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Punishment horse?[edit]

Will someone define punishment horse, since it just redirects to spanking position.
~ender 2008-01-13 08:45:AM MST

It would appear that was part of an older version of the article. I've taken it to RfD, you can discuss it at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2008 August 6 if you so desire. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 22:09, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
A Punishment Horse is a piece of furniture over which a person bends or may be made to bend for a spanking or other form of corporal punishment. It can resemble a vaulting horse, or even a padded sawhorse, or a bench. it is often, in modern use, padded. See Spanking bench. (talk) 22:17, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Rehoboam reference[edit]

The section containing arguments against spanking reads, "Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, to whom the book of Proverbs is traditionally attributed". The Wikipedia pages on Rehoboam and Book_of_Proverbs do not mention any such traditional attribution. Do we have a citation for this? (talk) 16:09, 29 January 2008 (UTC)


Kudos to User:Ffaarrrreellll for a nice edit of the article.

I'm wondering if part of the problem is that it's way too long, and should be broken into several sub-articles. Some subjects that come to mind:

  • School corporal punishment
  • Spanking as discipline
  • Spanking as child abuse
  • Spanking as sexual abuse
  • Spanking as a judicial practice
  • Spaking and the law
  • Spanking as play

Not that these should be the names or the final categories, just throwing something out there. Wikidemo (talk) 00:50, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Update: Something like that is what has now been done. The various articles are now:
Spanking has been kept for that specific form of punishment and there are also still separate articles for caning, flagellation, paddle (punishment), tawse, birching and strapping (punishment). Naturally there is still some overlap between articles but I hope it is all somewhat more coherent than it was. Alarics (talk) 10:12, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Paddle image?[edit]

Alright, so I notice this article isn't about BDSM or erotic spanking, but then why should there be an image of a paddle used for those activities in this article? I admit, a paddle image is probably a great idea, but I think that particular image and caption aren't appropriate (in the sense of "on-topic") for this article. Anyone else? —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 15:45, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, a week's passed and no comments. I'm removing the image. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 02:18, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the removal of image for the reason you specified. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 02:30, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


I can't speak for the Christian part, but Jewish law has several prohibitions regarding spanking, and that "spare the rod" thing isn't considered at all. This section does not reflect reality.FiveRings (talk) 11:43, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, be careful if you change the information- directly quoting Jewish law could be misconstrued as synthesis, especially since those laws are primary sources. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 17:44, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
lots of rabbi blogs on the subject: FiveRings (talk) 21:24, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

"Spanking Art Wiki"[edit]

I removed an external link to a "Spanking Art Wiki"; it didn't seem to contribute anything to the page other than linkspam to another wiki. It might be useful for image sources though. Here's the link to Spanking Art Wiki. (whoops forgot to sign) —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 18:42, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, no added benefit to having it, spammy and there's no encyclopedic content. WLU (talk) 17:55, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks like it got added again back in September and I didn't notice it until just now... lovely. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 15:25, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


I've gutted large sections of the page as unsourced, per WP:PROVEIT. It read like advocacy and original research rolled together. Sources and text should be added piecemeal (and sources in general should be used). WLU (talk) 19:22, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Dang, down to something like 27% of the original length! I like it though- nicely done. One thing though, I think the chart in "Legality" comes off a little POVvy (the laundry list of "SPANKING FORBIDDEN" is a large part of it). Maybe it should be sorted by country name instead, since "Year of ban" would force those countries with bans in place to the top. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 21:42, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, I suggest that the "Definitions" section be removed and that its current content replace the intro paragraph. As it stands, the intro paragraph isn't quite correct (there's a significant section on non-punishment spanking), and the definition used for this article is largely or entirely the "striking the buttocks" definition. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 21:45, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
The whole page read like it was written by several people with axes to grind and minimal familiarity with wikipedia's formatting and referencing guidelines. I think the chart has some merit (though I'm not saying a lot) but since the original site it is referencing is in Swedish, I'm taking a large bite of good faith that it's accurate. I was in a hurry to get the changes saved, so I'm not saying any of it is perfect. I'll take out the definitions section and try adjusting the lead, but I'm not claiming the new version is perfect, please correct my mistakes :) WLU (talk) 22:26, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed; I've made a couple changes and fixed a few mistakes. POV-balancing this article is gonna be tough, but I don't think it's impossible. Note that the citation templates for foreign-language references ought to have the "language" argument added. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 23:18, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Makes me wish Diberri was a bit better with web cites (or people were sourcing pubmed articles). More than anything the page needs significant expansion with reliable sources rather than pseudoinformation and opinions. I don't have the time since I'm already engage in a long-term library loan project for another page. This is my leisure editing! WLU (talk) 20:21, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks like it's starting to get reverted already. Great. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 17:57, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

No one has the authority to cut out that much of other Wikipedian's work. The work of a great number of people has been cut unnecessarily on your whim. This will be perceived as being is nothing short of vandalism. I do understand your feelings about wanting to tighten things up. There are hundreds of subjects on wikipedia with the same or similar problems. Correcting them should be piecemeal--not redoing it piecemeal. Gradually giving each section some advice and a slow overhaul will recreate this section more productively. Daviddaniel37(talk) 18:14, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

WP:PROVEIT is not a whim, it's policy. Furthermore, vandalism is defined as adding/removing/changing content to deliberately compromise the integrity of Wikipedia; this is not it at all. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 01:26, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, WP:PROVEIT clearly allows for any unsourced comment to be removed. Any wikipedian really dedicated to improving the page should do so using reliable sources. If there is merit to the page's contents from the mainstream position, it should be easy to demonstrate per WP:UNDUE. WLU (talk) 18:26, 15 August 2008 (UTC)


