This is a follow-on to my previous article listing some of the facts around spanking and the major problems with the anti-spanking campaign.
Here is an excellent list of scientific studies performed that demonstrate the importance of spanking as an option for parental discipline and the extreme failure of anti-spanking studies to provide real scientific evidence for their view points. The data is there and the facts are clear; measured, controlled, calm corrective spanking is critical as a part of multiple disciplinary tools.
---------------There is No Sound Scientific Evidence to Support Anti-Spanking Bans Robert E. Larzelere, Ph.D. Dept. of Human Development and Family Science 233 HES Bldg. Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 74078 USA
Arguments against spanking kids fail to hold up because there is no conclusive evidence to back them up. Anti-spanking studies rely on what a 1985 Department of Justice report termed "junk science" -- findings of causation which cannot be justified from the standpoint of the current state of credible scientific and medical knowledge.
The problem with most studies against the corporal punishment of children is that they imply causation between spanking and negative personality traits that isn't supported (http://www.nkmr.org/sv/) by the data. Various anti-spanking studies claim that spanking makes children aggressive, lowers their IQ and leads to other negative characteristics. But these studies only provide correlation at best, not scientific certainty.
As an example, follow the logic of the following claim: "As ice cream sales increase, drowning deaths also increase. Therefore, ice cream consumption causes drowning." This type of flawed logic is the same illogical reasoning anti-spanking studies use. "As the number of spankings increases, aggressive behavior also increases." The study neglects to mention that aggressive kids may simply earn more spankings, or that the aggressive behavior may be attributed to other factors.
To prove this point, researchers John Lyons, Rachel Anderson, and David Larson of the National Institute of Healthcare Research conducted a systematic review (http://www.drwalt.com/blog/2009/09/23/spare-the-rod-is-spanking-a-child-harmful-or-helpful-%E2%80%93-part-2/) (insert: "The best studies of appropriate, loving spanking (that EXCLUDED from the definition of spanking forms of child abuse or violence) demonstrated beneficial, not detrimental, effects of spanking.") of the published studies on child corporal punishment. They found that 83 percent of the 132 identified studies were merely opinion-based commentaries, editorials, or reviews that were devoid of any new empirical or scientific findings.
Is it surprising that 80 percent of the studies conducted by researchers were essentially "junk science" and anti-spanking propaganda? The New York Times (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E2DE143AF93BA35751C0A9679D8B63&pagewanted=all) reports that 80 percent of psychology professors are Democrats. Among social scientists who conduct these types of studies, Democrats outnumber (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/12/21/politics) Republicans by a 20 to 1 margin. And out of all of academia, where most spanking studies are produced, liberals outnumber (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/30/politics) conservatives 72 percent to 15 percent.
Given the strong potential for bias in these anti-spanking studies and the biased anti-spanking advocates behind them, one must take their findings with a grain of salt. Furthermore, most of the studies were methodologically flawed (http://www.crin.org/docs/resources/treaties/crc.28/FamiliesFirst.pdf) by grouping serious child abuse in the same category as non-abusive spanking. The few methodologically sound studies, however, differentiated between spankings and beatings and demonstrated that spanking can in fact be beneficial (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6926823/Smacked-children-more-successful-later-in-life-study-finds.html) and provide for well-behaved and obedient children.
As an example of liberal bias in corporal punishment research, two anti-spanking studies (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125548136491383915.html) widely reported by the media in 2009 by sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, an outspoken anti-spanking advocate, were "flawed" according to researchers and even by Straus's own admission. Straus conceded that his methodology in the second study was flawed and quipped that his study could give opponents "a field day writing about [my] questionable statistics." The only conclusion a 2009 Wall Street Journal article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125548136491383915.html) () came to on a trio of anti-spanking studies was that measuring the impact of corporal punishment is tricky and not an exact science. No firm conclusions can be made because no perfect studies on the issue exist.
Why, then, do we give any credence to the mostly liberal members of academia who push their agenda through social science research that is often selective and shady at best? And why do opponents of corporal punishment continue to cite the anti-spanking studies that have been debunked time and time again? We'll try one more example: "As the amount of junk science in corporal punishment research increases, the number of people against spanking also increases. Therefore, junk science causes people to become anti-spanking."
Many thanks to a yahoo article for some of these resources.
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