in examining whether the use of spanking in 3 year-old children was associated with physical violence between the parents.

The results were not surprising:

1. 65% of 3 year-old children were spanked at least once by their parents during the previous month.

2. The odds of using physical punishment doubled in households where parents used aggression against each other. This is not surprising since physical punishment is a form of interpersonal aggression.

3. Maternal stress significantly increased the odds of using physical punishment. This is also not surprising since physical punishment is more likely to be used by parents who are angry.

4. Maternal depression significantly increased the odds of using physical punishment.

5. The odds of using physical punishment were not associated with maternal education, but when the father had a college degree both the father and the mother were significantly less likely to use physical punishment. I am curious to hear my readers’ thoughts on this interesting finding.

The authors concluded (CP = Corporal Punishment; IPAV = Intimate Partner Violence):

Despite American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations against the use of CP, CP use remains common in the United States. CP prevention efforts should carefully consider assumptions made about patterns of co-occurring aggression in families, given that adult victims of IPAV, including even minor, non physical aggression between parents, have increased odds of using CP with their children.

Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics unequivocally recommends against the use of aggression as a discipline method. Why? Because the research on physical punishment is clear: it is unnecessary and is associated with a long list of NEGATIVE consequences. For example, although proponents of “spanking” argue that if you don’t spank, the child will not learn to behave properly, the research actually suggests the opposite. Children who are spanked, when compared to their non-spanked peers, are, among many others:

1. more likely to use aggression against their peers
2. less likely to internalize rules
3. more likely to engage in criminal activity during adolescence
4. more likely to engage in domestic abuse as adults
5. more likely to suffer from depression
and on and on and on.

For those who want to read more about the science behind the negative effects of corporal punishment, visit the research library of Project No Spank; http://nospank.net/resrch.htm

I unequivocally oppose the use of violence towards children as a discipline method for two reasons. The first is explained above. The scientific research shows that physical punishment does not work in the long run, is associated with an increased risk for many behavioral and psychological problems, and is simply unnecessary given that we have non-violent discipline techniques that are very effective. But I also oppose violence towards children on philosophical grounds. Although I never talk about philosophy -and especially my views- on this site, this time I want to share them with you. I am a secular humanist, and as a humanist I oppose interpersonal violence except in cases of self defense. I view spanking as a culturally accepted violent act towards a child. We use the words “spanking” or “corporal punishment” as euphemisms so that we don’t confront the reality of the act: when a parent spanks a child the parent is physically assaulting the child. Why do we accept such aggression when we oppose other forms of interpersonal violence? For example, in western societies we oppose marital violence. We believe that there is no excuse that could justify a husband for hitting a wife. A husband can’t argue that he hit his wife because the wife was “misbehaving”, or that it was “just one hit”, or that he used “an open hand”, or that the hit “didn’t leave any marks”, etc. Under all circumstances, we oppose the assault of a wife by her husband. We do not accept the premise that it is “the husband’s right” to hit his wife. Yet, our culture accepts the premise that “it is a parent’s right” to hit his/her child. We allow the use of violence against young children under the excuse that such aggression is “culturally accepted” or even “necessary” to teach the “child a lesson.” But I ask, what lesson? That we can use violence to achieve our goals? That it is acceptable to hit people when they don’t do what we want? That hitting those who can’t defend themselves is ok as long as you are teaching them a lesson? Children are not possessions. Children are, albeit small in size, real human beings who have the right to live in an environment where they are safe from being physically assaulted. Being free of physical harm is the most basic human right, and children should not be exempt from it.

From a scientific and humanistic perspective, there is no valid argument that justifies the use of violence towards children in the name of discipline. It is unnecessary, ineffective, and leads to many negative consequences. My explicit recommendation to all parents is: Never use violence to correct a misbehavior or to teach your child a lesson.

Three final points. Please don’t confuse a position against spanking with being “permissive”. You can be very strict without the use of violence. You can provide structure, rules, limits and consequences, without being violent towards your child. See below for alternatives to spanking.


