Skip to comments.Spanking Raises Chances of Risky, Deviant Sexual Behavior
Posted on 02/29/2008 12:48:16 AM PST by guitarist
Spanking Raises Chances of Risky, Deviant Sexual Behavior
Review found physical punishment of kids linked to unprotected, masochistic sex as adults
By Amanda Gardner Posted 2/28/08
THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have uncovered another damaging consequence of spanking: risky sexual behaviors, or even sexual deviancy, when the child grows up.
"This adds one more harmful side effect to spanking," said Murray Straus, a spanking expert who was expected to present the findings of four studies at the American Psychological Association's Summit on Violence and Abuse in Relationships in Bethesda, Md., on Thursday. Related News
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"I think that it's pretty powerful," said Elizabeth Gershoff, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's School of Social Work. "It's across several studies and across different forms of either risky or deviant sexual behavior."
Straus, who was the author of all four studies, hopes the findings will raise awareness among child development experts.
"My hope is to convince my colleagues that they ought to put this in their textbooks," said Straus, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. "It's amazing. Something experienced by all American kids gets an average of half a page in child development textbooks, and not a single one comes to the conclusion that parents should never spank."
Even the revered Dr. Spock, who was anti-spanking, never came right out and advised parents outright not to do it, he added. Instead, Spock advised "avoiding it if you can."
A meta-analysis of spanking studies conducted by Gershoff found 93 percent agreement among studies that spanking can lead to such problems as delinquent and anti-social behavior in childhood along with aggression, criminal and anti-social behavior and spousal or child abuse as an adult.
"There's probably nothing else in child development that has 93 percent agreement in results," Straus said.
Five percent of people who have never been spanked hit their partners, versus 25 percent of those who were spanked frequently.
However, some 90 percent of U.S. parents spank toddlers, according to Straus.
The review being presented at the meeting are the first to look at the relationship of spanking to sexual behavior.
They found that spanking and other corporal punishment is associated with an increased probability of verbally and physically coercing a dating partner to have sex; risky sex such as premarital sex without using a condom; and masochistic sex such as spanking during sex.
There is a "dose response" at work here. "The more parents spank, the higher the probability of harmful side effects," Straus noted.
Of course, there's a similar dose response for smokers. But if someone reaches the age of 65 without developing lung cancer, it doesn't mean that smoking isn't harmful. It means the person was one of the lucky ones.
It's the same with spanking, Straus said. "If a person says, 'I was spanked, and I don't have any interest in bondage and discipline sex, that's correct, but it's not because spanking is OK, it's because they're one of the lucky ones."
And spanking a child once may be like picking up that first cigarette. "The trouble is, if you have a 2-year-old, you pretty soon decide you can't avoid it. The recidivism rate for whatever 'crime' you correct a 2-year-old for is about 50 percent in two hours."
"I've been researching corporal punishment for 30 years and, in the course of that time, the evidence has accumulated that it doesn't work any better than non-corporal punishment but has harmful side effects. I have come to the conclusion that parents should never, ever spank because, although it does work, it's no better than non-hitting methods that don't have harmful side effects. If there was an FDA for spanking, they'd say use an alternative that doesn't have harmful side effects."
-These psychologists and shrinks don't distinguish between beating your kid in anger and lovingly disciplining him (with spanks of medium force, and without parental rage). I would guess most parents mostly do the latter. Those who do the former, we would agree, are bound to have a psychopath on their hands when their kid grows up. I'm sure if you could divide the spankers into these two groups, you would easily see that the careful spankers get much BETTER results than the non-spankers. And the "flying into a rage" beaters get the worst results of the lot.
-The whole idea of measuring social phenomena with "scientific" studies is a bit ludicrous. The BEST they can do is suggest a link. They don't prove a link. Do the authors of these studies not understand the difference between causation and correlation? Maybe the 10% of people who never spank have (supposedly) better kids because they are richer, or better educated--and turn out better kids due to these factors. Maybe their kids would turn out even better if they did spank them occasionally for willful disobedience, or some of the spanked kids would have turned out even worse if they had not been spanked.
Sheesh! We know the non-spanking secularists want to take our kids away from us or throw us in jail for spanking them. Can't we just throw them in jail for professional malpractice instead for foisting bogus articles like this on the public??
Have at it!! Guitarist.
I'm not against parental discipline but let's be honest--how many kids, when being spanked, think "Mommy/Daddy LOVES me!" ?
I bet Barney Frank was spanked a lot. And when he was a kid, also. (rimshot)
Not too long ago, I read how terrible it was to tickle you child.
You left out the Barf Alert.
But he does know HIS behavior has consequence and that I love him and demand GOOD behavior.
... said Murray Straus, a spanking expert ...
I don't have kids but work with kids with mental, emotional and drug issues. While I don't believe health workers like myself should have the right to discipline kids--we don't, thankfully--I do believe parents have that right.
At the same time, I think it's foolish to deny that in some cases, parents go too far. There's just too much history.
In the case of this study, I don't think it's ridiculous to believe that SOME children are affected by even lesser amounts of physical discipline, and am bemused by those who apparently think all kids react the same way to the same discipline. That makes no sense. I've gone through things in my youth that I rarely even think about; kids I see have gone through far less and are deeply disturbed by it. Many kids have gone through far MORE than I did--by leaps and bounds--and have come out perfectly OK.
The troubling truth is that kids aren't robots. That's why parenting is such a hard job, and why we don't have hard and fast rules for bringing up kids.
On one had we have these people telling us that there is no such thing as deviant sexual bahavior. On the other, we have them telling us that spanking us can lead us to it. Well...
All I can say from my experience growing up is that:
1) Spanking worked and worked well. And it was generally the un-disciplined, un-spanked peers of mine who ended up going down the wrong path, particularly when we were of the same socioeconomic status.
2) No such deviance on my part.
3) I will spank my children, the anti-spanking crowd screetching as they may.
He’s way more sensitive than my son, and the parenting background difference is night and day: never left mommy’s arms, sleeping in parent’s bed, fed by hand, not potty trained, etc.
I think as long as they are warned that a spanking is coming for certain behaviors, and then the spanking is given as punishment instead of some sort of revenge, then the child will learn boundaries. How you regulate parents that are out of their freakin minds is beyond me, but not allowing corporal punishment gets you the brats we have today.
Dang, where's my wife? I'll get the belt...
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (early and while young)." Proverbs 13;24.
Failure to discipline is child abuse, loving "chastening" to which you are referring is an expression of genuine love to protect the child from danger (the stove is hot) and to protect them from evil (violence against your sibling is evil -a form of the impulse to murder).
God, who created the womb, forms the child in it, Psalm 139, and explained child rearing by Solomon knows infinitely more about it. The people with the highest "self esteem" are prison inmates.
If I have one all-purpose truth for bringing up kids which I learned from my experience, it’s that moms who smother their sons—who turn them into Momma’s boys with all that implies—are the invisible abusers. They are emotionally crippling their sons, destroying their ability to be independent men, and they do it with enormous self-righteousness.
After all, who would want their kids to be less deviant than their friends?
if 90% of toddlers are spanked, how large would your sample size have to achieve a power to determine such how much such a vaguely described procedure would have on such a murky endpoint? It certainly would be likely that spanking was at least as universal, if not more so, in past generations, but there is some at least anecdotal perception that this kind of sexual activity is increasing. Maybe there are a lot of other, more important factors?
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