Recently, a school in the US state of Georgia controversially claimed that it was going to bring back paddling as a form of punishment for children. This is certainly shocking news to anyone horrified that corporal punishment is still a thing in 2018, particularly in supposedly economically developed countries.
Across the globe, there are merely sixty countries that have outlawed corporal punishment against children at home, including Kenya, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden, which was actually the first country to ban it in 1979. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Scotland and Wales are both in the process of restricting or banning smacking for good.
In the USA, there are actually 28 states (as well as DC) that completely prohibit the use of corporal punishment in schools. On the other hand, though, there are 15 states that explicitly allow corporal punishment to take place, including Florida, Texas, and North Carolina.
According to a poll conducted by ABC news in 2017, spanking children in school is supported by around 26% of adults in the USA. However, this percentage rises to 65% when it comes to the approval of spanking in the home, and is a figure which has remained more-or-less stable since 1990.
However, the typical professional opinion of regular spanking is not only that it is ineffective, but that it can damage the wellbeing of children and adolescents, too. Without a doubt, many will react with the inevitable claim of “well, it didn’t do me any harm”, but the scientific research that has been gathered so far suggests otherwise.
The most expansive study to date involves 75 papers collected from over a 50-year period and includes over 160,000 children. The results from this study showed that spanking is connected to 13 out of 17 measured outcomes, which include higher levels of antisocial behavior and poorer mental health in both childhood and adulthood.
Everyone knows just how malleable young brains really are, and the effects mentioned above are merely a handful of the ways that spanking can have an adverse effect on children in both the present and the future.