Second, be wary of the “my grandma smoked till she was 100″ excuse. That is, some people justify spanking, or even refuse to believe the science, because “I was spanked as a kid and I’m ok”. That would be the same as believing that there is no association between smoking and cancer because “my grandma smoked till she was 100 and didn’t die from it”. Smoking increases the probability that you will get cancer, even though some people who smoke will be ok. Likewise, spanking increases the probability of a laundry list of negative outcomes, even though some people who are hit as children will be ok.

Finally, some have argued that spanking is OK in certain cultures as long as you provide nurturance and love. It is true that some studies have shown that high levels of maternal support can reduce the negative consequences of physical punishment. But, from a humanistic perspective, I find the argument that “it is ok to hit my child if I provide love” as invalid as a husband saying “it is ok to hit my wife if I show her that I love her”.

For information about alternatives to spanking visit:


More information about spanking visit Project No Spank: http://nospank.net/
Update:
Please support NY Rep Carolyn McCathy on her efforts to ban physical punishment in US schools. http://www.thehittingstopshere.com/

The reference:
Taylor, C., Lee, S., Guterman, N., & Rice, J. (2010). Use of Spanking for 3-Year-Old Children and Associated Intimate Partner Aggression or Violence PEDIATRICS, 126 (3), 415-424 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-0314
ResearchBlogging.org

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29 Responses to Spanking in the USA: A sad state of affairs and why spanking is never ok.

  1. Re “American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations against the use of CP”…

    In promoting ABA-based autism interventions, the AAP (Myers et al., 2007–this is an AAP policy paper) cites 16 papers, of which 7 are dependent on the use of aversive procedures.

    That is, either the cited study used aversive procedures (including hitting preschool autistic children–as young as 19 months–hard), or the conclusions of the cited review were dependent on studies using aversive procedures (including strong aversives like electric shock).

    I’ve left out one study where aversive procedures were only used on a minority of children and not for the full span of the study. That would have made 8 out of 16.

    I guess the AAP applies different standards to autistics.

    I completely agree that, “Being free of physical harm is the most basic human right, and children should not be exempt from it.”

    In my view this should apply to all children, including autistic children.

    Thank you for putting forward such a strong, well-founded position.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. Wonderful article. I agree with you on your points and admire your willingness to write so well and strongly against hitting children.

    Bear with me for a minute though. You can’t possibly stand by these statements:

    “For example, in western societies we oppose marital violence. We believe that there is no excuse that could justify a husband for hitting a wife. A husband can’t argue that he hit his wife because the wife was ‘misbehaving’… We do not accept the premise that it is ‘the husband’s right’ to hit his wife. … Under all circumstances, we oppose the assault of a wife by her husband.”

    You can’t be serious.

    You do realize whenever a woman is assaulted or raped there is always PLENTY of victim-blaming about her behavior and what she did to deserve it. We handle it differently than the “spanking” argument for children, but we are still justifying men using force against the women and children in their lives; we reify these narratives in subtle and not-so-subtle ways (examples 1, 2, 3, … I could go on).

    When my own husband hit me the first thing my parent said when I called them was, “What did you do?”

    Abuse of women and justification thereof is very real and it dovetails with why and how we encourage the abuse of children (but carefully call it “spanking” or “CP”). Things aren’t as black and white as you write re: women just because you have right thinking (that it is wrong, period, to hit children). Sure, people with better ideas (like your secular humanism) recognize it is wrong to hit other people, including women and children. Maybe now you can devote some of your good ideas and strong morals to dismantling patriarchal / kyriarchal systems, many of them subtle, many of them pervasive, which do in fact justify violence to women AND children, despite your rosy view that in the US we condemn violence against women (only wish it were true; maybe we wouldn’t have 4.8 million assaults a year).

    I don’t think of the discussion about violence against women as a derail when talking about violence against children. Both are a part of patriarchal norms and narratives deep, ingrained, and harmful in our culture (as your 65% number supports). They go hand in hand.

    Thanks for your article.

    • @Michelle Thank you for your comment. I take your same stance 100%, but I believe that the APP’s response (not mine) would be that ABA is a medical procedure to treat a ‘disorder” and thus the ethics of aversive medical procedures would apply. They would argue that there is a difference between medical procedures and parenting behaviors. Yet, I would argue that the APP should recognize that there are ABA interventions that are “effective” and do not include aversive procedures, and therefore such aversive interventions should be discontinued.

