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Political cartoon from 1860 depicting Stephen A. Douglas receiving a traditional “over-the-knee” spanking from Columbia as Uncle Sam looks on approvingly.
Political cartoon from 1860 depicting Stephen A. Douglas receiving a traditional “over-the-knee” spanking from Columbia as Uncle Sam looks on approvingly.

Spanking is the use of force to discipline. Erotic spanking can sometimes go hand in hand with other paraphilia, such as for erotic clothes or erotic humiliation. ... Collars are a commonly used symbol of BDSM and can be ornamental or functional. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Stephen Arnold Douglas (nicknamed the Little Giant because he was short but was considered by many a giant in politics) was an American politician from the western state of Illinois, and was the Democratic Party nominee for President in 1860. ... Columbia, late 19th century Representative symbol of the USA, from a Columbia Records phonograph cylinder package. ... This article is about the national personification of the USA. For other uses, see Uncle Sam (disambiguation). ...



The verb "to spank" has been known in English since 1727, possibly onomatopeic in nature. For the supervillain, see Onomatopoeia (comics). ...

English and several other languages have a specific, common verb for "spanking", that distinguishes it from corporal punishment applied on the buttocks. Thus in Latin the only word derived from "culus" (buttocks) was "culare" meaning "to spank", similar to the Italian "sculacciare" ; in Spanish "nalgadas" (nalga = buttock) ; in French, the verb is "fesser", also from "fesses" (buttocks). All of these terms testify to the historical or persisting prominence of this punitive target in many cultures.

What and how


Spanking, by today's definition, consists of striking the buttocks, usually as a physical punishment, with either an open hand or an implement. Bottom commonly refers to the human buttocks but also has other uses. ... Corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain intended to change a persons behavior or to punish them. ... For other uses, see Hand (disambiguation). ...

In the United States and Canada, all discipline applied to the posterior is usually known as spanking. In Britain and many Commonwealth countries, smacking or whacking is used as the general term; with spanking usually referring to bare-handed discipline (as opposed to implement-specific forms of spanking such as paddling, caning, birching and slippering). The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... A spanking paddle is a usually wooden instrument with a long, flat face and narrow neck, so called because it is roughly shaped like the homonymous piece of sports equipment, but existing in more varied sizes and dimensions, (length, width and thickness) used to administer a spanking to the buttocks... This article is about the physical punishment. ... Birching is corporal punishment with a birch rod, typically a spanking (i. ... Similar in usage to a shoe, a slipper is an indoors version along the same vein. ...

There are many alternative terms, often linked with an implement (such as belting, caning, whipping), but also sometimes used more generally (such as thrashing, whacking, or whupping) or using terms for a stroke (usually in the plural), such as blow, swat (hence swatting), lick (hence licking) and less common ones including onomatopoeias such as "pop". Terms such as hiding or tanning can also be used. Belting is the use of belts made of strong materials (usually leather) as a whip-like instrument for corporal punishment (see that article for generalities). ... For other uses, see Whip (disambiguation). ... For the supervillain, see Onomatopoeia (comics). ...

  • The (mainly informal) terminology used is often determined by the punisher's point of view, with terms such as lesson, medicine, ordeal, therapy, (woodshed) treatment), even helping, sometimes adding unnecessary adjectives such as firm, (jolly) good, healthy, sound, well-deserved, even (long) overdue; if the spankee is taken notice of, then as helplessly suffering the painful effects, as in: blistering, grilling, roasting, humbling.
  • Several languages exclusively use words that directly indicate the buttocks as the anatomical target zone, either plainly as the French fessée (from fesse 'buttock') or somewhat ironic, such as the Dutch billenkoek (buttocks + cake); a similar word pun in English is posterior alignment.
  • Sometimes there is another specific term for a spanking on the seat of the trousers, as the Dutch pak voor de broek ('swats on the pants').
  • Similarly there can be analogous words for spankers, as the Dutch bilslager ('buttock beater') and the French (Frère) Fesseur ('(brother) spanker'), both referring to a cleric, especially in the Jesuit order, specifically charged with the professional administration of spankings on the (typically bared) buttocks of naughty pupils in reputedly strict Catholic schools; in Paris's St. Lazaire prison the rod was administered on the bare buttocks of criminals by a member of the Lazarist order referred to as the Père fouettard ('whipping father') as allegedly happened to the writer Beaumarchais.

Beaumarchais Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (January 24, 1732 - May 18, 1799) was, among other accomplishments, a writer and librettist. ...

Scope of punitive use

The two subsections group the various spanking spheres for convenience: the 'domestic' model spanks in a paternalistic mentality, intending to (re)educate the spankees, often 'for their own good', and more informally, which often includes the use of conveniently available objects made for another purpose, such as a hairbrush, belt, pointer (rod), Physical punishment yardstick, wooden spoon, spatula, or other various household objects. Meanwhile, the 'judicial' model essentially aims to enforce the social code, be it the (formal or customary) law or a substitute order, 'for the common good' (raison d'état, social cohesion, public safety and morality...), usually with a traditional, often even formally imposed implement. A hairbrush is a small brush with rigid bristles used in hair care for brushing, styling, and detangling human hair, or for brushing a domestic animals fur. ... Bold textA belt is a flexible band, typically made of leather or heavy cloth, and worn around the waist. ... A pointer or pointing stick is a solid rod used to point manually, in the form of a stick, but always finished off or artificially produced. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Corporal punishment. ... A yardstick is a tool used to physically measure lengths of up to three feet (a yard). ...

Domestic model

Spankings are administered in particular to children by their educators, i.e. mostly (biological, step-, adoptive- or foster-) parent or guardian and school -, orphanage etc. staff. Race and gender have a significant influence on child spanking. Black children and male children are more likely to be hit at home and school,[2] and spanking of boys tends to be more frequent than spanking of girls.[3] Many countries in Europe, as well as New Zealand, have outlawed the domestic spanking of children. In 2007 the Australian government spent 2.5 million dollars on a campaign to persuade Australian parents not to spank their children.[4] The legal status of parental discipline in the US is determined on a state level, and is increasingly in flux, with some states, such as California, considering outright bans (these moves have so far failed), and others detailing guidelines within which spanking remains legal.

Spankings were however also, especially in the past, administered to other persons considered as legal (and/or moral) minors (sometimes illegally still treated as such), including;

  • Wives and Servants (especially domestics; the British Lord Chief Justice declared their corporal punishment, like children's, justified in 1795)
  • Often copied from domestic discipline, as in fraternities and sororities (originally living units where seniors and/or staff wielded the paddle rather like parents at home), and sports and other teams (though now usually only as 'play' in hazing and rarely as actual coercive sanction) and other initiation context, as with recruits (in military, police and some other professions).
  • Informal spankings in the domestic context can also occur in an institutional environment, parallel to the more formal punishments, when administered by the victim's peers.

The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales was, historically, the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor. ... Hazing is an often ritualistic test and a task, which may constitute harassment, abuse or humiliation with requirements to perform random, often meaningless tasks, sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group. ...

Judicial model

In many cultures and legal systems it was common to administer judicial and prison beatings on the buttocks (convicts by definition are at the mercy of the authorities ; even today severe punishments, even the dreaded judicial 'Singapore' cane, are awarded to enforce internal prison rules in various countries).

For obvious practical reasons adults are rarely spanked over knee or lap, rather bending or bound over some object, or construction or standing or hanging (as usual for punishment above the waist) against a wall or whipping post.

