corpunWorld Corporal Punishment Research
www.corpun.com

ruler
www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2002   :  US Domestic Nov 2002

-- THE ARCHIVE --


UNITED STATES

Domestic CP - November 2002



Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 17 November 2002

Voice Of Atlanta

Spanking hasn't gone out of style

By Richard Halicks
Staff

Most adults can remember a childhood in which disrespecting a teacher or even a neighbor would get you something other than a recording contract. Back in the day, it was known as a whuppin.

Many believe that society has gone soft since those sterner, simpler times, that kids never get spanked anymore, that we're all caught in hell's tractor beam.

Well, the child may be spoiled, but the rod's still getting a pretty good workout, according to the latest Voice of Atlanta questionnaire: 82 percent of Atlanta parents say they've spanked their kids, compared with 18 percent who say they haven't.

Among all adults, parents and childless ones alike, 80 percent agree with the statement that "parents should spank their children, when appropriate, to teach the child a lesson."

"It frustrates me horribly when there is a child who has thrown themselves down in the floor of the grocery store and is kicking and screaming and knocking things off the shelves. And the parents are standing there and saying, 'I'm going to put you in time out when we get home!' And I'm thinking, 'What are you going to do right now?' "

So says devoted mom and confirmed spanker Delores Shoemaker of Cherokee County.

"I'm not going to spank my kid because he left the Nintendo scattered across the floor," said Shoemaker, 36 and the mother of three. "I'm going to ground him from the Nintendo. But if you steal from a store, or if you sass a teacher, you know I'm going to spank you when you get home."

Shoemaker's children are now past the age of spankings --- they're 11, 14 and 15. Though spanking was rare in her house, she' s certain that sometimes it was the right thing to do. And she's not surprised that most parents appear to feel the same way.

"Maybe people are realizing that the Dr. Spock generation had it wrong," she said.

A majority of the Voice of Atlanta, 57 percent, said it's never appropriate to use a belt or a paddle to punish a child. But a still-sizable 42 percent said that, sometimes, it is.

A minority of parents, of course, say that it's not right to strike a child under any circumstances.

Jeremy Cohen was rarely spanked as a child, and his 9-year-old daughter, Michelle, has never been spanked.

"We've never had a situation in which it would have been necessary, " said Cohen, 41, an IBM consultant who lives in north Fulton. "I just don't feel that hitting someone is an educating experience. I' d like to think that there are other ways to do it that don't involve hitting."

Robin Schmidt, whose daughter Mary-Margaret is 8, said she decided long ago that she would never strike her own child, and she never has.

"I tell her to go sit down, so we can separate and let things calm down between us," said Schmidt, 34, who lives in Gwinnett and works part time at Macy's. "I've never hit her, and I hope that I' ll never hit her."

A total of 1,058 people responded to this latest Voice of Atlanta questionnaire; 93 percent said they were spanked as children. But as adults, only 80 percent now think spanking is appropriate.

"There's a clear trend toward less spanking!" quips Cohen, the nonspanking dad in north Fulton. "Also, maybe as kids we were spanked five times a year, and maybe now children are only spanked one time a year."

While there is plenty of division on the issue, some experts say that spanking is appropriate when teaching children about safety.

Delores Shoemaker is clear which side she's on.

"It's appropriate and necessary at times when they're endangering themselves or someone else," she said. "My son, when he was a 4-year-old, got it into his head that he was going to throw rocks at a car. Who knows why?

"I spanked his little butt right on into the house. I said, 'I'm going to spank you because you endangered somebody.' Likewise, if he runs into the street and nearly gets hit, he's going to get a smack on his booty."

The Voice of Atlanta is a panel of metro Atlantans who answer questionnaires on the Internet. The latest sample was taken in October. The VOA, for which respondents volunteer, is not believed to be as accurate as a scientific poll, in which respondents are randomly selected. To register for the VOA, go to ajc.com/voiceofatlanta.

ILLUSTRATIONS/PHOTOS:

Do you agree or disagree: Parents should spank their children, when appropriate, to teach the child a lesson?

............................Total.. Men.. Women....White.. Black....Dem....GOP

Agree strongly...... 39%....43%....36%......36%.... 56%.... 29%....49%

Agree somewhat.... 41%....40%....42%......42%.... 36%.... 42%....39%

Total ..agreeing...... 80%....83%....77%......78%.... 92%.... 72%....88%

Disagree somewhat 10%....9%.... 11%......11%......4%.... 13%.... 6%

Disagree ..strongly....9%....7%.... 11%......10%......3%.... 13%.... 5%

Total disagreeing.....19%....15%....22%......21%......7%.... 26%....11%

Don't know.................2%.....2%.......1%...... .2%.......2%.......2%.... .1%

Do you agree or disagree: It is sometimes appropriate for a parent to use a belt or paddle to discipline their kids?

............................Total.. Men.. Women....White.. Black....Dem....GOP

Agree strongly...... 18%....22%....15%......14%.... 39%.... 16%....23%

Agree somewhat... 23%....26%....21%......22%.... 34%.... 19%....24%

Total ..agreeing..... 42%....47%....36%......35%.... 73%.... 34%....47%

Disagree somewhat 15%....15%....14%......16%.... 11%.... 11%....18%

Disagree strongly.. 42%....35%....48%......47%.... 13%.... 53%....34%

Total ..disagreeing..57%....51%....63%......63%.... 24%.... 64%....52%

Were you spanked as a child?

..................Total.. Men.. Women....White.. Black....Dem....GOP

Yes..............93%....95%....91%......92%.... 96%.... 90%....94%

No.................7%..... 5%.... .9%...... .7%.......2%.......9%.... .6%

No answer.... 1%.... .0%.... .1%...... .1%.......2%.......1%.... .1%

Notes: Percentages may not equal 100 because of rounding

The Voice of Atlanta is prepared for the Internet and analyzed by the Marketing Workshop Inc.



blob THE ARCHIVE index

www.corpun.com  Main menu page

Copyright Colin Farrell 2003
Page created: February 2003