      @Kelly(Anonymous). I agree that my statement about society’s views on partner violence overstated the reality, but I although violence against women is still a MAJOR problem, I think we have progressed much more on rejecting violence towards women than on rejecting violence against children. For example, in all states men are correctly arrested for hitting a women, but there is no such penalty for hitting a child. Likewise, the explicit position by society is to reject violence against women. That is, we are not openly debating whether such violence is acceptable or not, and there is an agreement, at least in public political speech, that such violence is unacceptable. In contrast, congress is currently debating whether to pass a law banning the use of corporal punishment in schools. Within the debate there will be many that will stand in front of the US senate and defend the use of violence by teachers against children. I am not minimizing the still very active role of patriarchy, but I am saying that in the struggles for rights, we have moved further when it comes to violence against women than against children. I hope that one day we will at a place were hitting a child results in an arrest and no politician publicly defends the right of parents to beat their children. Sadly, we are far from that day.

  3. Thanks for the response, here’s just a bit more…

    Out of the 5 they chose to cite (spanning 1981-2007), the AAP did not choose a single major review of ABA-based autism interventions that did not feature aversive procedures.

    This strikes me as being questionable if not unethical behaviour on the part of the AAP (given their position re CP, which you highlight) if indeed evidence not dependent non-aversive interventions was equally available.

    This is in situation (not a good one for autistics) where the entire question of quality of research, including publication bias and other major concerns in non-autism non-ABA areas, was ignored by the AAP. This in turn is inconsistent with the AAP arguing that these are medical procedures.

  4. Proof-read failure: “if indeed evidence not dependent non-aversive interventions was equally available”

    should be

    “if indeed evidence not dependent aversive interventions was equally available”

    Sorry! Time to take a break.

  5. [...] Spanking in the USA: A sad state of affairs and why spanking is never ok. [...]

  6. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for this beautifully written article- it will be book marked and shared.

  7. Susan says:

    THANK YOU… your article has given me hope that ONE day …NO child will be hurt physically or emotionally by and adult in the so called ‘name of corporal punishment’. It is HITTING … and is down right wrong on so many fronts.

    I am a strong 56 yr old woman who was hand spanked and slippered as a small child for my perceived wrongdoings. I can still hear and feel the screaming in my head … the pain on my bottom .. and more importantly in my HEART. It taught me nothing except FEAR …I was terrified, and totally lost trust with my parents. The ‘spank with love’ is rubbish – I was loved .. and I HATED them .. and still am alienated and feel so resentful till this day. I couldn’t bare to see them ..much less let them hug / kiss me and say those oh so traditional words of ‘There its all over and we love you ….’ You do ????? Not in my books I thought!

    I feel so ill when reading about children being spanked, whipped, caned, paddled, slippered, switched etc etc …. my pulse doubles and the adrenalin is horrible. I want to do all I can to end this inhumane and evil practise.

    As I say .. thank you … from the bottom of my heart.

    • Nick says:

      Dear Susan,
      You wrote:
      “your article has given me hope that ONE day … NO child will be hurt physically or emotionally by and adult in the so called ‘name of corporal punishment’”

      Surely, you meant:
      “NO child will be hurt physically or emotionally by and adult FOR ANY REASON”

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Really wonderful, Nestor, thanks so much!

    (Side note: I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I was at UM in the Dev Psych PhD program from 1999-2003… did not graduate for various reasons, the primary reason being my oldest daughter, I felt that for me academia and family life would not be a good mix… anyway, I was always so impressed by you and am glad to see that you are back at UM! Best wishes in your career, love this blog and the concept behind it.)

  9. Cori says:

    My late husband came from a family of 7 siblings where corpral punishment was used. His parents PROUDLY talk of beating their kids to make them mind. Out of 7, all 3 girls got pregnant in high school 3 of the 4 boys have spent time in jail/prison and ALL of them have addiction issues, one way or another, and the only one who has a daily relationship with the parents is one who is so co-dependent that she wouldn’t make it on her own (at 43, lives in a camp trailer on the property, downs a 12-pack of beer a day and works part time) When it was suggested that I “show them who’s the boss” by “beating” my young adolescent teens so they would do their chores I kindly replied that beatings don’t do anything but make kids fearful and break their spirits and I refuse to break them that way. They said “We did it that way…” I kindly again asked “How’d that work for ya? By the way, how’s (the one who was in prison at the time) doing?”
    Not much was said after that