Any idea why there is a "neutrality disputed" tag next to "The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health supports advocacy to protect children from all types of assault"? Would a reference to this be sufficient to remove it? Joeblow179350 (talk) 18:01, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I feel the word "assault" carries strong POV connotations and implications with it, which is why I tagged it as such. Sorry, I should have explained why I felt it needed changing. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 21:51, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, how about "corporeal punishment", or "corporeal punishment (which they refer to as assault)"? Joeblow179350 (talk) 00:29, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
That might be better- though if it's unusual or special that they should define corporal punishment as a form of assault, it would be good to comment on that (i.e., saying something like "they oppose corporal punishment as a form of assault"). —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 16:25, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

If you look up assault under British law it essentially defines assault as something very specific, too much to fit here, but a good rule is that something that leaves bruising or above, is mentally cruel or a threat involving the promise of violence leading to bruising or above is classed as assault. More nuanced than that, obviously, but you get the idea. What a lot of people would call spanking would not be considered assault, legally. (talk) 15:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

I figured it'd be something like that; it's a wonderful gray area, just like in the US. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 22:40, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't there be some mentioning of spanking women?[edit]

As much as we consider it unacceptable to forcefully spank a woman in the modern West and many other parts of the world, the fact remains that historically women were spanked as children were and even today in some parts of the world women/wives are example of this would be the Muslim world. Shouldn't this be mentioned? Zachorious (talk) 20:52, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Like in what sense? As in the punishment for a crime (like caning), or more like as a domestic punishment? —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 22:43, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Well both I guess.....obviously in places like the muslim world spanking women as domestic punishment is pretty widely accepted. It maybe used as punishment for a crime as well in the caning form as you pointed out. Zachorious (talk) 14:48, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Since there seems to be no opposition as well as the obvious fact that women have historically and sometimes even in modern times been spanked, I'm going to mention well as adding a section for it. Zachorious (talk) 08:11, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Spanking & Anti-spanking merge proposal[edit]

the Spanking & Anti-spanking articles should be merged into one well-sourced article.  —Chris Capoccia TC 10:18, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I second that. Tad Lincoln (talk) 02:10, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but the problem goes wider than that. The anti-spanking article, especially, is largely about corporal punishment in general, and there is a separate article about that, as well as yet other articles on overlapping subjects, e.g. school punishment. There is a lot of muddle and duplication across several articles. I suggest that both "spanking" and "anti-spanking" be merged into a rejigged "corporal punishment" article, which would contain summary sections for each different area of corporal punishment (school, judicial, domestic) and then separate articles going into more detail on each of those areas. Any views? Alarics (talk) 07:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, I have made some progress with sorting all this out. There is still an overall "Corporal punishment" article, now mainly about history, and I have created new articles for "Corporal punishment in the home" and "School corporal punishment". Some of what was in the "Spanking" article has moved to "Corporal punishment in the home". However, we still have a separate "Anti-spanking" article. I think having this makes sense only if it were to be an article about the anti-spanking movement, with stuff about the arguments against spanking moved to the relevant new pages. I am minded to make this change, and to rename the article "Anti-spanking movement", unless anyone objects. Alarics (talk) 10:42, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
It seems logical to call it a movement, in that the articles themselves you mention are just on the subjects in general. I would keep the general subject articles you mention populated with arguments against spanking, and the movement article to focus on the sociological aspect (for example, history and groups as they emerged through time and why they arrived at their position).Legitimus (talk) 12:09, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I will have a go at it soon. Alarics (talk) 09:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I believe the two articles should be merged, as it has been proposed.

The various different sections of Anti-spanking have now been divided up between Corporal punishment in the home and Campaigns against corporal punishment. Anti-spanking thus becomes merely a disambiguation page. Alarics (talk) 20:18, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Update: Anti-spanking has been done away with, and now redirects to Campaigns against corporal punishment. Alarics (talk) 09:59, 2 August 2009 (UTC)


What's this article doing in the category "Child Abuse"? I shall remove it soon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

While there are mixed opinions, in is legally considered a form of child abuse in many nations (some listed in the article), as well as in many medical opinions. As categories are intended to be inclusive, it is included in that category.Legitimus (talk) 13:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Large section on spanking in the US[edit]

I removed this section from the article which was inserted by an IP address recently as I believe it needs to be formatted differently and more succinctly for inclusion into this article. Though honestly, I'd like to suggest this be moved out into its on article called Spanking in the United States or some such, with a summary style section on spanking in the US. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 18:47, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Spanking laws in the United States[edit]

ALASKA Sec. 11.81.430. Force is justified when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to promote a child's welfare. Parent/guardian/other person with care and supervision of child under 18 may use reasonable and appropriate non-deadly force upon the child.

ARIZONA Sec. 13-403. Parent/guardian may use reasonable and appropriate physical force upon the minor when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.

ARKANSAS Sec. 9-27-303(3).Abuse does not include physical discipline of a child if reasonable and moderate and inflicted by a parent or guardian for restraining or correcting a child. Sec. 5-2-605(l).Parent/guardian/other with care and supervision of a minor may use reasonable and appropriate physical force when and to the extent reasonably necessary to maintain discipline or promote the welfare of the child.

CALIFORNIA Welf. and Inst. Code Sec. 300. Law not intended to prohibit the use of reasonable methods of parental discipline, or to prescribe a particular method of parenting... Serious physical harm does not include reasonable and age-appropriate spanking to the buttocks where there is no evidence of serious physical injury.