The parallel with child discipline may be part of the deliberate use of public humiliation as punishment. Hence, the condemned is often bared, completely or partly to expose the buttocks, or only covered for modesty, with little protection against the instrument; this is still usual under sharia in many countries. While even the back is sometimes left clad for an Islamic whipping, as in Saudi Arabia, in (ethnically mainly Chinese) Singapore and (Muslim) Malaysia the target is always the bare buttocks. Public humiliation was often used by local communities to punish minor and petty criminals before the age of large, modern prisons (imprisonment was long unusual as a punishment, rather a method of coercion). ...

  • Often the strong arm of the law — mainly (para)military and police, charged with the physical execution of corporal punishment — and some similarly hierarchical organisations, has particularly strict internal discipline, usually enforced internally (as by court-martial, or in 'minor' cases simply by the superior officer), which in many traditions entailed punishing the culprit's (often bared) tail-end;
    • especially navies, where order must be maintained in confined spaces at all cost, are renowned for stern discipline, and some measure of it not unknown in merchant naval traditions either, but usually only 'boys' (including midshipmen, though) were spanked, adult sailors rather had their back and/or shoulders lashed;
    • in general the treatment of boys under arms has at least a measure of the paternalistic 'educational' discipline, often meaning they are more likely to have the bare bottom punished;
    • when martial law is imposed (formally or de facto), at home (as in Pakistan under former president General Zia ul Haq [1]) or under military occupation, such harsh practice is often extended to the civilian population (more difficult to control and/or less respected) as well, even limiting normal process of law; while regular corps discipline is generally conducted within quarters or correctional facility, to 'whip' the masses into obedience public administration is often preferred for maximized deterrence; yet in some cases the accusations of 'war crime'-type punishment are somewhat hollow because the occupied country often already used similar physical coercion, e.g. Korea publicly caning the criminal's bare behind over a bench before and during the Japanese rule [2]
  • Judicial corporal punishment is still used in some post-colonial, non-Islamic countries, including caning or even the cat o' nine tails in certain Commonwealth nations.
  • Traditional justice such as in tribal chief's courts not infrequently includes spanking, sometimes even carried out by the regular police force.
  • Even where corporal punishment is illegal, or very restricted, it rather often is a common weapon for so-called vigilante justice, sometimes tolerated or even legally legitimated by the authorities (as in various parts of Africa, e.g. Botswana), sometimes practiced by rebels (as in Nepal), often remarkably popular with the general public or a large section where official 'modern' western-style justice seems unable to stem crime, as in South Africa.
Among the large number of men whom she treated this way were Leontius, who occupied the position of Referendarius, and Saturninus, son of Hermogenes the Magister, both of them just married.
This Saturninus had married a second cousin, a maiden of good birth and excellent character, whose father Cyril had approved the match, Hermogenes having died earlier. No sooner had they shut themselves into the bridal chamber than Theodora seized the groom and carried him off to another chamber, where in spite of his heartbroken protestations he was married to Chrysomallo’s daughter. This Chrysomallo had once been a dancer and later a courtesan, but at the time of this incident she was living in the Palace with another Chrysomallo and Indaro. For there it was that after abandoning woman’s oldest profession and the life of the theatre they had established their headquarters. When Saturninus had slept with his new bride and found that she had been deflowered, he informed one of his intimate friends that the girl he had married was nothing but damaged goods. When this comment came to Theodora's ears, she said that he was showing off and had no right to be so puffed up, and ordered her servants to bend him over like any schoolboy. Then she gave his behind a fearsome beating and told him not to talk such nonsense in the future.

Procopius, Secret History A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... A leather cat o nine tails This article discusses an implement of punishment. ... The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view. ... In modern terms, vigilantes are militias or police who attempt law enforcement, in the usual phrase, by taking the law into their own hands. Vigilantes often operate in secret. ... Theodora, detail of a Byzantine mosaic in Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna. ... Theodora can refer to any of the following: Flavia Maximiana Theodora, daughter of the Roman Emperor Maximian and second wife of the Emperor Constantius I Chlorus. ... Procopius of Caesarea (in Greek Προκόπιος, c. ...

  • Finally, there are cases of 'summary justice' which do not fit the vigilante logic, but still intend to enforce a social order by improvised corporal punishment, such as some Bolivian bus drivers using a belt on strike-breaking colleagues [3] on the streets, or “In French pit villages the wives of striking miners confronted scabs and humiliated them by removing their trousers and spanking them.” -Lynn Abrams, The Making of Modern Woman (New York: Pearson Education Limited, 2002), 203.

Summary Justice refers to the informal punishment of suspected offenders without recourse to a formal trial under the legal system. ...

Educational spanking

In some schools, spanking is allowed as a means of disciplining students. Such schools often allow elementary students (ages 6–11), intermediate students (ages10–13), and high school students (ages14 –18) to be so disciplined.

School corporal punishment is banned in most of the western world, including every country in Europe, Japan, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand. Conversely, some advanced countries in Asia still use it, including Singapore and South Korea. In Australia, corporal punishment in schools is banned, partially or completely, in some states.[5][6] Corporal punishment was made illegal in all state schools in the United Kingdom in 1986 and this ban was extended to include independent schools in 1996.[7] Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... An independent school is a school which is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operation and is instead operated by tuition charges, gifts, and perhaps the investment yield of an endowment. ...

School corporal punishment is common in Africa and India. It is also still permitted in 20 U.S. states, and of these, Ohio is the only one that requires schools to honor parental requests not to use corporal punishment. Schools or school districts usually specify the circumstances under which spankings may be administered and which personnel may administer them. In New Jersey and Iowa, all corporal punishment, including spanking, is prohibited in all schools, public and private. In some other states it is banned in public schools but permitted in private ones. World Corporal Punishment Research[8] has compiled "Regulations of individual schools or school districts" throughout the United States, state by state, and internationally, "with external links to present-day school handbooks" that specify the circumstances and personnel who are authorized to administer spankings.

In the U.S., the degree to which spanking is used in schools in states which still allow it varies by state. For example, Ohio still permits spanking in school, but approximately 97% of the school districts in the state ban the practice, and all major cities either ban it or do not use it. In Alabama, however, only two districts in the entire state, Montgomery and Birmingham, ban the practice.

Nine states give teachers protection from liability arising from the use of spanking, even if parents requested the school not use corporal punishment, and sometimes even if injury occurs. They are: Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Indiana.

Of the U.S. states permitting spanking in schools, Texas administers the most, with approximately 170,000 per year. While it is banned in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Houston still permits school spanking, as do many rural school districts.

Mississippi has the highest proportionate rate, with approximately 11% of the student body subjected to corporal punishment in any given school year.

Ohio is a "fence-sitter" state. Spanking is still legal in Ohio schools, but the law is written to sometimes be confused with a ban. The state law, Ohio Revised Code 3319.41, states that corporal punishment is banned unless school districts establish clear guidelines for a corporal punishment policy, and honor all requests of parents who do not wish their children subjected to corporal punishment. Approximately 97% of public school districts in Ohio ban spanking and corporal punishment anyway, which has been cited by some pro-spanking advocates as eliminating the need for legislation against school spanking in Ohio.

Twenty-eight US states have banned spanking in public schools. They are: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Rhode Island, the "honorary 29th" state, does not legally ban spanking in schools, but every school district in the state has banned it since at least 1976.

Spanking is banned in all public schools in Canada as of 2004.

There is some disagreement about how much paddling occurs in U.S. schools. Some estimates place the number of paddlings at approximately 350,000 a year, while the National Association of School Psychologists[9] places the number at 1.5 million cases a year[10] Evidence suggests that in the United States, black students are more likely to be hit than white students, and male students more likely than female students, for the same infractions.[11] Corporal punishment of male students also tends to be more severe.[12] In some places, this sexual discrimination has the force of law. For instance, in Queensland, Australia, school corporal punishment of girls was banned in 1934 but corporal punishment of boys in private schools is still legal in 2007.[13] Likewise, caning in Singapore schools is strictly confined to boys.