  10. candace says:

    There is a difference between ‘spanking’ and ‘corporal punishment’. Yes, for some people spanking can go over the line to CP. But no forms of physical punishment are wrong. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1). A child reaches for a hot burner and all you say is don’t touch that guaranteed that child will touch it that split second you turn your head and hurt themselves worst then a swat on the butt or slap on the hand will. If you use spanking for the right reasons and not when you’re angry and with consistency then it can be useful. We did that for all but one of my siblings and I will tell you the teenage ones have never been burnt or electrocuted. They are normal healthy happy teenagers, my sister is in university and my brother is active in his school sports teams. “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” (Proverbs 29:27). My youngest brother is 10 years old and did not receive the spanking and discipline my other siblings did and he is a cocky spoiled brat that causes trouble constantly. “ A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.” (Proverbs 29:15).

    So I disagree that spanking is wrong and harmful. For those who blame high school pregnancies and teenage delinquency there is more in that equation then just spanking, there are other problems there you need to address and get help for. I do agree that how the parents use spanking and how they spank is a problem. “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). We parents, need to be educated on healthy ways to use punishment and discipline. We need to learn how to cope with their own frustrations before administering discipline and punishment to our children. And we need to learn what things are worth punishment and what aren’t. Everything does not deserve a spanking, we need to use discernment and seek and accept education on this topic. I am a parent I know when spanking doesn’t work and I spank when I am angry sometimes but I am learning and growing in how to be a discerning parent. Not punishing a child at all is bad too; we need to find that balance and it is possible.

    “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” ~Proverbs 23:11-12

    • Dear Candace, thank you for your comments. I respectfully disagree. There is no difference between spanking and corporal punishment. In both cases you are hitting a child and both cases are linked to negative outcomes. I invite you to provide our readers with any scientific evidence suggesting that hitting children leads to better outcomes (you may stop the child for touching a hot burner, but so will holding the child’s hand away and removing him from the room – there is no need to hit her). The fact is that hitting children in the name of discipline (or God) is consistently associated with greater probability of worse outcomes including poor moral reasoning, more aggressiveness, more delinquency, etc. This does not mean that every child that is hit will experience these detrimental effects, just as not everyone who smokes will get cancer. I have never encountered a single piece of scientific evidence that would make me condone hitting a child in the name of discipline.

      • candace says:

        Corporal Punishment:-punishment of a physical nature, such as caning, flogging, or beating. Such actions involved multiple hits meant to cause excoriating pain or physical injure.

        Spank:-To slap on the buttocks with a flat object or with the open hand, as for punishment. A single hit meant for a children who are disobedient.

        Discipline is not scientific it is a social matter. I believe social things cannot be measured or “studied.” Have you taken statistic class or any psychology classes? I have and what I have learned is that a) studies will NEVER truly represent society as a whole because even random choice studies do not end up as random as you would think; b) There is ALWAYS a bias that interferes with the conclusion; c)Not everyone tells the truth d) (I am not sure of the stats and details of the study because I did not see a link to that specific study) stats can be highly affected by just a few really high numbers or really low numbers making the medium higher or lower than it really is; e) And all studies I have read conclude with ‘further research needed’ so there is not really a final conclusion.
        Violent punishment is NOT the only problem with families, there are OTHER factors involved meaning that any punishment study is not JUST studying the effects of punishment. There are other variables that are not being included in the written study and so there is no clear evidence that the punishment ITSELF is the reason for the outcomes. Discipline and punishment cannot be studied on its own and so any research out there is tainted by other factors that affect the final outcomes of these children.
        I would like to add one thing to my first comment. I do believe that physical punishment is right for young children because how they interact with the world and learn is through touch and that is the only way you can discipline young children. (And I am not talking wailing on them or taking a spoon to their butt or anything, I am talking about a single spank or slap). After the age of 7 or 8 a child has the cognitive and rational ability to learn through other means of discipline so it is not necessary to use physical punishment after that age.

    • andrea says:

      It is so sad when people use the bible to justify violence and hate.

