Originally Posted by Kylix
I'm well aware of those studies. The masters thesis I'm currently working on actually sites them as references.
To me, it's one thing to look at the data and site statistics about prevalence. It's another thing to say "progressive" people do this and "ignorant" people do that. I know what you meant and I don't mean to nitpick or pick on you but I think these statements and the false use of those very prevalence studies perpetuate the use of physical punishment. People begin to think "hey, maybe it's true that only wealthy, progressive people don't spank. I am not wealthy and that's not the way I parent and that's okay because I belong to a different group." Sounds goofy but I have run into people (in my own circle of friends and family) who take on such a notion--that not spanking is a luxury for only rich, progressive white people.
Prevalence studies or not, I think it's time to put the generalizations away so that everyone knows that they can parent differently and it's okay.
I appreciate your viewpoint. To clarify, however, I wasn't personally saying that progressive people don't hit and only ignorant people do. I was merely stating that that is a perception/stereotype in my community. For better or worse, that is the perception where I live. I have encountered it many times.
Also, I don't think of hitting kids as just "parenting differently." I think it is unacceptable period and we need to address the underlying cultural, socioeconomic and educational factors in order to successfully address the problem (i.e., pave the way to abolition). And find ways to reach communities where hitting is still widespread and acceptable. If the studies are valid, and wealthier, more educated people do hit less, then we should ask why. What is is that we aren't doing, that we SHOULD be doing to reach poorer, less educated communities?
I would ask the same question about bfing rates. IF there is a community that bfs less, what can we do to disseminate information and offer education and support. I don't think that recognizing certain cultural or socioeconomic tendencies is necessarily a bad thing.
I do see your point in that stereotyping is a dangerous thing and the goal is not to be divisive or alientate people. But maybe people viewing hitting kids as something "ignorant" people do isn't such a bad thing? Maybe that perception could help ease hitting kids gradually out of our culture. After all, the countries that have already banned hitting children do not look favorably upon those who do.
ETA: I have never encountered the view before that people would justify hitting because they think that wealthy, educated people do not do it. I wonder if this might follow naming trends a bit . . . when names become popular among the wealthy, they slowly catch on among the middle class and poor. Cultural influences will play a role, for sure, but I sure would like people to have negative connotations with violence against children, and to aspire to not be violent.