Through the 1970s, paddling in public U.S. high schools was primarily administered to boys. Since that time, some public high schools that use paddling have converted to a "voluntary" system in which all students, regardless of gender, may choose paddling or some alternative punishment like detention. (Parents are also often given the option of opting out of corporal punishment by informing the school that their child may not choose a paddling.) Under this approach, students choose between a pre-determined number of swats or the alternative punishment. For example, a student with a third tardy may choose a 3-swat paddling or 3 hours of Saturday detention.

Nevertheless, the paddling of boys remains considerably more common than that of girls.


Administrators and school authorities often describe spanking as a last resort, for use only after other methods of discipline have proved unsuccessful. Even then, students are often allowed to choose an alternative punishment if they so wish. In some cases, however, spankings are mandated, and no alternative is provided. Spankings in American schools are usually delivered with a paddle, with a predetermined number of swats (often three to five) to the student's clothed or in asia un clothed buttocks. Spankings are usually given in private so as to protect the student's privacy. However, the claim that spanking is used as a last resort is often disputed by organizations such as Project NoSpank (nospank.net) and EPOCH-USA (stophitting.org)


In its most common use as a means of domestic corporal discipline, spanking usually refers to a child lying, stomach down, across the spanker's lap, with the parent or teacher bringing their open hand down upon the child's posterior. Other ways to administer spanking are with the child laid on a flat surface and held legs-up, by the ankles, and spanked with an open hand, or with the child bent over a piece of furniture, or standing and touching its toes.

Spanking advocates argue that the buttocks are the safest place to administer corporal punishment since injury is unlikely.

Spankings are delivered over clothing, over the undergarments, or upon the bare buttocks depending on the amount of pain or humiliation intended; the degree of embarrassment is often deemed to be increased by witnesses, such as the household, the class, or even a school assembly. Clothing protects the vulnerable nude human body from the extremes of weather, other features of our environment, and for safety reasons. ... Underwear redirects here. ... For the display of bare skin, as in bare-arse, see Nudity. ... Pain redirects here. ... Etymology: Late Latin humiliatus, past participle of humiliare, from Latin humilis low. ...

Most educators in modern Western societies consider avoidable humiliation inappropriate. In the past, however, the humiliation of exposing the buttocks has sometimes been regarded as a legitimate part of the punishment, as the main purpose of spanking is to cause a psychological deterring effect through painful bodily degradation.[14] Occident redirects here. ...

Most public high schools in the southern and southwestern U.S. require the student to assume a partly bending position, with his hands placed against a wall or on a desk or chair. This position provides support should the student tend to fall forward with the impact of a swat, as well as ensuring that he does not attempt to reach back and cover or shield his buttocks with his hands during the paddling, which could be inadvertently struck as a result.


Spanking — like corporal punishment in general — is a hotly debated social issue in many countries. Questions exist as to whether children should be spanked (see the sections below), whether it is an effective method of discipline (and if so how it is best done, see above), and whether or at what point it constitutes child abuse. Most of these points apply more generally to most or all forms of physical punishment. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Corporal punishment. ...

Arguments for spanking

Those who accept spanking often frame the issue as a matter of effective discipline, stating that young children respond most effectively to sensations, like pain. They also hold that when used solely for disciplinary purposes and not done out of anger but in moderation, there is little evidence that moderate spanking is harmful. Further, many believe that discipline problems among children have recently increased, and partially attribute the increase to the decline of both parental authority and the use of spanking. Proponents of spanking also argue that moderate spanking is simple and effective, especially compared to non-spanking disciplines proposed by both academic psychologists and parents which may rely upon what they consider complicated or unrealistic methods that are often not implemented successfully. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...

Psychological Conditioning

Another argument used by proponents of spanking is that proper and effective spankings cause only temporary pain and no damage. It has been argued that when parents and children are engaged in a prolonged struggle for authority, the anger and bitterness that results can cause an emotional estrangement that far outweighs any possible negative effects from moderate spankings, while a sound spanking would "clear the air." Some advocates for spanking assume a behaviorist psychology, and argue that as spanking is a form of operant conditioning, the child associates a certain behaviour with the physical pain and/or humiliation caused by spanking. Since a child's learning process may be less complex than that of an adult, they claim that children are more likely to be influenced by such a conditioning. Behaviorism (also called learning perspective) is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do — including acting, thinking and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors. ... Operant conditioning is the use of consequences to modify the occurrence and form of behavior. ... Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990), Ph. ...

Some attacks on spanking appear to suggest that parents spank their children in order to gratify base urges, such as the will to dominate a weaker person (the “behaviorist” language of the preceding paragraph might seem to lend some weight to this charge, but few parents would justify spanking on behaviorist grounds). While recognizing that spanking is sometimes abused in this way (such abuses are not limited to punishments involving physical force), responsible advocates of spanking have generally maintained that its proper use is as an instrument in the child's moral education: the physical evil of pain serves as a concrete analogue, readily perceivable by the child, of the moral evil of wrongdoing. On this view there are occasions when spanking is not just a right but a duty, stemming from the general duty to educate one's child in moral good and evil. Those who see spanking in this light naturally view attempts to criminalize it as an attempt to penalize parents for doing their job. (It should also be mentioned that pro-spankers do not in general advocate a "one-size-fits-all" policy; they acknowledge that even for the same offense different punishments may justly be meted out to different children, depending on their degree of moral perception or their degree of sensitivity to pain. However, they hold that, except in very unusual cases, parents -- or representatives that they personally designate -- are the only legitimate authorities on how to allot punishment or reward to their children.) Further pro-spanking arguments, from a medical point of view, may be found in "Spare the Rod? New Research Challenges Spanking Critics" [4] by Den A. Trumbull, M.D. and S. DuBose Ravenel, M.D.

Judaeo-Christian Arguments

Jewish advocates of spanking often refer to Bible verses mentioning "the rod", and assert that spanking is therefore an acceptable punishment from a Jewish moral or religious point of view. Some attribute the quotation "spare the rod and spoil the child" to the Bible; in fact, it comes from a bawdy poem entitled "Hudibras" by Samuel Butler. The Bible verse itself reads, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)". A later verse also advises, "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death." Proverbs 23:13-14 (NIV). It is important to remember, however, that many non-Jewish cultures have historically affirmed parents' right to use a reasonable degree of physical force in disciplining their children. In many of these cultures, any attempt by the rulers to curb parents' perceived rights in this area would have been seen as one the worst possible forms of tyranny. Hudibras is a mock heroic poem from the 17th century written by Samuel Butler. ... Samuel Butler Samuel Butler (4 December 1612–18 June 1680) was born in Strensham, Worcestershire and baptised 14 February 1613. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

Sociological Debate

There is a widespread and deep skepticism among pro-spankers of all the arguments against spanking, and a general feeling that the practice of spanking recalcitrant children, and comparable forms of corporal punishment, have proven their worth over a period of many centuries, and across many different cultures. They believe that the current Western fashion against spanking is an arbitrary and improper application of egalitarian principles to what they claim is an inherently unequal social relationship. A few of their replies to some of the more common anti-spanking arguments will now be briefly summarized.

