spank, or not to spank? “When it comes to rearing children, no debate is more contentious -- or longer running -- than the dispute over spanking” (Goode 2001). This is a long discussed question that has been debated, studied and picked apart for quite some time. Where do you stand? Where do I stand? Is spanking used for discipline considered abuse or is it not? Let’s trek through this topic and see where your answers stand at the end.
First, let us begin to define what spanking is; “remarkable of its kind” or “being fresh and strong” as the Merriam Webster dictionary states. However, this is not the relevant use of the term “spanking” in which I am about to discuss. The term spanking when used as an adjective first appeared in the year 1787 (“Spanking”), and was used as an expressive term for something being fancied. For example; someone commenting on how “spanking” clean my house is. Whereas when used as a noun, the term spank first came about in the year 1712 and is defined as “to strike especially on the buttocks with the open hand” (“Spanking”).
The history of spanking from generation to generation has changed tremendously over the decades. There was a point in time where spanking was considered an integral part of discipline and it was not considered to be abusive in nature. My dad used to tell me stories of when he was a child and was always spanked for misbehaving - then even I grew up in a home where spanking was the normal reprimand for disobedience. For now, we won’t focus so much on my life experience with spanking but rather to point out both the good and the bad - the “pros and cons”, would you, of spanking in the form of discipline. The point that I am attempting to show in this paper is that the use of spanking in the form of discipline is not necessarily understood by everyone; people tend to stay educated only on the parts they believe in. I hope to broaden the perspective to both arguments about physical punishment. The use of a spank for noncompliance was acceptable and approved in generations before us and now, in present day, is mostly reflected upon in a manner that bears a striking unfortunate resemblance to abuse.
It quite possibly might astonish you that I question what bad there is in the use of spanking for discipline. Is it really as atrocious and abusive as our present society has made it out to be? Perhaps that is true in some cases of spanking, but you have to consider all the elements of that child’s life that play into those situations. I am not writing to convince you that spanking is the only option (or not) for discipline, or to argue the facts about spanking used to regulate behavior in disobedient children. I am simply opening the door to both viewpoints and allowing you, as the reader, to consider all aspects on the issue of spanking.
There have been hundreds of studies over the years in regards to the sensitive and long debated topic of spanking for discipline. Let’s begin with a more negative facet of...