COLORADO Sec. 19-1-103(b)Any investigation of child abuse shall take into account the child-rearing practices of the child's culture. Child abuse and nglect does not include acts which can be reasonably construed to be a reasonable exercise of parental discipline. Sec. 18-1-703.Parent/guardian/ person with care and supervision of minor can use reasonable and appropriate physical force, if it is reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain or promote welfare of child.

CONNECTICUT Sec. 53a-18.Parent/guardian/person with care and supervision of a minor may use reasonable physical force, when and to the extent that he reasonably believes necessary to maintain discipline or promote welfare of minor.

DELAWARE Sec. 468.Force is justifiable if reasonable and moderate and by parent/guardian/foster parent/legal custodian/other similar person responsible for care and supervision.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Sec. 6-2101.Abuse includes excessive corporal punishment. Sec. 16-2301.Abuse includes when a parent/guardian/custodian inflicts or fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent the infliction of physical or mental injury, including excessive corporal punishment.

FLORIDA Sec. 39.01(2).Corporal discipline of a child by a parent/legal custodian does not, in itself, constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child. Sec. 39.01(2).

GEORGIA Secs. 19-7-5/ 19-15-1/49-5-180.Physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no physical injury to the child. Sec. 16-3-20.Parent or person in loco parentis reasonably disciplining of a minor has a justification defense for a criminal prosecution based on that conduct. Sec. 19-13-1.The term "family violence" shall not be deemed to include reasonable discipline administered by a parent to a child in the form of corporal punishment, restraint, or detention.

HAWAII Sec. 703-309.Parent/guardian/person responsible for general care and supervision of minor/person acting at request of above may use force if. -- employed with due regard for age and size of minor and reasonably related to purpose of safeguarding or promoting welfare of minor, including prevention or punishment of minor's conduct, and -- not designed to cause or known to create a risk of causing substantial bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, mental distress, or neurological damage.

IDAHO Sec. 16-2002.Abuse includes physical cruelty in excess of that required for reasonable disciplinary purposes, inflicted by a parent or other person in whom legal custody is vested.

ILLINOIS Secs. 325 5/3/ . An "abused child" includes any child whose parent/immediate family member/person responsible for the child's welfare/individual residing in the same house/paramour of child's parent inflicts excessive corporal punishment.

INDIANA Sec. 31-34-1-15. Law does not limit right of parent/guardian/custodian to use reasonable corporal punishment when disciplining a child.

IOWA Sec. 232.71B . The use of corporal punishment by the person responsible for the care of a child, which does not result in a physical injury to the child shall not be considered abuse (unless otherwise prohibited).

KANSAS Sec. 21-3609. Abuse of a child is intentionally torturing, cruelly beating, or shaking, which results in great bodily harm including cruel and inhuman corporal punishment upon any child.

KENTUCKY Sec. 503.110. Parent/guardian/person with care and supervision of minor can use force if person believes force necessary for welfare of child and force is not designed to cause or known to cause a substantial risk of causing death, serious physical injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or extreme mental distress.

LOUISIANA Children's Code Art. 615(A). In determining abuse the agency should take into account that an injury may have resulted from what might be considered reasonable discipline for a child's misbehavior. Sec. 14:18. Parent reasonably disciplining a minor has a justification defense to a criminal prosecution based on that conduct.

MAINE 17-A Sec. 106. Parent/foster parent/guardian or other similar person responsible for the long term general care and welfare of a person is justified in using a reasonable degree of force against such person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes necessary to prevent or punish such person's misconduct. Justification does not extend to purposeful or reckless use of force that creates a substantial risk of death, serious bodily harm, or extraordinary pain.

MARYLAND Sec. 4-501. Law does not prohibit reasonable punishment by parent or stepparent, including reasonable corporal punishment, evaluated in light of the age and condition of child.

MASSACHUSETTS 110 Sec. 2 . "Abuse" is the non-accidental commission of any act by a caretaker upon a child which causes, or creates a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury. Physical injury defined as fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, burns, impairment of any organ, any other such nontrivial injury, or soft tissue swelling or skin bruising depending upon such factors as the child's age, circumstances under which the injury occurred and the number and location of bruises. Massachusetts Supreme Court 1999: A man who spanked his son with a belt was declared innocent by Massachusetts Supreme Court : Cobble v. Commissioner of Dept. of Social Services, 719 N.E.2d 500 (Mass. 1999)

MICHIGAN Sec. 750.136b . Parent/guardian/other person permitted by law, or authorized by parent, or guardian can take steps to reasonably discipline a child, including the use of reasonable force.

MINNESOTA Sec. 609.379. Parent/legal guardian/caretaker of child can use reasonable force to restrain or correct a child. Sec. 626.556. Subd. 2. Definitions… (g)… Abuse does not include reasonable and moderate physical discipline of a child administered by a parent or legal guardian which does not result in an injury. Minnesota Supreme Court 2008 (a man who had spanked his son 36 times with a paddle was declared innocent): "We are unwilling to establish a bright-line rule that the infliction of any pain constitutes either physical injury or physical abuse, because to do so would effectively prohibit all corporal punishment of children by their parents" and "It is clear to us that the Legislature did not intend to ban corporal punishment."

MISSISSIPPI Sec. 43-21-105. Physical discipline, including spanking, performed on a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian, in a reasonable manner shall not be deemed abuse.

MISSOURI Sec. 210.110. Discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner, is not abuse. Sec. 563.061. Force justified if by parent/guardian/other person entrusted with care and supervision of minor if:-Person believes force necessary to promote welfare of minor, and - Force used is not designed to cause or believed to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious 000physical injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or extreme emotional distress.