To the common claim that spanking teaches children to resolve conflicts by physical force, some pro-spankers reply by distinguishing two senses of the claim. The claim is true, they say, if it means that appropriate spanking teaches children that parents have the right to resolve certain conflicts, resulting from a child’s disobedience, by a measured use of physical force. But (they ask) how is this supposed to convince us that all spanking is wrong? Unless (they say) spanking has already been shown to be immoral, the fact that spanking teaches children that they too, when parents, will have the right to spank their own children (not for the sake of revenge, but as a means of moral education), is scarcely a decisive objection against it. On the other hand, pro-spankers say, the claim might be taken to mean that spanking teaches children to use physical violence as a means of revenge. But this, they insist, is simply false, if taken to apply to all spanking. When appropriately administered (and when calmly discussed with the child, afterward), spanking, they say, is understood by the child to be a just punishment for disobedience, not a means of revenge (indeed, according to pro-spankers, most children who receive an appropriate spanking would subsequently laugh at, or else resent, the charge that their father or mother had acted out of vindictiveness). Pro-spankers do not find any respectable and demonstrably unbiased studies to support the currently fashionable charge that spanking, however administered, tends to produce violent, vindictive adults. To a pro-spanker a claim such as "the number one predictor of violent behavior is whether someone comes from a home where violence is practiced, including a home where children are subjected to physical punishment", is simply preaching to the converted: by putting spanking in the same category with child abuse and other violent behavior, the anti-spanker who makes such a claim is already assuming what he claims to prove: namely that spanking is the moral equivalent of child abuse. And thus (the pro-spanker argues) such claims prove nothing. What the anti-speaker ought to produce, according to the pro-spanker, is evidence that even spanking that is administered non-vindictively, as a just and proportionate punishment for disobedience, is a "predictor" of violent behavior. According to pro-spankers, anti-spankers have so far failed to produced such evidence. The reason being, according to pro-spakers, that there is none.

Pro-spankers take a similar line with claims such as this: "most violent criminals were spanked as children, and many cases of bullying at school have been linked to abuse cases". That most violent criminals and bullies were spanked does not tell us much, the pro-spankers say, unless it is also known that most virtuous people were not spanked: supposing that as children Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, and Martin Luther King all received some spankings, what conclusion is one supposed to draw from the fact that Charles Manson, David ("Son of Sam") Berkowitz and Ted ("Unabomber") Kaczynski did too? At most, they say, one might be tempted to conclude that spanking is not a very reliable tool for instilling moral values. But, pro-spankers argue, even this conclusion would be misleading, since for all we know the "spankings" administered to Manson, etc., were in fact beatings administered out of revenge or anger, rather than the measured infliction of punishment intended to reinforce a moral lesson. It is only the latter sort of spanking that pro-spankers advocate. And, they insist, there is no evidence at all that spanking of that kind leads to violent crime or bullying. On the contrary, they argue, the gravest threat to respect for human life and limb is ignorance of the ugliness of grave moral disvalue, and (they say) for many children the only cure for this ignorance is spanking, or comparable punishment, used not vindictively but as an instrument of moral education.

But to this some anti-spankers would object that even if the "right sort" of spanking has all the benefits that pro-spankers think it does, the wrong sort of spanking is nonetheless a grave evil that can only be eliminated by outlawing all spanking, "right" as well as wrong. We ought not, they would say, allow a grave evil (child-beating), even for the sake of a great good (the benefit that many children allegedly derive from the "right sort" of spanking). In reply a pro-spanker who endorses the principle of double effect could reply that simply allowing an evil is not always immoral; before the anti-spanker's objection can carry the day the policy of permitting spanking must first be shown to fail the double-effect test: i.e. it must be shown either that (a) the policy is intrinsically evil (like the Nazis' "Final Solution"), or (b) the policy's bad consequences are directly intended, or less-bad consequences would result from some other attempt to secure the policy's good consequences, or (c) the policy's good consequences are the direct effect of its bad consequences, not of the policy itself, or (d) the policy's good consequences do not outweigh the bad. The only way to prove (a) is to prove that all spanking is evil, which (if we accept the pro-spanker's foregoing replies to the anti-spanker's arguments), has not yet been established. Nor (the pro-spanker would argue) does the policy of permitting spanking obviously satisfy conditions (b) or (c). As for condition (d), pro-spankers would argue that the many good effects of permitting parental spanking (aiding perhaps millions of children to perceive the disvalue of misconduct, thereby promoting their happiness and well-being, in addition to that of parents, neighbors, their own future children, co-workers, etc.), are not obviously outweighed by the foreseeable bad consequences. So the pro-spanker doesn't seem rationally obliged to accept the anti-spanker's objection. The principle of double effect (PDE) or doctrine of double effect (DDE), sometimes simply called double effect for short, is a thesis in ethics, usually attributed to Thomas Aquinas. ...

In reply to the charge that spanking violates an implicit promise never to harm the child, some pro-spankers retort that the verb “harm”, as used here, is ambiguous: it may be taken to mean either “inflict physical pain on” or “inflict serious or lasting injury on”. Now, pro-spankers say, only someone who was already convinced on other grounds that spanking is immoral would agree that parenthood implies a promise never to inflict pain. On about implicit promises supposed to convince us that all spanking is immoral?

The allegation by a few anti-spankers that parental spanking on the buttocks is a kind of sexual perversion, or that it “interferes with a child’s normal sexual ... development” strikes some pro-spankers as a specimen of hysteria comparable to the Salem witch trials. If being spanked were a cause of sexual dysfunction, they say, this would surely have come to light long ago (especially since spanking —- and other, more severe forms of corporal punishment —-are less prevalent today than they once were). Such a causal connection, they add, is unsupported by any body of respectable scientific research. Even if such a link were ever established, pro-spankers say, this would impugn only one particular form of corporal punishment, not corporeal punishment per se. And it is the latter that is the anti-spankers' real target.

In answer to anti-spankers' claim that spanking has been proven psychologically harmful by science (as represented by the pronouncements of medical and psychological associations, and of certain United Nations agencies), some pro-spankers attempt to discredit the alleged scientific evidence, as follows. According to these pro-spankers, Western or Westernizing psychologists and physicians share the fondness felt by most self-described progressives for a pair of beliefs, characteristic of nineteenth-century European and North American romanticism, that gained a new lease-on-life in Western universities in the 1960s and 70s: (a) young children are able by reason to distinguish right from wrong, and will naturally choose to do what they perceive as right and (b) punishment of free choices (except perhaps of free choices to punish or harm others) is intrinsically unjust (as evidence for the prevalence of these beliefs in American schools of education, pro-spankers can cite pieces such as William Kirkpatrick's Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong, chapter 5). According to pro-spankers, this pair of beliefs, still dominant in the social sciences and in certain fields of medicine, biases most psychologists and physicians against punishment as such, and especially against corporal punishment (normally perceived as the harshest sort of punishment); this bias, in turn, governs their interpretation, or indeed the construction, of data regarding the benefits and detriments of corporal punishment (for evidence of the role played by philosophical bias in the acceptance or rejection of scientific theories, and even in the construction of "empirical data", pro-spankers are able to cite a plethora of historical and philosophical studies inspired by Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). As a result, they charge, to argue against spanking by appealing to the studies and recommendations of psychologists and physicians, without first showing that their research and inferences were not unduly influenced by the above-mentioned biases, is to commit the logical fallacy of “question-begging“ or petitio principii: claiming to prove a disputed claim by means of a premise that is at least as controversial as the claim in dispute. In logic, begging the question describes a type of logical fallacy, petitio principii, in which the conclusion of an argument is implicitly or explicitly assumed in one of the premises. ...

