‘Spare’ the Paddle

April 27, 2016

spanking-by-mamaDrizzling rain-showers this gray Wednesday morning on California’s north coast — a good-weather period slated after today, though, with clear skies and even warm temperatures supposedly through the end of next week.

Always on the outlook for ironic situations, a new study confirms what I’d figured forever, both as a kid, and later as a parent. Quick summary of the research fromĀ ScienceDaily yesterday:

The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking.

(Illustration found here).

Embedded within even ‘polite society‘ across the globe is the bastard tonic, ‘spare, the rod, spoil the child,’ a bullshit modern-day mishmash of religion and asshole. Contrary to real children, however, a slap can be worse than the kid’s fuck-up.

Key points from the Science Daily article

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” says Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.
“We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”

The researchers looked at a wide range of studies and noted that spanking was associated with negative outcomes consistently and across all types of studies, including those using the strongest methodologies such as longitudinal or experimental designs.
As many as 80 percent of parents around the world spank their children, according to a 2014 UNICEF report.
Gershoff notes that this persistence of spanking is in spite of the fact that there is no clear evidence of positive effects from spanking and ample evidence that it poses a risk of harm to children’s behavior and development.
Both spanking and physical abuse were associated with the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength.
“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviors,” she says.
“Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.”

As a kid I received my share of ‘spankings,’ and really thought nothing of it, mainly because the ‘spankings‘ seemed to stop by the time I left elementary school, and apparently society didn’t seemed to care, either. In the early 1960s, every school teacher seemed to possess a ‘paddle‘ — later as a parent, I discovered my kids apparently fully understood threats, so an actual ‘spanking‘ was extremely rare.
Violence ain’t my forte, neither for any kid…

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