Here’s a quick question; did your parents ever give you a spanking when you we a kid?
You most likely were at some point. According to a Harris Poll that was published in 2013, 9 out of 10 adults reported that they were spanked when they were kids. However, what makes these findings particularly interesting is the fact that a vast majority of adults today don’t seem to have any problems with spanking. As a matter of fact, 4 out of 5 support physical punishment in some form.
Whatever camp you belong to, it is important to give cognizance to one significant scientific fact; while spanking might be a quality fix for the short term, it could do much more harm than good in the long term. It might seem like a statement at was just made out of the blue, but there is a significant set of findings that provide backing to this point.
In an international study that was published in the journal of public health, BMJ Open, we see the power that this kind of punishment has on the minds and bodies of kids as they grow. The report, which was titled “Corporal Punishment Bans and Physical Fighting in Adolescents: An Ecological Study of 88 Countries”, was conducted to examine the link between corporal punishment beans and the feel of youth violence internationally.
In their work, researchers took a look at the populations from countries that have instituted bans on corporal punishment (with these bans covering forms of corporal punishment like spanking and hitting). Upon collecting wide datasets over the course of many years, the researchers concluded that the societies where these protective restrictions have been instituted are known to be much safer on a general level.
Frank Elgar, who was the lead author in the study and who works as an associate professor in the Institute of Health and Policy at the McGill University of Montreal, said that the study is “one of the widest cross-national studies ever conducted on youth violence”. This means that before this report was published, psychologists, pediatrician and other behavioral health professionals didn’t have evidence that they needed to back up their allegations that various forms of corporal punishment are detrimental to the development of children and the society at large.
Out of the 88 countries that were surveyed, 30 of them had full bans on corporal punishment, 38 (including the United States) had partial bans, and 20 had no bans instituted. Researchers discovered that “boys in countries that had a full ban showed 69% the rate of fighting that was found in countries that didn’t have any bans”, and girls exhibited “42% the rate of fighting that was found in countries without bans”
Also, another fact that makes the study particularly interesting is the fact that the result doesn’t seem to be affected in any way by status.
Elgar said, “Bans and the level of youth violence are in no way correlated to the wealth of a nation. There are some low-income countries that happen to be very peaceful, while some richer countries, such as the United States, the U.K. and Canada, aren’t fairing so well”
The results also show a bit of a remarkable trend. Violence is generally lessened in countries that are committed to eradicating corporal punishment both at home and school.
This is something to keep in mind, especially if you’ll like for your kids to grow up in a peaceful world.