Some pro-spankers see the anti-spanking movement as part of a (to them, alarming) tendency among a sizeable number of Western elites and professionals to conflate authority, including its exercise in just punishment, with the arbitrary or vindictive use of power (the nineteenth-century Romantic provenance of this "Promethean" view, and its revival in the 1960s, were noted in the last paragraph). Such a confusion, they argue, not only implicitly denigrates the God of the Bible (who is portrayed as not only merciful, but also as justly punishing -- sometimes corporally -- the wrongdoer), it also undermines the distinction between legitimate government and tyranny (a distinction that, these pro-spankers say, ought to be especially important to liberals, in view of their vaunted enmity to political and economic oppression).

Neither the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) nor the American Psychological Association (APA) has come out fully against the practice. In 1998 the former issued a statement that said, in part, "Spanking is only effective when used in selective, infrequent situations." An APA statement permits similar wiggle room: "There is difference of opinion within the psychology community about spanking. But there is general concern that if and when spanking might lead to more severe forms of corporal punishment, parents should avoid [it].[15]"

Selected pro-spanking individuals

These persons are either involved with pro-spanking organizations, and/or have admitted to being for to spanking either in print or in an interview.

James Dobson - Founder of "Focus on the Family" and frequent spanking advocate.
John Rosemond (b. 1947) author, newspaper columnist, 1975 candidate for mayor of Columbus, Ohio
Kenneth Connor (activist) - not to be confused with the late actor of the same name. Former president of the Family Research Council. Generated controversy in 2003 when a letter to the editor of USA Today opposing the ban of school corporal punishment in Pennsylvania was printed, calling anyone who is anti-spanking a zealot who is ruining America. This letter infuriated many anti-spankers, but in the end, Pennsylvania banned school corporal punishment in 2004.
Crystal Bernard (b. 1964) - Actress, best known for role in Wings (TV series). Has spoken in defense of spanking in talk show interviews, and has admitted she believes in spanking.
For other people with the surname Dobson, see Dobson (surname). ... John Rosemond is a family psychologist and author. ... Nickname: Location in the state of Ohio, USA Coordinates: , Country State Counties Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware Government  - Mayor Michael B. Coleman (D) Area  - City 212. ... The Family Research Council (FRC) is a Christian conservative non-profit lobbying organization, formed in the United States by James Dobson in 1981 and incorporated 1983. ... Crystal Bernard Crystal Bernard (born September 30, 1961 in Garland, Texas) is an American actress. ... Wings is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from April 19, 1990 to May 14, 1997. ...

Child's right to self-defense

The issue of a child's right to self-defense has long been debated. Spanking in public and private institutions might be regarded as grounds for assault charges and therefore identification of a victim and perpetrator.

Arguments against spanking

Anti-spanking advocates argue chiefly that spanking is abusive, that it is ineffective, and that it teaches children that physical violence is an acceptable way to deal with other people. They point to the fact that scientific research has failed to back up any of the claims in favor of spanking while research has consistently shown that the number one predictor of violent behavior is whether someone comes from a home where violence is practiced, including a home where children are subjected to physical punishment. Some believe that spanking contributes to physical abuse in cases of domestic violence, bullying at school and physical abuse on siblings. Most violent criminals were spanked as children and many cases of bullying at school have been linked to physical abuse cases. Spanking is also criticized for being a violation[16] of human rights. Many are concerned by the fact that spanking is a sexual activity enjoyed by large sections of the adult population and are afraid that spanking might constitute sexual abuse or cause sexual dysfunction. For other uses, see Violence (disambiguation). ...

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) official policy statement [5] states that "Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior." The AAP states that any corporal punishment methods other than open-hand spanking on the buttocks or extremities "are unacceptable" and "should never be used". Furthermore, they state that "The more children are spanked, the more anger they report as adults, the more likely they are to spank their own children, the more likely they are to approve of hitting a spouse, and the more marital conflict they experience as adults[17] Spanking has been associated with higher rates of physical aggression, more substance abuse, and increased risk of crime and violence when used with older children and adolescents."[18]

The American Psychological Association opposes the use of corporal punishment in schools, juvenile facilities, child care nurseries, and all other institutions, public or private, where children are cared for or educated (Conger, 1975). They state that corporal punishment is violent, unnecessary, may lower self-esteem, is likely to train children to use physical violence, and is liable to instill hostility and rage without reducing the undesired behavior.[19]

The Canadian Pediatrics Society policy on spanking states "The Psychosocial Paediatrics Committee of the Canadian Paediatric Society has carefully reviewed the available research in the controversial area of disciplinary spanking (7-15)... The research that is available supports the position that spanking and other forms of physical punishment are associated with negative child outcomes. The Canadian Paediatric Society, therefore, recommends that physicians strongly discourage disciplinary spanking and all other forms of physical punishment"[20]

England's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal College of Psychiatrists have called for a complete ban on all corporal punishment, stating "We believe it is both wrong and impracticable to seek to define acceptable forms of corporal punishment of children. Such an exercise is unjust. Hitting children is a lesson in bad behaviour."[21] and that "it is never appropriate to hit or beat children"[22]

The Australian Psychological Society holds that physical punishment of children should not be used as it has very limited capacity to deter unwanted behavior, does not teach alternative desirable behavior, often promotes further undersirable behaviors such as defiance and attachment to "delinquent" peer groups, encourages an acceptance of aggression and violence as acceptable responses to conflicts and problems[23]

UNESCO states "During the Commission on Human Rights, UNESCO launched a new report entitled "Eliminating Corporal Punishment - The Way Forward to Constructive Child Discipline". The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has consistently recommended States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to prohibit corporal punishment and other forms of violence against children in institutions, in schools, and in the homes...To discipline or punish through physical harm is clearly a violation of the most basic of human rights. Research on corporal punishment has found it to be counterproductive and relatively ineffective, as well as dangerous and harmful to physical, psychological and social well being. While many States have developed child protection laws and systems violence still continues to be inflicted upon children".[24]

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recommends that States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to prohibit corporal punishment in institutions, in schools, and in the home.[25] However, it should be noted that the Convention itself does not mention the words "corporal punishment" or any similar phrase.

Even without sexual motives on the part of the punisher, some maintain that spanking can interfere with a child’s normal sexual and psychological development. Because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, slapping them can trigger powerful and involuntary sensations of sexual stimulation. This can happen even in very young children, and even in spite of great, clearly upsetting pain.[26]

Dr. Teresa Whitehurst said "The literature is replete with accounts of rape victims who never came forward to name their accuser or even to admit they'd been violated because they were so ashamed at their bodies' involuntary response to touch, thinking that this would suggest they enjoyed the assault. Nerve endings can and do function without our conscious consent. The pendulum is beginning to turn against spanking and paddling as science amasses more and more evidence regarding the sexual role played by the buttocks, and the ways in which any touch -- with a hand or with a paddle -- can create unwelcome but unavoidable arousal." Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, member of ChristCentered Christians for Nonviolent Parenting (CCNP); clinical psychologist; author of How Would Jesus Raise a Child? (Baker Books, 2003), Project Zero, Harvard's premier research institution.

Dr. Whitehurst also made an interesting observation in a letter to a school district: Typing "spanking" into an unfiltered internet search engine will yield results related to pornography rather than parenting. Porn redirects here. ...

Opponents also hold that spanking is ineffective and that other forms of discipline are more successful at teaching a child to behave properly. Also, unlike taking away a child's favorite toy, spanking is permanent and cannot be reversed if it is determined that it was not actually warranted. Spanking may lead, it is argued, to psychological damage and even possible PTS syndrome-related effects due to prolonged fear, feelings of mistrust, being un-loved and love-shyness, alike with bullying at school or other forms of abuse. For other uses, see Discipline (disambiguation). ... The term love-shyness is sometimes used to designate a specific type of severe chronic shyness. ...

