Should America Constitutionalize The Spanking of Children?
Parental spankings in Kansas are recalled.
The Bridge: A Return to Tough Love
A black columnist says permissiveness has gone too far, and maintains that "ass-beatings saved my life".
Getting Spanked, and Cared For (Alternative link)
Transcript of a short talk on National Public Radio by Youth Radio's Brandon McFarland, who recalls getting the belt from his father.
In Defense of Spanking: What Every Parent Should Know About Corporal Punishment
An educator, psychologist and father of three, Paul J. Preston, presents a whole website of several pages explaining why spanking is needed and countering the views of the anti-spank "experts". As he says, "we have allowed the anti-spanking movement to shape the debate", and it is time for parents to fight back. He makes commonsense suggestions about how and when to spank. Refreshingly, all this is based on pragmatic considerations, not religious ones, and he also doesn't exclude spanking older teens when they need it.
Long and thorough article in Salon.com (Feb 2007) prompted by the failed attempt to ban domestic CP in California. When, the author wonders, did a swat on the bum become child abuse?
Use the Rod, Spoil the Child
Is corporal punishment the proper way to nurture moral character? No, says this article in Sojourners Magazine (April 2005).
On not sparing the rod (New URL)
A Christian viewpoint on the merits of spanking for young children.
Definitions at the Urban Dictionary. See definitions 4 and 6.
Parenting and Home Discipline (Alternative link)
Somewhat rambling article, from a Nigerian Christian point of view. The author is "a firm believer in the use of spanking as a disciplinary measure".
Joe Kelley's The Sake Of Argument: It Doesn't Take A Village
A blogger comments on this Nov 2003 news story about a Connecticut minister who spanked two boys at their widowed mother's request. The minister was acquitted of assault. The writer agrees with the jury.
Bob Jennings' World o' Racing
This page about motor racing mentions, apropos of nothing in particular, that racing driver Jack Hewitt was seen spanking his young son in the pits in 1986. The author opines that if he did that now he would be arrested.
Mock Trial Exercises: Paddling Spanky (Alternative link)
A mock trial exercise for students, from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. It uses a purely fictional (and rather far-fetched) case of parental CP to consider some of the legal issues.
Everybody Can Get Chris
National Review Online article (Sep 2005) about Chris Rock, the inspiration for a TV comedy show called Everybody Hates Chris, mentions his mother's "relentlessly pro-spanking philosophy".
Discipline, not spanking, is the issue
Syndicated article (May 2006) by John Rosemond, something of a bête noir of the no-spank people. He claims to have been misunderstood, and that he's not really all that much in favour of parental spanking after all. In particular, he thinks biblical references to "the rod" were only ever meant metaphorically, and should not be taken to mean CP specifically. He just doesn't believe it's an area where the government should interfere.
Boy getting spanked, kids looking on
Here you can buy a painting of this title by Angus Peter MacDonall.
Spare the quarter-inch plumbing supply line, spoil the child
Extremely long piece in Salon.com looks at controversy within Christianity over parental spanking in the USA.
Labor laws and personal beliefs collide
An illustrated piece from the Seattle Times (July 2004) about a Christian fundamentalist who employs his sons, aged 12 and 15 (pictured), in his construction business. The state does not approve. He's also been in trouble over corporal punishment when he was running a homeless shelter, so presumably these boys got their fair share of spankings.
The ABCs of Liberal 'Journalism'
A spokesman for something called the "Culture & Family Institute", evidently yet another right-wing thinktank, berates (May 2005) the mainstream media for their anti-spanking bias.
Spare the Rod? New Research Challenges Spanking Critics
1996 paper by the Family Research Council points out that many "studies" fail to distinguish between "appropriate spanking" and "kicking, punching and beating" and thus arrive the false conclusion that all disciplinary spanking is harmful.