      • candace says:

        In no way am I justifying violence with using the bible to do it I am using wisdomt that the bible has provided us to teach us. A single spank on the butt, or leg, or slap on the hand is not violence. Nor did any of the verses I used said anything about hating. Where in the verses said any of those things???

        “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). Notice the word exasperate and how is says not to do it.

  11. Leon says:

    Go secular humanism! I agree with you completely.

  12. mudpiemama says:

    Nestor – thank you for this fantastic write up. As a mom of three that practices positive, non punitive parenting and working towards becoming a parent educator/parenting coach this write up is packed full of very pertinent information. Many parents think it’s not possible in the day to day, in moments of conflict or when dealing with “missbehaviours” to be positive and non punitive. Truthfully it takes a bit more time in the beginning but the long term effects are worth every moment…for any parent that wants examples from real life: http://mudpiemama.brillweb.net/2011/11/four-alternatives-to-punishment-positive-solutions-in-practice-2/

  13. James McDuffy says:

    Andrea,

    It is comments like those that make people not want to dialogue. 99% of parents who spank don’t do it out of “hate.” It is not about hate. It is about wanting to raise a child well.

    There have been studies that have said spanking is terrible and studies that have said spanking can help. We all see things through the lens in which we choose.

    Let’s not be so arrogant as to think our way of parenting is the only acceptable way. Personally, I have seen very poorly behaved kids that did get spanked and didnt get spanked. I have also seen very well behaved kids that did get spanked and that didnt get spanked.

    Spanking is not abuse, it is not mean, and it is not hateful. It is a way (used for thousands of years)to teach discipline and obedience.

    I think it is funny that it has been down for thousands and thousands of years and yet studies come out now talking about how detrimental it is. Obviously, it hasnt been that detrimental because it has happened for thousands of years and life has continued just the same.

    It is also interesting that studies like this have only come out as spanking has become less socially acceptable.

    • Thank you for the comment James. I have to disagree with you on some points. I would love to read any carefully conducted scientific studies that show that spanking is beneficial to children or that spanking is more effective than other forms of non-violent discipline. Accounts of historical practices or tradition have never been a proper excuse for the use of violence against others. For centuries husbands had the right to beat their wives and slave owners have the right to beat their slaves – do you justify those practices “because it has happened for thousands of years”? The fact that for 1000s of years parents have been hitting their children is not a sufficient justification, to me, for the use of violence to teach “discipline” to children.

      • James McDuffy says:

        Nestor,

        Violence is defined as, “Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.”

        No parent that I know spanks with the intention to hurt, damage, or kill their kids. The intention in spanking is to teach obedience and discipline. Kids need to listen to their parents, for their own good, “Dont run in the street” and spanking is a discipline that helps teach them this.

        Does it cause physical pain? Yes. Is the intention of parents simply to hur their kids? No. It is to teach and spanking is a helpful, I would argue effective, way to do this.

        Spanking children and beating wives arent the same thing no matter how hard you try to make them the same. A husband punching his wife in the face (out of anger) and a parent spanking a childs behind with an open hand (out of love and a desire to teach) are not even close to the same thing.

        It is hard for people to take a position seriously when you make those type of comparisons. There is a reason why I would serve jail time if I went home and punched my wife in the face and why I won’t face jail time for appropriately spanking my child when I, as a parent, see fit.

        • We disagree on our definition of hurting. Whether the ultimate intentions of the parents are noble, at the moment of spanking the intention is to cause physical pain (hurt the child). Unlike painful medical procedures, in spanking the physical pain is not just an unfortunate byproduct. Instead, physical pain is the actual mechanism by which the parent wants the child to comply with a demand or rule. In the case of retroactive punishment, physical pain is the mechanism by which the parent is “teaching” a lesson. So, the long term intension may be nobel, but the intention at the moment of spanking is to cause physical pain, which I equate with hurting the child.

          Regarding the comparison between spanking and marital violence. Do you think it would be appropriate for a husband to spank a wife with an open hand out of love and desire to teach her something? I don’t think so (and not just because it is illegal). The difference is that we both agree that adults have the right to be free of being physically assaulted (including open hand spanking), but we disagree as to whether children have the same right.

          But we have entered a discussion about values, which is difficult to have because values are difficult to change. The more pertinent discussion is about the research. I would have less issues with the use of spanking if there was any evidence showing that spanking is more effective in leading to positive outcomes than other non-violent means. I am yet to see that study.