The fact that a parent (or other caregiver) is allowed to inflict physical and emotional pain on a child, whereas the same act performed upon another adult would be tantamount to assault, also brings into question the appropriateness of this form of physical punishment.

Opponents also claim that spanking teaches children that violence is an appropriate way to treat one who offends. Some believe that spanking, like clear-cut forms of physical abuse, may perpetuate a "cycle of violence" which contributes to violent behavior in the child as an adult. Children learn by example, and those subjected to the deliberate infliction of physical pain "to teach them a lesson" will, the argument goes, learn that this is an appropriate way to treat others who have wronged them. The term cycle of violence refers to repeated acts of violence between groups as a cyclical pattern, associated with low emotions and doctrines retribution, revenge, such as an eye for an eye. ... Pain redirects here. ...

It is also argued that there is a significant risk in regards to the trust of a parent. If children feel that they are being threatened by this form of chastisement, it is likely that they may have difficulty believing that the parents are there to protect them because of the claim "I would never hurt you" has been violated. This may impair their ability to follow their parents or do what they advise and to listen to them.

When "Biblical" pro-spanking advocates use the "he who spares the rod hates his son" quote from Proverbs 13:24 to support their position, some anti-spankers try to turn the tables by noting that Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, to whom the book of Proverbs is traditionally attributed, grew up to be such a despised ruler that he split his nation in two. But since the traditional attribution of Proverbs to Solomon has been disputed by some biblical scholars, this may be thought a dubious line of argument. A better objection to the use of Proverbs 13:24 to support spanking might be that the Old Testament, from which the book of Proverbs comes, contains many instructions that we today have no moral obligation to follow, such as that a child of unmarried parents may not enter a place of worship (Deuteronomy 23:2), that a menstruating woman must sacrifice two turtles or pigeons to cleanse herself (Leviticus 15: 19-29), and that the parents of a gluttonous and drunkard child, who repeatedly rebels against them, should denounce the child to the men of the city, who should then execute the child by stoning (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Such verses are considered instructions, but most Jews would not advocate the stoning to death of drunkard children or adulterers. On the other hand, this view ignores the fact that the verses which mention "the rod" are from the book of Proverbs, historically interpreted as advice, not law. However, the passages from Deuteronomy and Leviticus are part of the Torah, the Jewish system of law, which Christians reckon obsolete due to Christ's fulfillment of the law. In addition, the use of "rod" in the verses in Proverbs refer to an object, usually a shepherd's staff, a weapon, or a stout club. Therefore, the verses in Proverbs do not advocate hitting a child with an open hand or a small paddle For other uses, see Wine bottle nomenclature. ...

Selected anti-spanking individuals

These persons are either involved with anti-spanking organizations, and/or have admitted to being opposed to spanking either in print or in an interview.

Jordan Riak (b. 1937) - Founder of Parents and Teachers against Violence in Education [27]
Marilu Henner (b. 1952) actress, occasional parenting book author
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) - According to a news interview with his late daughter, Dr. King never spanked any of his children and did not believe in it.
Jeff Charles - Retired teacher, author of "Southern Education" and founder of www.nopaddle.com
Robert Fathman - Co-Founder of EPOCH-USA
Penelope Leach - British author of parenting books.
Marilu Henner (born April 6, 1952) is an American actress and producer. ... Martin Luther King Jr. ... Dr. Penelope Leach (born 1937) is a British psychologist who writes extensively on parenting issues from a child development perspective. ...

Alternatives to spanking

Main article: non-violent child discipline

Opponents of spanking state that there are numerous methods of non-violent child discipline which they think are at least as effective as spanking, and without the negative side-effects that they attribute to spanking. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Minimal use of spanking

Despite the intensity of the controversy over spanking, positions between the two extremes are also common. Indeed, it may be that most people do not support either of the extreme views discussed above. Many parents believe that spanking is not inherently abusive and can sometimes be an effective form of discipline, but also believe that it should usually be avoided. Some, for instance, use spanking only when a child does something dangerous and it is critical that an immediate, lasting impression must be made. Others point out that individual differences in temperament have a great effect on the way children respond to discipline, and criticize both extreme positions on spanking as taking a "one size fits all" approach. They argue that spanking may be the most effective form of discipline for some children, but that it should only be used on those particular children who respond well to spanking and do not respond to alternative methods of discipline. Studies show that the nuerochemical effects of spanking are analogous to the effect produced by taking mild stimulants such as Ritalin or methylphenidate; thus individual temperament and brain chemical balance are key factors in an individual's response to receiving or witnessing a spanking. For temperament in dog fancy, see conformation point. ...

Legal situation

School corporal punishment is banned in most western nations. All of Europe (including the United Kingdom), Canada and New Zealand have banned school corporal punishment. In Australia, corporal punishment in schools is banned, partially or completely, in some states.[28][29] In the United States, 29 states ban corporal punishment in schools. In the remaining states, it is up to each school district to determine whether corporal punishment will be used, in what situations will it be applied, and the manner in which it is given. In a few cases, school officials have lost their jobs for spanking students. There is some disagreement about how much paddling occurs in U.S. schools. Some estimates place the number of paddlings at approximately 350,000 a year, while the National Association of School Psychologists[30] places the number at 1.5 million cases a year.[31] Evidence suggests that in the United States, race and gender play a large role in school corporal punishment, with black students being more likely to be struck than white students, and male students being more likely to be struck than female students, for the same infractions.[32] Corporal punishment of male students also tends to be more severe.[33] In some places, this sexual discrimination has the force of law. For instance, in Queensland, Australia, school corporal punishment of girls was banned in 1934 but corporal punishment of boys in private schools is still legal in 2007.[34]

In the United Kingdom, the striking of children by teachers was made illegal in state schools in 1986 and extended to all schools in 1996[6]. An amendment to the Children Act 2004 to ban striking of children by parents was defeated by 424 votes to 75 in the House of Commons; however, an amendment to ban parents from striking their children hard enough to leave a mark was accepted by 284 votes to 208, and came into force in January 2005 [7]. In January 2006, the UK’s four child commissioners called for a full ban on striking of children, even by parents, but this has been rejected by the government. [8] Type Lower House Speaker Michael Martin, (Non-affiliated) since October 23, 2000 Leader Harriet Harman, (Labour) since June 28, 2007 Shadow Leader Theresa May, (Conservative) since May 5, 2005 Members 659 Political groups Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru Democratic Unionist Party Sinn Féin...

Spanking of children within families is illegal in some countries (for example, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, Greece, South Africa and New Zealand).

On May 16, 2007, New Zealand passed the Child Discipline Bill which scrapped Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which had previously allowed parents to use "reasonable force" in correcting their children. Child welfare groups expressed concern about the wide judicial discretion seemingly given even to cases of 'discipline' that involved physical implements. It had previously outlawed corporal punishment within its educational institutions in 1989. However, the new law orders police not to prosecute "inconsequential" offences. is the 136th day of the year (137th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... The Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Act was a widely controversial amendment to the New Zealand Crimes Act which was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament as a private members bill in 2005, and passed overwhelmingly in 2007. ... Corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain intended to change a persons behavior or to punish them. ...