Naughty Kids Discipline Equipment
Naughty Kids Punishment Pants
Naughty Kids Punishment Clothing
Naughty Kids Punishment Stickers and Badges
Here you can order clothing, e.g. underpants with "please remove before spanking" on the back; stickers and badges ("This Naughty Child has been Spanked over Mummy's Knee"); implements (e.g. hairbrush with "spanked boy" logo); and, best of all, "Punishment Pants for Boys", with miniature electrodes sewn into them. "With Johnny dressed in a pair of Punishment Pants, mummy can simply deliver a spank to the boy's bare bottom at the touch of a button". P.S. it's all a joke -- I think. As someone remarked in the site's Guest Book (now disappeared), this should get the humourless anti-spanking brigade wonderfully riled up.
Parents, Politics And The Breakdown Of The Family (Alternative link)
Article (July 2005) by a novelist, Timothy Stelly, who argues that children need fathers to be around, as well as mothers, and they also need discipline. He claims that children from fatherless homes are "20 times more likely to have behavioral issues" and cites an amazing statistic (which I haven't been able to check) that 85% of all youths in prison grew up in a fatherless home. The anti-spanking law in Sweden is described as a failed experiment.
Fellowship Baptist Church: Rebellion
"God designed chastisement as the proper force to be used by parents to control the rebellion of their children", according to this Texas-based outfit. The document goes into detail about exactly how to do the chastising, including the dimensions of different sizes of dowel rods for different ages of children. You are recommended to stop in between each set of three swats to "give the child a chance to surrender".
Old Order Mennonites
The Mennonites in question are rural, German-speaking, fundamentalist Protestants living in New York State who routinely use corporal punishment on their children. This is a review of a book about them, raising questions about whether the public authorities should leave them to carry on their lives as they see fit, or attempt by force to bring them into line with what is currently deemed to be fashionable in "modern America".
A thread on a message board called The Cellar tackles the subject of parental spanking. There are the usual wildly conflicting and mostly drearily familiar opinions (many of them half-baked and badly expressed), and the usual complete failure to arrive at any consensus. There seem to be discussions like this on hundreds of message boards out there. Do they serve any useful purpose? Who can be bothered to plough through all this stuff?
A thread (2004) on a message board for Nigerians in America. Most of the contributors extol the merits of the "ass whippings" they got back home in Africa, and take a dim view of American kids' out-of-control behavior which results (in their view) from a currently fashionable reluctance to spank.
How To Handle Visits From Social Service Agents
Primarily aimed at US Christian families who are home-schooling, this page explains what to do if so-called "social workers" start persecuting you for spanking your children.
Christian crusaders go to battle over spanking
Feb 2005 news item from the San Francisco Chronicle about disagreements within Christianity over CP for kids, sparked by advertisements selling "The Rod", a 22-inch nylon whipping stick, "the ideal tool for child training".
The Wal-Mart Special, by Melinda Ruley
Amusing essay from The Independent Weekly of North Carolina (May 2001) on how to go about spanking your kids in the supermarket.
Mother irate at spanking claim
News from Wyoming (July 2004) about a boy who claimed a neighbour spanked him in the street, which the neighbour plausibly denies. Looks like a stupid fuss about nothing by the typically overindulgent, self-obsessed mother of a lying, whiny brat.
Who supports the Christian anti-communism crusade? [HISTORY]
This is from 1971. A Dallas mother writes that after her nine-year-old son broke a neighbor's window with a slingshot, "his caboose stayed red for quite some time".
Chris Castile: A Christian Kid in Hollywood [HISTORY]
This soi-disant "teen acting sensation" (of whom I had never heard) reveals that he got his share of spankings when younger. Brats need spanking, in his view, and today's parents should not be afraid to discipline their teenagers.
Listen to Your Mother: Native American Thoughts on Mother Earth on Mother's Day
I've read elsewhere that many Native Americans have never used CP on their children, but according to this the Micmacs have a switch hanging on the wall as a warning against naughtiness, and sometimes it might get used.
In Defense of Biblical Chastisement
Very long and detailed fundamentalist Christian stuff.
Jesus Christ suffered, crucified, buried
More religion. It's astonishing how much of this kind of stuff there is out there. Anyway, about three quarters of the way down the page, the author describes receiving trousers-down spankings from his father.