          • James McDuffy says:

            Nestor,

            Yes there would be a difference between a wife and child- are you saying insinuating that there is no difference in relationship between a wife and a child?

            Women are adults- they dont need “disciplined” and taught obedience- kids do. That is common sense.

            Another issue that needs raised here is freedom. Even if people disagree parents should be free to choose to spank if they feel it is appropriate. It is not abuse.

            As to studies that suggest opposite of the one you site:

            http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,581882,00.html

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/blogs/nurture-shock/2009/12/30/some-kids-are-never-spanked-do-they-turn-out-better.html

          • Thank you for highlighting Gunnoe’s research. This work is in line with a long history of findings that show that among some ethnic minority groups, and in some countries/cultures, spanking is not related to negative outcomes and in some cases is related to positive outcomes. The problem with this line of research is that in cultures or subgroups in which spanking is the norm, the practice becomes a proxy for parental involvement, structure, and supervision. That is, among these groups, spanking is highly correlated with parental practices that are associated with positive outcomes. In turn, in these subgroups, lack of spanking is correlated with poor parental monitoring, lack of structure, and permissiveness, which are all associated with even more negative outcomes. So, among these subgroups, the correct comparison is not between spanking vs, no spanking across everyone, but instead the comparison should be between spanking vs. no spanking among parents with equal level of active involvement (structure, monitoring, rule setting, etc). Otherwise, what you are comparing is parental monitoring vs. no parental monitoring. This limitation of such research has been extensively documented in the literature. The counterargument is that spanking is OK among parents with high levels of warmth and love. That is, some have argued that previous studies have not controlled for parental warmth. In some studies linking spanking with negative outcomes this has indeed been a limitation, but many others have controlled for parental warmth and still find an association between spanking and negative outcomes. See for example “Stacks et al., 2009. The moderating effect of parental warmth on the association between spanking and child aggression: a longitudinal approach..”

            The common sense argument about the difference between adult and children and their need to be disciplined is not as simple. In our society, we do not accept inflicting physical pain on adults, even when we think they should be disciplined or punished (e.g., criminals, including violent ones) mostly because we believe all adults (including criminals) have the right to be free of experiencing unnecessary physical pain (being physically hit). This right is so fundamental that even our modern execution methods (lethal injections) are designed to inflict as little physical pain as possible. In our culture we simply don’t believe that children have the same right, which in my opinion is unfortunate.

            Regarding parental freedom. I am a huge advocate for individual and parental freedom. But our freedoms are applicable as long as they do not violate other people’s more fundamental rights. In my view, and we can disagree, the right of a child to be free of unnecessary physical pain is more fundamental than the right of a parent to be free to choose whatever discipline method he/she wants.

            James, this has been an informative discussion that allowed me to clarify some common themes in this debate. Thank you.

        • What muddled thinking.

          “No parent that I know spanks with the intention to hurt… their kids.”

          and then

          “Does it cause physical pain? Yes.”

          There is no such thing as knowing that hitting a kid will cause them pain but at the same time not intending to hurt them. If you know it will cause pain and you do it, then ipso facto you intend to hurt them. Whether you do it in the belief it’s for their own good or not.

          I have to say, I’m not surprised to hear such “logic” in defence of hitting children. It’s intellectually bankrupt and morally outrageous.

          It’s also completely unnecessary.

          I live in Sweden where hitting children was completely banned decades ago. Sweden has not spiralled into moral chaos because kids grew up confused over what is wrong and what is right. In fact, Sweden is amongst the best countries to live in by virtually all life quality indicators.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Thank you. Great article. I agree whole-heartedly.

  15. The Mule says:

    Great article.
    I’m the person behind the petition to Amazon asking them to stop stocking books which advocate the physical abuse of children, eg To Train up a Child.
    The petition was linked to in the recent New York Times article, and signatures continue to rise.
    Please add your voice and share the link, I believe this will help to send a clear message that this kind of treatment of children is not acceptable.
    Thank you.
    http://www.change.org/petitions/jeff-bezos-amazon-ceo-refuse-to-carry-books-which-advocate-the-physical-abuse-of-children

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