Even if children are not physically harmed, we know that spanking sends a message to children that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems (Rollins, 2012).
Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses.
This special issue on corporal punishment addresses arguments for and against prohibitions of the historically widespread practice of disciplinary spanking by parents.
Does the scientific evidence show that spanking is invariably detrimental regardless of how it is used?
Spanking-prohibition and conditional-spanking positions differ, too, on whether the use of disciplinary spanking is always or generally harmful in a cost-benefit analysis.
Much of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding use or non-use of spanking could be avoided if parents better understood that, in most cases, the physical nature of a spanking probably has little to do with the effects of spanking on children's later emotional and behavioral development--for better or for worse.
The main reason for this, and one that many parents understand intuitively, is that spanking a child is just a type of punishment: the real impact of punishment stems from how a parent delivers it and from how a child reacts to it and perceives it.
The result of spanking is our children's fear and resentment of us," asserts Murray Straus, the most prominent "researcher" of the anti-spanking movement.
His studies, he says, demonstrate a strong correlation between spanking and psychological trauma-- specifically, depression and suicide.
Spanking was not a last resort; it was the form of discipline we used when a child talked back or refused to obey.
Spanking is merely a tool in the child-rearing process.
Two years have passed since the incident occurred, and although Edwards recounts the tale with humor, she still remembers the initial shock and subsequent anger she felt when her mild spanking was misconstrued as child abuse.
While child welfare advocates and child psychologists frown upon spanking as a form of discipline, many parents say a mild spanking is sometimes the only way to get through to their kids.
Thanks to numerous reports that have appeared in the popular media, it now seems as though there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that spanking is a highly detrimental practice which not only is largely ineffective, but also leads inevitably to some degree of emotional damage.
In my opinion, this across-the-board condemnation of spanking is based more on personal attitudes than professional studies.