My daddy never spared the rod (or belt), and look how I turned out
Humour (2004) from Ben Beagle of the Roanoke Times.
Survey Finds Nearly All Parents Yell at Their Kids But Harsh Words Are Unnecessary
According to this research, more than half of youths in their early teens who had been spanked as young children were still being spanked an average of eight times a year.
Christian History Corner: To Spank or Not to Spank? [HISTORY]
Article in Christianity Today. A 6th-century abbot and a group of 17th-century Calvinist "divines" weigh in on the issue.
State Director of DPS urges call to service
The Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety urges parents to spank their children.
The Sons of Murphy Brown: Wimps and Barbarians
Long Kulturkampf essay on the lamentable state of modern American boys brought about by currently fashionable styles of upbringing. Part of the problem, the author suggests, is that they never get spanked, though there is a great deal more to it than that, to do with the need to rediscover the concept of manliness. An unexpectedly cultured and literate piece, in places quite persuasive, though I doubt if many people these days think that men should hold doors open for women just because they are women. (I prefer to hold doors open for human beings, without regard to what kind of sexual organs they happen to have.) Oddly, the author turns out to be the principal of a private school that doesn't use CP.
Spare the Rod, Spoil the Coasts
The Hoover Institution notes (1998) that support for CP in the USA is strongest in the "heartland" (especially in the South, but also the mid-West). Opponents are to be found mainly in California and the North-east. Much as one would expect, in fact.
Woman Sentenced for Child Abuse
Depressing Florida case from July 2003. The accused had beaten her children with a variety of objects. "When a parent uses an object to spank a child it qualifies as abuse", a self-appointed "expert" told the court. Quite how the four kids were going to be helped by putting their mother in prison for four years -- rather than, for instance, working with her to improve her parenting techniques -- isn't explained.
Facing the Wave: Beyond Notions of Shelter
Scroll down to May 11, 2000. Somebody or other reminisces about parental spankings. The anticipation was always worse than the actual spanking.
The sad ballad of Bing and his boys [HISTORY]
Unhappy story of the lives of Bing Crosby's offspring. He whipped his sons (or so one of them alleges) on their bare backsides with a studded belt and, later, a cane, until they bled. This went on until they were 18.
The Definitive Crosby Biography [HISTORY]
San Francisco Chronicle review of a new biography of Bing, "the only major figure in popular music who had a classical education" (at Gonzaga, a strict Jesuit high school). He was much nicer than you think, according to this, and it appears the CP allegations may have been exaggerated. Also, the author has found magazine articles from the 1950s in which Crosby said how much he regretted hitting his kids. Either way, none of it seems to have done them much good -- they all ended up as drunken wastrels, and two of them have committed suicide.
Use Lovingly and Never in Anger
Ordering a Paddle
Order your free spanking paddle here. See also this December 2002 news item. The site also has an extensive message board.
Vessels Unto Honour [PDF]
Newsletter for "the Christian Woman" includes instructions on child training and discipline. Children should be spanked on the bare bottom if possible, it says.
Child Training and Discipline
Common-sense instructions from Pastor Arthur F. Kohl.
Love Or Abuse
A poem in defence of spanking.
Getting The Belt: The Politically Correct Spanking of the Future
A bible-based essay suggesting that a return to the use of the belt in the home will actually decrease the incidence of child abuse.
Ferndale Baptist Church: Statement of Faith [PDF]
A church in South Carolina reminds parents that they are responsible for applying "scriptural corporal correction" to their children.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing, by Garner Ted Armstrong: Chapter Five - "How to Get Results"
Garner Ted Armstrong! Goodness me, I remember his fundamentalist religious rantings on the radio 50 years ago. Here, for what it's worth, he tells us what to do and what not to do in the spanking of small children.
Embarrassing College 1966 [HISTORY]
A former victim of Garner Ted Armstrong's World Wide Church of God (see previous item) writes that he was still getting pants-down spankings, up to three times a day, at age 18.
Women's Dress Ruling, by Herbert W. Armstrong [PDF] [HISTORY]
More unintentional hilarity from the World Wide Church of God (see previous two items). In this article from 1962, Armstrong père delivers himself of the view that any girl or woman wearing a short, tight skirt needs "a sound spanking of what she so brazenly displays".