Similar initiatives in the U.S. have repeatedly failed. Parental rights groups have formed since the 1990s to prevent spanking from being criminalized. Critics of these organisations ask why these organisations assert a parental "right" to corporal punishment without acknowledging equivalent parental responsibilities. Some critics also state that children's rights should come first, and parental rights should come second. Advocates of parents' right to spank their children reply that (a) to assert a parental right to responsible use of corporal punishment is itself to acknowledge parental responsibility, namely, the parental responsibility to correct children by reasonable use of physical force, and (b) it is not "putting parents' rights ahead of children's rights" to assert that children have a right to parental guidance and correction, including correction by spanking. Groups in the United States seeking a ban on spanking are Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education [9] and EPOCH-USA [10]. Groups or articles opposed to such a ban include "Spare the Rod? New Research Challenges Spanking Critics" [11], Family Integrity [12], and The Family Defense Network of Ohio [13]. The various forms of allowable spanking vary from state to state, but most states generally allow spanking as a form of discipline.[35] The Supreme Court of Canada has, as of 2004, upheld a law which allows spankings by parents, caregivers, and teachers, but has restricted the law to only apply to children ages two to twelve.[14]. However, Canada now bans spanking children younger than 24 months or older than 12 years, and bans the use of any implements (belts, paddles, etc.). The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. ...

United Nations human rights standards discourage all corporal punishment, including spanking.[16] But the assumptions and motives behind the UN's position have been questioned [15]. In particular, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child does not itself mention corporal punishment. UN and U.N. redirect here. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ...

In November 2007, lawmakers in Massachusetts are proposing legislation banning parents from spanking their children, even in the home.[36]

Non-punitive and voluntary spankings

Spanking exists in spheres of life distinct from punishment. Note the issue of legal consent which may or may not represent a defence to criminal liability for any injuries caused during the spanking. Apart from the erotic and from fraternity/sorority type initiations, which have their origin in educational (domestic or boot camp) types of discipline, these include: In the criminal law, consent may be an excuse and prevent the defendant from incurring liability for what was done. ...

Folkloristic spanking traditions

In Latvia there is a tradition of hard spanking on Palm Sunday (called Pussy willow Sunday) morning. The spanker sneaks into the potential spankee's bedroom and wakes him or her up. the whipping is done with pussy willow branches or (rarely) birch. This ritual spanking is often applied to the bare buttocks. Usually young men catch girls or young women and order them to bend over for spanking. [16] Spanking on the bare bottom was optional, but in some areas completely naked whipping with pussy willow branches has been done too. Sometimes spanking is done in early morning with aspen tree birch, while people are sleeping naked or in nightgown. [17] For the book by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ...

Religious customs

On the first day of the lunar Chinese new year holidays, a week-long 'Spring Festival', the most important festival for Chinese people all over the world, thousands of Chinese visit the Taoist Dong Lung Gong temple in Tungkang to go through the century-old ritual to get rid of bad luck, men by receiving spankings and women by being whipped (as in the Ancient Roman -unisex- Lupercalia); the number of strokes to being administered (always lightly) by the temple staff is decided in either case by the god Wang Ye and by burning incense and tossing two pieces of wood, after which all go home happily, believing their luck will improve. [18] One prime example of a pagan Czech Easter celebration is the "pomlazka".[19] Farmers used to believe that a strong whipping after the winter period guaranteed health, prosperity, and most importantly a good harvest. It is only the women who are given a good spanking on bare posteriors with whips made of willow twigs, decorated with colourful ribbons. It is mainly younger boys who go from door to door, hoping to thrash a few girls on their naked buttocks to get some eggs in return, while singing traditional Easter carols. After strong spankings, boys come and throw girls in a stream, or put girls' heads under a water pipe to be sure to give a good shower.[20] The Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through February 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and to make a clear distinction between fact and fiction, this article may require cleanup. ...

Birthday spanking

There is a custom in certain circles to administer spankings to the buttocks of the birthday celebrant. Customarily, the person receives the number of smacks corresponding to his or her age, plus "one to grow on", often harder than the rest, and sometimes a "pinch to grow an inch".[37] A possible origin of this tradition is the smack often given to newborn infants intended to help them start breathing.[38]

Adult spanking

Adult spanking is a highly contentious form of discipline spanking that is frequently mis-categorized and misunderstood. The controversy stems from a multitude of sources. First, there are those that prefer to consider spanking in this form as something that can only occur between a parent and a child. This opinion is backed up by the APA who includes parent - child relationship as part of the definition.[39] Second, there are few recognized legitimate scientific studies that have been conducted on the subject. The leading source of funding for such research is an organization that earns its revenue through the promotion of entertainment spanking services leading skeptics to question the legitimacy of the work [21]. Third, the lack of credible licensed practitioners often leads to individual claims of group membership through self-diagnosis, affirmation from others who have made similar claims and a variety of alternative therapists. A study by McNulty and Wardle suggests that attempts to seek help through typical support channels may lead individuals to seek comfort through unconventional means.[40] Consensual spanking is for adults wishing to indulge in a spanking relationship either for pleasure or as lifestyle choice. ...

Adult spanking differs from traditional parent-child spanking in that the act is between two consenting adults. Adults engage in the activity for several different reasons. The most common is simply playful spanking amongst people engaging in other intimate activities. There are two groups of people whose use of spanking is discipline related. The first group incorporates spanking as part of their overall belief system in how a husband and wife should interrelate (see domestic discipline). Domestic discipline (abbreviated DD) is discipline (the enforcement of order, usually by punishment for infringement of rules applied in a domestic context, normally between members of a household. ...

The second group considers spanking to be an essential component of their recovery and/or development.[41] These individuals subscribe to the notion that they require some form of retraining or reparenting to be able to function as adults.[42][43] They claim that the act of spanking is a necessary mechanism for modifying the behavior of the adapted child ego state of the adult being spanked.[44] The idea is extracted from Alexander’s claim that a corrective emotional experience was required to allow patients to repair traumatic influence of previous experiences.[45] They claim is not without merit as preliminary studies into this class of adult spanking indicate that participants have suffered from some form of childhood abuse. However, there is evidence to suggest that these individuals are in fact “stuck” in the earlier stages of recovery and lack the appropriate support to move on.[46][citation needed]

As a sexual act

Spanking is a part of sexual foreplay for some adults, often as a lighthearted playful activity. There is a genre of pornography that incorporates spanking as a sexual fetish. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Porn redirects here. ... Look up fetish in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Recreational context

Playful enactment

Child's play often imitates real life, especially featuring part of daily life, even the most unpleasant.

Thus it has been recorded by a captain in the Royal Navy that boys on board often enacted the beatings they were subjected to in reality, both the 'day to day' caning and the truly painful and humiliating public administration of a flogging with the boy's pussy (lighter version of the cat o' nine tails) taking turns in the actual position on deck, sometimes including the lowering of the trousers (but using a cane for lack of a cat) [22]. The Cat O Nine Tails is a type of multi-tailed whip that originated as a tool of corporal punishment from the British navy. ...

Spanking booth

This fun fair-type attraction is a disciplinarian variation of the kissing booth, where the volunteer(s) (sometimes rather assigned, e.g. pledges as part of hazing) must earn the donations (either for charity or the funds of the organizing society) by enduring swats, for example with a paddle, usually bending over and/or in ridiculous and/or exposing costume. The rules may or may not prevent an actual painful 'punishment' of the bottom. See also: Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Lines, Carnivàle Swabian-Alemannic carnival clowns in Wolfach, Germany A carnival parade is a public celebration, combining some elements of a circus and public street party, generally during the Carnival Season. ... A kissing booth is an area at a carnival where a person kisses people for money. ... Pledge is a verb, meaning to promise solemnly, and a noun, meaning the promise or its maker or its object. ... Hazing is an often ritualistic test and a task, which may constitute harassment, abuse or humiliation with requirements to perform random, often meaningless tasks, sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group. ...

  • In large groups this may well take the form of a spanking tunnel, which is a double row of spankers (a characteristic of running the gauntlet) the spankee has to run through, or crawl on hands and knees, thus presenting the butt (sometimes bared) exposed to hand slaps or even to implements such as paddles (hence sometimes also called a paddle machine).
  • This is also sometimes done in a variant manner with a single line of spankers whose legs remain spread wide while the spankee has to crawl on hands and knees through the tunnel so formed.

