Society as a whole, not just children, could benefit from ending the system of violent childrearing that goes under the euphemism
|Corporal punishment is physical force intended to cause pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or control
Antisocial behavior includes lying, cheating, bullying or cruelty to others, deliberately breaking things, lack of remorse for misbehaving and disobedience at school
New studies suggest spanking is counterproductive over a long period of time(Dennis MacDonald/PNI)
Aug. 14 Most parents spank their children, but more often than not, spanking only leads to more bad behavior.
According to research published today in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, while spanking may be effective in correcting behavior in the short term, the long-term effect of such punishment is increased anti-social behavior. Parents seldom recognize this boomerang effect because it happens over weeks or months.
While the percentage of parents that resort to physical punishment has declined in recent decades, researchers estimate that and many as 90 percent spank their kids. During the 1950s, the figure was 99 percent.
Spanking proponents, such as Alabama Gov. Fob James Jr., are unconvinced by such research. In 1995 James advocated legislation that would permit spanking in public schools. About half the states allow corporal punishment in schools.
James recently told ministers that juvenile crime could be curtailed if more parents gave youngsters butt whippings.
Responding to the latest research this week, the governor's spokesman, Alfred Sawyer, defended corporal punishment as a time-tested method of discipline. It's been used for thousands of years by parents and teachers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.