Originally Posted by jezebelle
Okay, this link asserts that the more a child is spanked, the lower their IQ.
And this one asserts that the more often or severely a child is spanked or beaten, the more likely they are to experience depression and anxiety, immediately following the spanking and after.
From this link, which illustrates that spanked children are more likely to be bullies:
Most of Murray Straus's work observes corporal punishment in an array of severity and frequency, and they all come to the same conclusions: spanking has negative effects, and beatings have worse ones. This may not be enough to "clearly demonstrate what is wrong with spanking" to you, but to me, anything that has been shown to simultaneously run the risk of decreasing my child's IQ and increasing his/her risks of becoming a bully, becoming antisocial, experiencing depression and/or anxiety, having unprotected sex, participating in domestic violence later in life, and becoming more aggressive overall is observably inappropriate at the least and absolutely idiotic at worst.
The first one refers to a study, and offers no backup for anything. I'll try to find the study itself next week (the next few days are crazy) and try to read it. I'll admit I find it very hard to credit, as I grew up in a time and place where everybody was being spanked, and my generation (locally) still managed to turn out a lot of awfully intelligent people.
The second one, I'll have to dig into next week, as well, as the meat of it (the actual analysis) is very wordy and it's bedtime. I will say that the assertion that anybody who is on the net, on this website, has access to this information (which is the point I was addressing with my above post) is laughable. I could read dozens, if not hundreds of pages of posts on this forum in the time it will take me to wade through that one study, let alone more of them.
The last one is pretty much laughable. Parental reports of how much they're spanking, combined with how much aggressive, bullying behaviour a child is exhibiting? That's correlation, but it's not necessarily causation. Of my three youngest, the only one I'm tempted to spank - ever - is ds2, because he's aggressive, sometimes bullies people, hits, throws, etc. Before noon today, he's punched his older sister in both the eye and the mouth, and this is not even remotely uncommon. The frustration of dealing with that kind of behaviour on an ongoing basis doesn't always lead to great moments in parenting - but those moments are a result of his aggressive behaviour.
The fact that websites assert or illustrate (not very clearly) that spanking does A, B or C does not mean that spanking has been shown to do any of those things. It means that lots of peopple assert that spanking has been shown to do these things.
I also have to admit that I did believe in spanking when ds1 was little (although I very rarely actually did spank him). He's now 18, and we've had no major, and few minor, behavioural issues with him. He's never been depressed. He's never been a bully. He's never been aggressive. He's been in the gifted program since third grade, and has been active at various times in choir, drama, Interact (service) club, Gymnastics, Ultimate, peer counseling, volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club, and counseling at Outdoor School. He's an understanding, loving big brother. His friends adore him, partly because he always finds time for them, especially if someone is having a problem. He gives me hugs any time he notices I'm having a bad day (and he usually does notice). He's kind, outgoing, respectful, courteous, etc. etc.
Me? I was spanked. I've also struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life. I had serious aggression issues in my early teens. I had unprotected sex a few times, before I met my ex and smartened up on that front. And...none of it was because I was spanked. A lot of it was because I was sexually abused. Even more of it was because the wife of my abuser was a toxic, manipulative, evil woman who poisoned the lives of everyone she touched. Some of it was because my dad was/is an emotionally absent alcoholic. And, the aggression was mostly because of a combination of being bullied and having severe PMS, at a time when that diagnosis was barely known to the general public. So...a survey that asked if we were spanked, and then drew conclusions about the effect of spanking on my (or my sibling's) behaviour would be missing a whole lot of pieces. Surveys - and even diaries - also fail to account for beatings and flat out abuse, because mom isn't going to record "whipped junior with a belt for spilling my OJ", yk?
My biggest objection to all this is that most of what's presented here as fact about the effects of spanking is grossly oversimplified or applied with too broad a brush. It's also very, very likely that parents who don't spank have made a conscious effort not to do so, and are probably, in general, far more educated about other parenting strategies. Those two facts alone are going to have an impact on a person's childhood, imo.