MONTANA Sec. 45-3-107. Parent or authorized agent of parent/guardian/master/teacher is justified to use force if reasonable and necessary to restrain or correct child.

NEBRASKA Sec. 28-1413. Parent/guardian/person responsible for care and supervision/person acting at one of the above's request is justified to use force on a minor if for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of minor, including prevention or punishment of misconduct, but not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious bodily harm, disfigurement, extreme pain, mental distress, or gross degradation.

NEVADA Sec. 432B.260. A child abuse investigation is not warranted if the agency determines that the alleged abuse was the result of the reasonable exercise of discipline by a parent or guardian involving the use of corporal punishment, including, without limitation, spanking or paddling; and corporal punishment so administered was not so excessive as to constitute abuse.

NEW HAMPSHIRE Sec. 627:6. Parent/guardian/person/teacher responsible for general care and welfare of minor may use force against minor when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or punish minor's misconduct. No defense available for malicious or reckless use of force that creates risk of death, serious bodily injury, or substantial pain.

NEW JERSEY Sec. 2C:3-8. Person entrusted with special responsibility for care, supervision, discipline, or safety of another may use force against them if for the purpose of and to the extent necessary to further the responsibility.

NEW MEXICO Sec. 32A-4-2(B). An abused child includes one who has been cruelly punished by a parent/ guardian/ custodian. Sec. 30-6-1. Abuse includes knowingly, intentionally, or negligently permitting or causing a child to be cruelly punished.

NEW YORK Penal Sec. 35:10. Parent/guardian/other person with care and supervision of person under 21, can use non-deadly physical force when and to the extent he reasonably believes necessary to maintain discipline or promote welfare of person force performed upon.

NORTH CAROLINA Juvenile Code Sec. 7B-101. "Abused juvenile" is any juvenile under 18 whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker inflicts or allows to be inflicted by other than accidental means a serious physical injury or uses or allows to be used cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or cruel or grossly inappropriate devices to modify behavior.

NORTH DAKOTA Sec. 12.1-05-05. Parent/guardian/other person (not including school district employee) responsible for care and supervision of minor/person acting at direction of the above can use reasonable force on a minor for safeguarding or promoting his welfare, including prevention or punishment of his misconduct and maintenance of proper discipline. Force does not have to be "necessary," but cannot create substantial risk of death, serious bodily injury or disfigurement, or gross degradation.

OHIO Sec. 2151.031. "Abused child" includes one who exhibits evidence of any physical or mental injury or death, inflicted by other than accidental means, or any injury or death which is at variance with the history given of it. Except a child exhibiting evidence of corporal punishment or other physical disciplinary measure by a parent/guardian/custodian/person having custody or control/or person in loco parentis of a child is not an abused child.

OKLAHOMA 21 Sec. 844. Parents/other persons can use ordinary force as a means of discipline, including but not limited to spanking, switching, or paddling.

OREGON Sec. 161.205. Physical force is justified if parent/guardian/other person with the care and supervision of a minor uses reasonable force when and to the extent the person reasonably believes necessary to maintain discipline or promote welfare of minor.

PENNSYLVANIA 23 Sec. 6302. Parents can use reasonable supervision and control when raising their children. 18 Sec. 509. Parent/guardian/person responsible for general care and supervision/ person acting at request of the above may use force for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting welfare of minor including the prevention or punishment of his misconduct, and if the force is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, mental distress, or gross degradation.

RHODE ISLAND Sec. 40-11-2. Abuse occurs when a child's physical or mental welfare is harmed or threatened by a parent or person responsible for child's welfare, by means including excessive corporal punishment which causes physical or mental injury or creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical or mental injury. Sec. 11-9-5.3. Serious physical injury is Any injury, other than a serious bodily injury, arising from other than non-excessive corporal punishment.

SOUTH CAROLINA Sec. 20-7-490. "Harm" includes inflicting or allowing to be inflicted physical or mental injury sustained as a result of excessive corporal punishment. "Harm" does not include corporal punishment or physical discipline if- Administered by a parent or person acting in place of a parent, Perpetrated for the sole purpose of restraining or correcting, Force is reasonable in manner and moderate in degree, There is no permanent damage, and Behavior of parent is not reckless or grossly negligent. Sec. 16-3-95. Corporal punishment of a child or physical discipline administered by a parent or person in loco parentis in a manner which does not cause great bodily injury is not prohibited.

SOUTH DAKOTA Sec. 22-18-5 . Parent/guardian/teacher/school official can use, attempt, or offer to use force if reasonable in manner and moderate in degree, and used to restrain or correct as necessitated by misconduct or refusal to obey a lawful command.

TENNESSEE Sec. 39-15-401. Permits criminal charges against a parent/guardian/custodian who administers "unreasonable" corporal punishment, which causes "injury" to the child.

TEXAS Family Code Sec. 261.001. Abuse does not include reasonable discipline by a parent/guardian/managing or possessory conservator if child not exposed to substantial risk of harm. Penal Sec. 9.61. Parent/stepparent/person standing in loco parentis to child is justified to use non-deadly force against a child under 18 when and to degree the actor reasonably believes necessary to discipline, or safeguard or promote child's welfare.

UTAH Sec. 76-2-401. Force is justified if used for reasonable discipline of a minor by parent/guardian/person standing in loco parentis. Defense not available if caused serious bodily injury or death.

