Youth support smacking - survey

2013-08-19 22:32

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Johannesburg - The majority of young South Africans believe it is acceptable for parents to smack their children sometimes, according to a survey released on Monday.

The survey, conducted by Pondering Panda, found that 11% of respondents believed it was acceptable for parents to smack their children at all times, 63% believed it was sometimes so, and 25% believed it was never acceptable.

The respondents were asked their opinion of the social development department’s proposal to make it a criminal offence for parents to smack their children.

Younger respondents were less likely to agree that corporal punishment was sometimes or always justified.

"At least 65% of those aged between 13 and 14 held this opinion, compared to 79% of those aged between 25 and 34," Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield said.

In terms of race groups, 85% of white youth believed physical discipline was acceptable, compared with 75% of blacks, and 55% of coloureds.

The survey also found that young people were against criminalising parents smacking their children.

"What this survey also shows is that young people are not against government intervention in family affairs completely, but conditionally support government intervention on certain issues," Wakefield said.

At least 3 078 respondents, aged between 13 and 34, were interviewed in August.

Interviews were conducted through cellphones across South Africa, excluding deep rural areas.

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