Appreciating The Ultimate Dad
Scroll down to Section II, "A father's discipline", in this article from the Davis Chinese Christian Church of California.
Sitting in jail for spanking
Article (November 2002) in the Las Vegas Review-Journal about parents being persecuted by "social workers" for spanking their own kids.
"The Spanking" [HISTORY]
Author of a weblog describes a belting he received at the hands of his father.
The Loving Art of Spanking
Detailed instructions for religious parents.
Clothing and Costumes Worn by Child Actors: H [HISTORY]
See under Howard, Ron, US child actor of the 1960s. He recalls being spanked by his father "right there on the set" of the Andy Griffith Show.
The Resistant Child
Website for parents who educate their children at home. This particular page advocates giving "three very hard whacks on the bottom with a paddle".
Spank me mommy one more time [PDF]
From "Carpe Diem", student magazine of Decatur High School, Georgia (January 2001). Several students think parental spankings can be useful. Illustrated with a posed picture of an adolescent bottom being spanked.
Spanking: A black mother's view
1998 article in Salon.com. "This not-spanking thing is for white folks."
To spank or not to spank (Alternative link)
Another Salon article. A husband from the "working class" (US definition) squares off with his gently bred wife.
Training for Self-discipline and Self-restraint
Chapter 13 of an online book called "The Bible's Way to Victory over ADHD and Other Childhood Challenges". This challenges the illogicality of the anti-spankers who declare that CP leads to violence. If that were true, say the authors, "the first half of the twentieth century should have been a hellish period of violent crime", since most kids got spanked in those days.
No Fear: A Police Officer's Perspective
Blurb for a book by an Ohio policeman who argues for a return to domestic spanking.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Detailed synopsis of the James Cagney film in which a cocky boy actor is spanked by his father (see second page).
Combining Love and Limits in Authoritative Parenting: A Conditional Sequence Model of Disciplinary Responses
A long academic paper on the "Parenthood in America" website. The author shows that a combination of reasoning and punishment is more effective with small children than either one alone, and that the punishment element may be physical if necessary.
Larzelere and Straus Debate, June 1999
The pro-CP side of a debate between "Family research" academics over whether spanking is detrimental or beneficial.
Corporal Punishment of Children
Links to several items of research into corporal punishment in the home.
Spare the Rod ... And Spare the Sarcasm
Long article from the Berkeley, Calif. Express about the failed attempt to make Oakland, a town in California, a no-spanking zone. See also this January 1999 news item and its follows-up.
To Spank or Not To Spank? Why - When - How
More parental advice from a Christian point of view. Begins with a nice story about a boy who complained to his dad that he wasn't spanking him hard enough.
Corporal punishment of children (Spanking)
From the "Religious tolerance" website, this purports to be a summary of the case for and against parental spanking, but is heavily biased towards the anti-spanking side of the argument.
Bill of Rights for Religious Communities and Their Members
A proposed voluntary contract for those quirky religious communes that live in their own little world separate from everybody else. There are guidelines for the use of corporal punishment (see under "Right to Moderation and Common Sense in the Administration of Discipline").
Social change and trends in approval of corporal punishment by parents from 1968 to 1994 [PDF]
This is by Dr Murray Straus. It's mainly about the smacking of toddlers, which in my view is at best only on the margins of "corporal punishment", and arguably has nothing to do with corporal punishment at all, as properly defined; but it generated a lot of publicity about spanking generally. Some of the background discussion covers social attitudes to CP in a wider context.
Go find me a switch you little lawmaker
Columnist in a Honolulu newspaper (March 1996) has a go at the Hawaii legislature for trying to ban spanking in the home. The problem, in his view, is not that there is too much spanking, but that there is not enough.
Dave's Evil, Barbaric, Inhumane Pro-spanking page
Dave writes (as a father) about parental spanking, but some of his arguments probably have wider application.
It is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking
Graphic showing opinion survey responses to this question, yes or no?