VERMONT Vermont Supreme Court 2000: Parent has a right to inflict corporal punishment on a child subject to his disciplinary control when motivated by a corrective purpose and not by anger, when not inflicted upon frivolous pretenses, when it is not excessive or otherwise unreasonably inflicted, and when it is not cruel or merciless. State v. Martin, 751 A.2d 769 (Vt., 2000)

VIRGINIA Virginia Supreme Court: Excessive, unreasonable, or cruel punishment is unlawful. A parent has the right to administer such reasonable and timely punishment as may be necessary to correct faults in children. The right cannot be used as a cloak for the exercise of malevolence or the exhibition of uncontrolled passion on the part of the parent. Punishment must be within the bounds of moderation and reason and for the welfare of child, if due moderation is exceeded then parent is criminally liable. The age, size and conduct of child will be considered as well as the instrument used for punishment and the kind of marks or wounds inflicted on the child's body. Carpenter v. Commonwealth, 44 S.E.2d 419 (Va., 1947)

WASHINGTON Sec. 26.44.015. Reasonable parental discipline which does not injure child's health, welfare, and safety, including reasonable use of corporal punishment as a means of discipline is not prohibited. 9A.16.100. Physical discipline is not unlawful if reasonable and moderate and inflicted by parent /guardian for restraint or correction….

WEST VIRGINIA Sec. 49-1-3 . Physical injury can include that which is the result of excessive corporal punishment.

WISCONSIN Sec. 939.45. Use of force is justified when actor's conduct is reasonable discipline of a child by a person responsible for child's welfare. Reasonable discipline may involve only such force as a reasonable person believes is necessary. Never reasonable to use force intended to cause great bodily harm or death, or which creates an unreasonable risk of great bodily harm or death.

WYOMING Sec. 14-3-202. Abuse means inflicting or causing physical or mental injury to a child other than by accidental means including by excessive or unreasonable corporal punishment. Physical injury means any harm to a child including, but not limited to, disfigurement, impairment of any bodily organ, skin bruising if greater in magnitude than minor bruising associated with reasonable corporal punishment, bleeding, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hemotoma or substantial malnutrition. Sec. 6-2-503. Same definition as civil abuse definition - definition of physical injuries excludes those as a result of reasonable corporal punishment.

Birthday spankings[edit]

The article says "A possible origin of this tradition is the smack often given to newborn infants intended to help them start breathing." this was sourced to [1]. However, is a Wikipedia mirror (see WP:FORK) and does not appear to be a reliable source. Moreover, currently, the page linked to says nothing about even a possible origin of this custom. The custom undoubtedly exists, but when and where it originated and for what reason is unclear. A few google searches gave nothing resembling a reliable source, at least not in the first 5 or 6 pages of results. So I have placed a fact tag. (talk) 22:08, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Racial Aspects of Spanking[edit]

There seems to be an allegation of racism in the article, but it is worded in such a way as to be unclear. The article states that black children are spanked more often that other children. In order for this to be a useful fact, we need to know who did the spanking. Are we saying that white teachers/parents/whoever spanked black kids more often than other kids, or we saying that black teachers/parents/whoever spanked black kids more often than white teachers/parents/whoever spanked white kids? What about other minorities? As it stands, this is a useless factoid. CsikosLo (talk) 19:52, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

This particular source seems to be claiming that it doesn't actually matter what race the adult is: Black children are just hit more all around by adults in general. Not entirely implausible in that there is a loose connection with other studies showing that adult black males are punished more often and/or more severely in the criminal justice system in the US. Why are these things so? Nobody knows or frankly wants to even speculate.
I have heard various matters of race being brought up in formal research on spanking, though often as a side note, and no causal factors have been established. Some of these studies have found very weird results, for example Larzelere (2000) found some weak but still present evidence that spanking was less-harmful/not harmful/slightly beneficial to African American children, but that it was still damaging across the board to children of European backgrounds. Though one should note that Barnett, Kidwell, & Leung, 1998 and McCabe, Clark, & Barnett, 1999 contradicted this finding and found it damaging to African American children too.Legitimus (talk) 20:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that Larzelere result is all that weird. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that spanking is currently more acceptable in African-American culture than in the majority US culture (e.g. "Spanking: A black mother's view", Salon, 7 Oct 1998 at ) but finding solid scholarly evidence for that would take more time than I have now. If that is so, maybe one should expect that it would be more beneficial or less harmful etc. within that culture. Ffaarrrreellll (talk) 15:22, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Merging spanking and anti spanking[edit]

I believe the two articles should be merged, as it has been proposed.

The various different sections of Anti-spanking have now been moved to other articles. Anti-spanking thus becomes a disambiguation page. Alarics (talk) 20:18, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Update: "Anti-spanking" now redirects to Campaigns against corporal punishment. Alarics (talk) 11:57, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
If merged anywhere, I would suggest discarding the list of unsourced celebrity names—famous parents who abstain from spanking their children probably aren't worth the mention. That said, I do not see an good merge target.
Campaigns against corporal punishment appears to be a very incomplete list of organisations, legislation initiatives, and written works. It would be a clumsy fit in Corporal punishment, and lies slightly out of scope for Spankingcorporal punishment is a superset of spanking, even tho phrases like "anti-spanking" are sometimes used as a shorthand for CP. If (instead of merging) someone were to develop this article, perhaps a summary style section could be created in Corporal punishment with a {{Main}} link to Campaigns against corporal punishment.
Currently, Campaigns against corporal punishment is an immature article compared to Corporal punishment in the home, which was also spun off from Anti-spanking, and overlaps considerably in content. / edg 13:20, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
After a certain amount of discussion it was decided to start a new article Campaigns against corporal punishment so as to separate that out from arguments against corporal punishment, the old "Anti-spanking" article being a muddle of these two different things. I have expanded it with a bit of historical stuff, but could add more. Having recently created it and expanded it, on the basis of a consensus, I would object to merging Campaigns against corporal punishment into another article, but I agree that a summary section referring to it could be included in Corporal punishment. I could see a case for merging STOPP into Campaigns against corporal punishment. I don't think the list of organisations is as incomplete as you suggest: the main current U.S. ones are there, though there are one or two others (and more from the U.K.) that could be added. As for the list of celebrity names, somebody must have thought it a good idea, but I don't feel strongly about keeping it. Alarics (talk) 13:55, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Good to hear. Not being an expert, I figured a worldwide view would include more organizations. If there are plans to further develop Campaigns against corporal punishment, I don't see any need for a merge. / edg 14:15, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