In either case it is usually kept mild, more horseplay than punishment. Running the gauntlet (alternative spellings gantlet and rarely gantlope or gantelope) is a form of physical punishment by which a person is compelled to run through a double line of soldiers who attempt to strike him or her as they pass. ...


  1. ^ Insert footnote text here
  2. ^ Day, Randal., Predicting Spanking of Younger and Older Children by their Mothers and Fathers. Journal of Marriage and the Family 60 (February 1998): 79-94
  3. ^ Straus, 1994; 1999; Kindlon and Thompson, 1999; Newberger, 1999; Hyman, 1997
  4. ^ http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21513919-2702,00.html
  5. ^ http://www.criminology.unimelb.edu.au/staff/alastair_nicholson/Hug_Not_Hit.pdfPDF (218 KiB)
  6. ^ http://www.endcorporalpunishment.org/pages/progress/reports/australia.html
  7. ^ Schools lose legal fight over smacking, BBC News, 12 December 2002, (accessed 26 June 2007)
  8. ^ PADDLING AND SPANKING: OFFICIAL RULES FROM CURRENT SCHOOL HANDBOOKS - page 5 -- Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, corpun - World Corporal Punishment Research, (accessed 26 June 2007)
  9. ^ http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/pospaper_corppunish.aspx
  10. ^ Owen, S.S. (2005). The relationship between social capital and corporal punishment in schools: A theoretical inquiry. Youth and Society, 37, 85-112.
  11. ^ Gregory, James F. Crime of punishment: Racial and gender disparities in the use of corporal punishment in U.S. public schools, The. Journal of Negro Education. Fall 1995.
  12. ^ Straus, 1994; Kipnis, 1999; Kindlon and Thompson, 1999; Newberger, 1999; Hyman, 1997
  13. ^ Queensland Department of Education, http://education.qld.gov.au/information/service/libraries/edhistory/topics/corporal/regulations.html
  14. ^ Scott, George Ryley 'The History of Corporal Punishment', T Werner Laurie Ltd, 1938
  15. ^ http://www.time.com/time/connections/article/0,9171,1191825,00.html
  16. ^ a b Hitting people is wrong – and children are people too.. Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, Save the Children Sweden (2003-03-09). Retrieved on 2007-04-10.
  17. ^ Straus MA. Spanking and the making of a violent society. Pediatrics 1996; 98:837-842 PMID 8885984
  18. ^ Cohen P. How can generative theories of the effects of punishment be tested? Pediatrics 1996; 98:834-836 PMID 8885983
  19. ^ http://www.apa.org/pi/cyf/res_punish.html
  20. ^ http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/pp/pp04-01.htm#Forms%20of%20discipline
  21. ^ http://www.corpun.com/ukdm9809.htm
  22. ^ http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/112/3/S1/732
  23. ^ http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/lc/qalc.nsf/ad22cc96ba50555dca257051007aa5c8/ca25707400260aa3ca25706f0001d5c8!OpenDocument
  24. ^ http://www.canadiancrc.com/Child_Abuse/Supreme_Court_Case_Spanking.htm
  25. ^ http://www.canadiancrc.com/Child_Abuse/Supreme_Court_Case_Spanking.htm
  26. ^ Tom Johnson: The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
  27. ^ www.nospank.net
  28. ^ http://www.criminology.unimelb.edu.au/staff/alastair_nicholson/Hug_Not_Hit.pdfPDF (218 KiB)
  29. ^ http://www.endcorporalpunishment.org/pages/progress/reports/australia.html
  30. ^ http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/pospaper_corppunish.aspx
  31. ^ Owen, S.S. (2005). The relationship between social capital and corporal punishment in schools: A theoretical inquiry. Youth and Society, 37, 85-112.
  32. ^ Gregory, James F. Crime of punishment: Racial and gender disparities in the use of corporal punishment in U.S. public schools, The. Journal of Negro Education. Fall 1995.
  33. ^ Straus, 1994; Kipnis, 1999; Kindlon and Thompson, 1999; Newberger, 1999; Hyman, 1997
  34. ^ Queensland Department of Education, http://education.qld.gov.au/information/service/libraries/edhistory/topics/corporal/regulations.html
  35. ^ The various forms of allowable spanking vary from state to state, but most states generally allow spanking as a form of discipline.
  36. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3924024
  37. ^ http://www.smartspanking.com/light.html
  38. ^ http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Spanking_-_Non-punitive_amp_Voluntary_spankings/id/5052390
  39. ^ American Psychological Association (APA). 750 First Street NE, Washington DC 20002. Web site: www.apa.org.
  40. ^ McNulty, C., & Wardle, J. (1994). Adult disclosure of sexual abuse: A primary cause of psychological distress? Child Abuse and Neglect, 18, 549-555.
  41. ^ Zimberoff, D., & Hartman. , (2001), Existential issues in Heart-Centered therapies: A developmental approach. Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies, 4(1), 3-55.
  42. ^ Cornett, C. (June, 2005). The cyclical pattern of child physical abuse from a psychoanalytic self-psychology perspective. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. Vol2 No. 2
  43. ^ Peterson, Joann. (1981) "Parent Aide Programs: The Reparenting Process". Proceedings of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  44. ^ Watkins, J., & Watkins, H. (1997). Ego States: Theory and Therapy. New York: Norton
  45. ^ Alexander, F., French, T. M., et al. (1946). Psychoanalytic Therapy: Principles and Application. New York: Ronald Press.
  46. ^ Bratton, M. (1999), From Surviving to Thriving: A Therapist's Guide to Stage II Recovery for Survivors of Childhood. Hawthorne Press.

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See also

Look up spanking in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Erotic spanking can sometimes go hand in hand with other paraphilia, such as for erotic clothes or erotic humiliation. ...

External links


Children's views

  • Results of a 1998 survey in England and Wales
  • Comments on CBBC Newsround website
  • Smacking: Right or wrong? CBBC Newsround

Current CBBC Logo CBBC - short for Childrens BBC - is the brand-name for the BBCs childrens television programmes aimed at children aged between 6 and 12 years old. ... Newsround (originally called John Cravens Newsround, before the departure of Craven) is a BBC childrens news programme, which has run continuously since 4 April 1972, and was the worlds first television news magazine aimed specifically at children. ...


  • Family Integrity
  • A pro-spanking activism group
  • Spanking (Focus on The Family)
  • (U.S.) State by State laws allowing certain forms of spanking

  Results from FactBites:
Spanking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4241 words)
Spanking (or smacking) is the most used traditional form of physical punishment, consisting of a sharp smack, usually with an open hand, applied on the buttocks.
Next there are descriptive terms for spanking using a synonym of buttocks and a generic term for (corporal) punishment, such as posterior chastisement, stern discipline, sometimes specifying the degree of nakedness of the spankee, as in panties-down, or bare-bottom punishment.
Spanking may lead, it is argued, to psychological damage and even possible PTS syndrome-related effects due to prolonged fear, feelings of mistrust and being un-loved, alike with bullying at school or other forms of abuse.
Erotic spanking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (522 words)
Erotic spanking can be regarded as a form of BDSM activity in some cases (sadomasochism in particular), although many spanking devotees do not regard it as such.
The most common type of erotic spanking is administered on the bare buttocks, with the spankee in many cases being fully nude, for additional sexual arousal, or for humiliation (but mainly in a BDSM context).
It is a common practice in the United States for a stripper to spank the groom-to-be during his bachelor party, while his drunk friends cheer her on.
  More results at FactBites »



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