Alarics has suggested (and I agree) that the "etymology" section should be removed per WP:NAD. Does anybody disagree? Gabbe (talk) 07:52, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

It should go. Like many a WP:DICDEF, it is actually not helpful in explaining the subject. / edg 11:40, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


I've created a template at {{Corporal punishment}} based on a superficial glance at Category:Corporal punishments. What do you think? As it stands currently it's just a stub, but do feel free to expand it! Gabbe (talk) 16:22, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

This is a fine idea, but before you implement it, a wider categorisation question arises. At the moment "physical punishment" redirects to Corporal punishment but really "corporal punishment" should, I suggest, be a subset of "physical punishments" which includes other things like "capital punishment" and "cangue" and "castration" amd "pillory" which are not what we normally mean by "corporal punishment" but are at present included in Category:Corporal punishments. Is it possible to rename that category "physical punishments"? The more narrowly-defined "corporal punishment" subset should then, in my view, include only the following:
If all that were to be agreed and proves feasible, should the new template cover all physical punishments, or only "corporal punishment"? My preference would be strongly for the latter, as if we include all those other things in it, like capital punishment and various rather obscure things currently in Category:Corporal punishments, the universe of discourse becomes so wide as to be more or less useless. Alarics (talk) 16:59, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I added the heading "Historical", will that suffice? Gabbe (talk) 09:06, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Not really. Things like "Abacination", quite aside from being an extremely obscure word (I never heard of it before), may be "physical punishments" but not what people mean by "corporal punishment". I would simply omit the items you have put under "historical".
On a quite separate point, is there a danger that if we include the three countries which happen to have separate articles in a list of countries, as you have done, people might think those are the only places that have corporal punishment, or the only countries Wikipedia discusses in this context? Alarics (talk) 09:31, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Nuvola apps edu languages.png Relevant discussion at Template talk:Corporal punishment

Sweden's increase?[edit]

There are (currently) three sources quoting an increase of violence in Sweden following the spanking ban. None of the three are from peer-reviewed journals. (Akron Law Review is not peer-reviewed). When looking at actual peer-reviewed studies, there is for example Durrant's 1999 report (Child Abuse Negl. 1999 May;23(5):435-48. PMID 10348380 doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(99)00021-6), which describes the spanking ban as "highly successful".

Are there any peer-reviewed sources linking an increase in violence in Sweden with the spanking ban? Or comparing ban countries with spanking countries? Gabbe (talk) 09:21, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention is a government body, so while the page may not be in a peer-reviewed journal, the statistics it gives cannot be questioned. Meanwhile, the Durrant research, however peer-reviewed it might be, is plausibly criticised in the Guardian article by Andrew Brown now cited.
Just to be clear, I don't think Andrew Brown is "linking an increase in violence in Sweden with the spanking ban". Rather, the point is that claims that the spanking ban have led to a reduction in violence are clearly shown, by the official statistics, to be false. (Presumably it would be impossible to prove a causal relationship in either direction.)
I would be wary of "comparing ban countries with spanking countries". International comparisons involving crime statistics are a notorious minefield for the unwary. Any such comparison would need to be hedged about with all sorts of caveats about differing definitions, counting methods, and cultural contexts. -- Alarics (talk) 12:25, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
In reality, these two variables may or may not have anything to do with one another. The problem is the paragraph itself in this article is misleading in that it seems to imply just that: That the spanking ban literally increased violence and is a causal factor. But there is no data to support that. As any good scientist knows, Correlation does not imply causation
Now, I have a copy of Durant 1999 in full. Is there any part you would like more detail on?
Legitimus (talk) 13:16, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

removal of citation needed label[edit]

I removed it in the birthday section describing spanking with "one to grow on". This is a tradition in U.S. households, so objective proof is not needed in my opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jlujan69 (talkcontribs) 04:40, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I disagree and I have reverted. If it is such a well-known tradition, it should be easy enough for you to find a reliable source for it. Alarics (talk) 07:52, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I was going to avoid this as it is little more than anecdotal evidence, but I have lived in the US for decades and never heard of birthday spanking, and so this section always seemed a bit dubious to me. I had only heard of something vaguely resembling it in the news recently where a 21 year old's friends hired two strippers to hold him down and spank him with a paddle. They were all prosecuted for battery.
I have heard of birthday punches, among particularly anti-social adolescent males. It ranges from joking little knocks on the shoulder or bicep, to beatings tantamount to assault and battery with injuries resulting. It started to die off in the late 90s I think, possibly due to do crackdowns in school's disciplinary systems. If you watch the film Liar Liar, they make a joke about this where Cary Elwes gently knocks the 8 year old's shoulder 8 times.
Both of these practices seem to be little more that practical jokes (a fake "tradition" to pull one over on the birthday person that persisted) or excuses hit people out of envy at the birthday person's temporary social elevation.Legitimus (talk) 13:23, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I wasn't questioning the birthday spanking tradition. I don't think there is any doubt that that is quite widespread. Your unawareness of it surprises me. YouTube is full of examples. What I was wanting verification of was the "one to grow on", which I have only much more vaguely heard of, and am not sure if it is really a well-established tradition. Alarics (talk) 18:52, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Never been a fan of YouTube, but I'll take your word for it. Must just be outside my social circle and I'm also a bit older than most WP editors.
"One to grow on" sounds like the stinger on the end of Happy Birthday that goes "And many more..."

Legitimus (talk) 19:12, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, I am a LOT older than most WP editors, most of whom seem to be about 17 (I am 60), but I note that "birthday spanking" (with the quotes, i.e. as a phrase) produces 42,900 hits on Google, so it can't be all that obscure a concept. Alarics (talk) 20:43, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

P.S. here is a possibly interesting blog entry: -- Alarics (talk) 20:50, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

No problem, I never contested the presence in the article for the reason that I am of course not a representative sample of the population, just that I'd not heard of it until reading this article.Legitimus (talk) 22:10, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I am very familiar with birthday spankings and "one to grow on." I thought it was just a family thing until I met people in other states that knew what I was talking about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 4 September 2012 (UTC)


No one really uses that word anymore. I've replaced it with a more appropriate one. (talk) 12:54, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Nonsense. "Buttocks" is the normal word in written English. "Ass" is an (American) colloquialism, and not appropriate for an encyclopaedia. -- Alarics (talk) 14:36, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Should I have used arse then? (talk) 15:30, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
"Buttocks" is an appropriate term here. / edg 15:48, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

"Therapy" section[edit]

This section was recently added to the article. It is well-sourced, however it is confusing what the overall subject is supposed to be about. The subject of the section seems to jump around or leave helpful parts out. Comments? Also, for illustration I wanted to draw readers of the phrase "corrective emotional experience" to the psychoanalytic concept of Repetition compulsion. Just something to consider.Legitimus (talk) 21:16, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

The section has been moved here from Erotic spanking, apparently on the grounds that the particular phenomenon discussed is not necessarily a specifically erotic one. My feeling is that it doesn't naturally belong here. I suggest it be moved back to Erotic spanking, but if necessary a different title be found for Erotic spanking. "Adult non-punitive spanking", maybe. -- Alarics (talk) 23:20, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Much of that section was "editorializing" and I've removed it. If someone can find sources for those comments, please go ahead and re-add it. The part about spanking as real, non-ertic-play discipline between husband and wife I also removed because it had no source. If that is real information, it should have reliable sources before it's re-added. The parts that are left are a short comment that I've linked to erotic spanking and a longer paragraph about using spanking as a sort of healing modality. That's the only part that has sources, but I've not reviewed them so I don't know how well they support the text. I think the heading "therapy" is too strong for this use, until/unless those sources are verified to actually represent a non-fringe sort of therapy that uses spanking. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 01:00, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I've gone through the process of verifying the sources for the "therapeutic modality" paragraph. Overall the very idea seems a bit crackpot and so far none of the sources seem to corroborate the assertions.
  • Zimberoff, D., & Hartman. , (2001), Existential issues in Heart-Centered therapies: A developmental approach. Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies, 4(1), 3-55. ---Found this with a google search. This lengthy 40+ page article, while...interesting, makes no mention of any sort of spanking. One could perhaps apply some of the concepts to the proposed idea, but doing appears to be severely stretching the intent and meaning of the article, absent a specific reference if someone could provide it.
  • Cornett, C. (June, 2005). The cyclical pattern of child physical abuse from a psychoanalytic self-psychology perspective. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. Vol 2 No. 2---Reference appears to be wrong. It is not from 2005, but 1985. Furthermore, again there is no mention of spanking in a therapeutic sense. Rather, the contents deals specifically with the inter-generational phenomenon of physical child abuse.
  • "Parent Aide Programs: The Reparenting Process" ---Not found anywhere, plus it is from 1981. Based on it's title alone I have my doubts about it's applicability.
  • Ego States: Theory and Therapy ---Could not obtain because it is a book. However, again I have my doubts. One would think that if such a modality were advocated in the book, there would be some commentary on the matter somewhere, but I found none.
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy: Principles and Application ---text mentions the idea is "extracted" from the concepts in this book rather than attributed directly. But if I understand correctly, that would be an improper synthesis of the material in the absence of a direct source, which so far, we have none.
The remaining two books, Bratton and McNulty cover broad subjects and even the asserted text is vague and doesn't appear to directly address the issue. I think it might be time to trash this section unless someone can produce a good RS.
Legitimus (talk) 16:02, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree. -- Alarics (talk) 19:09, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed as well. And thanks, Legitimus, for doing the work of reviewing the sources. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 22:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, good work. -- Alarics (talk) 22:52, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

There is an article in Pravda about the use of "whipping therapy" in relationship with treatment of alcoholism:
Whipping therapy cures depression and suicide crises, March 26, 2005
JohanGraham (talk) 08:53, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


I've been reading a handful of news stories where spanking proved fatal.[2] These are rather uncommon, far as I can tell, but are remarkable in the aspect that striking the buttocks was the direct and only cause of death in an otherwise healthy individual. The medical documentation is limited, but my understanding is a combination of intense pain and pooling of the blood (possibly subcutaneous hemorrhage) induces circulatory shock, eventually leading to heart failure. Is this worth mentioning in the article? Legitimus (talk) 22:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

No. In the case you mention, the beating went on for two hours! Nobody could reasonably equate that to ordinary spanking. -- Alarics (talk) 20:20, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Pro-spanking studies, lack thereof[edit]

The following unsourced editorial was (reasonably) removed:

It should be noted that liberties are too often taken with that which defines a legitimate, well conducted 'study'. Pro-spanking editorial 'papers', 'letters', or 'bulletins' critical of previously (peer-reviewed) studies do not constitute viable research. The point of the matter is that there does not exist a single study that has been published in a peer-reviewed professional journal finding in favor of the practice of spanking as a form of punishment, a teaching modality, or as an effective method of long-term behavioral modification.
On the other hand, there have been scores of peer-reviewed studies published in professional journals that have established a number of risks associated with spanking as a form of punishment. In addition, every professional organization in North America concerned with the care and treatment of children has taken a public stance against spanking.

Some of this might be worth including if it can be sourced to a reliable overview, so I'm restoring it here. / edg 14:35, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

In any event, there is certainly a more neutral manner of stating this information. I think this edit was made because that particular section right now comes across as slanted. Now, while journal articles typically do not provide overviews of information such as this, many textbooks and other academic books published by professionals do. Among clinical psychologists, the fact that there are no primary studies supporting spanking is well known. Direct statements to this affect are made this book:
  • Balter, Lawrence (2000). Parenthood in America: an encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 151. ISBN 1-57607-213-4. 
This source is non-specific to this particular issue which I think adds to its appropriateness as a source (i.e. it has no particular agenda in mind). I'll just leave this here to see what other editors think before I do any editing though, and will add some textbook sources as I find them.Legitimus (talk) 20:05, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't think any of this needs to be included in "Spanking". It's all covered already in the more detailed and serious article Corporal punishment in the home, which is more specifically what all the research refers to. That is where the academic stuff belongs, I think. The point to retain in "Spanking", I think, is the broader one that in the wider society there are deep divisions of opinion on the issue, even within cultures such as the USA, let alone across different cultures. -- Alarics (talk) 23:47, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
In that case the Larzelere and Baumrind refed sentences need to be removed, as they are just commentary on the scientific matter and occupy too much space.Legitimus (talk) 11:44, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
On second thought, they can stay. I have trimmed the section down since it has a main article, but left most sources in place. Each "side" now has near-equal text devoted to it.Legitimus (talk) 14:38, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, though I think the section could still be further condensed, as it is only a summary. -- Alarics (talk) 14:56, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Citing Sweden?[edit]

I've moved the following here from the lead for discussion:

While some reports have drawn attention to increases in child abuse and youth-on-youth violence since then, no causal relationship has been demonstrated.[1][2][3]

Since in all countries a rise in awareness of child abuse inevitably creates an increase in reporting rates, it is asserted by some that what has actually happened in Sweden is not an increase in child abuse, rather an increase in reports of child abuse due to increased awareness and education on the subject. Reporting rates are not the same as actual cases, such as in the U.S., where estimates of how many children were being mistreated went from 300 in the early 1960's to almost 3 million by 1990. Just as it is extremely unlikely that only 300 children were abused in the 1960's, it is also extremely unlikely that the amount of child abuse would have increased so exponentially by 1990. Sweeden's National Crime Prevention Council in supports this view.[4]

22 other nations have followed Sweeden's example, these are Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Israel, Germany, Bulgaria, Icelan, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece, Chile, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. [5]

My question is, if no causal relationship between an alleged increase in violent offences and abolition of spanking has been established, why are we mentioning it at all? And if the first paragraph is problematic (as the recently added second paragraph says), why are we including it in the first place? Gabbe (talk) 08:14, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

This was included in the first place because anti-spanking campaigns often claim Sweden as a success story in terms of reducing violence in society, whereas (at least some of) the official statistics suggest otherwise, as pointed out in the balanced article by Andrew Brown in The Guardian. This is not necessarily to say (although some people do**) that the banning of spanking has caused the increase in assaults, only that it certainly cannot be claimed to have reduced them.
(**) E.g. Mrs Harrold-Claesson of the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, who actually claims the law is causing a crime wave in Sweden -- see "In 30 years without spanking, are Swedish children better behaved?", Christian Science Monitor, 5 October 2009. This is clearly an assertion that cannot easily be either proved or disproved. -- Alarics (talk) 09:09, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the lead shouldn't be saying that violence in Sweden has decreased since 1979 as a result of the spanking ban. Just as you say, a bold statement like that would be quite difficult to prove even if it were true. I think the article would be better off by just omitting the stuff about post-1979 violence in Sweden altogether. Gabbe (talk) 16:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, especially as all of that is really about Corporal punishment in the home and should go there, if anywhere. This article ("Spanking") ought, in my view, to be restricted to information that refers specifically to spanking as defined, not corporal punishment in general. People keep adding stuff here that belongs elsewhere. -- Alarics (talk) 11:15, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


When did striking on the buttocks become traditional. Some sources (which I have since forgotten) allocate its origin to the pre-victorian era, but maybe it has been around since ancient times... ??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:00, 23 March 2010 (UTC) march 23 2010 D J —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:01, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Ancient times. There are drawings from ancient Egypt / Rome / Greece showing it. -- Alarics (talk) 10:26, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Doug Britten, Problme[edit]

Who the heck is Doug Britton? It seems like considerable citations here simply come from his website. If he's a respected figure in child psychology or whatever that needs to be stated and in detail. It's not enough however if he simply claims to be that on his website. Otherwise as it is I might as well list my opinions on the issue as well, or rather, post them somewhere else and then refer to them here. Not exactly encyclopedia quality! (I've noticed this sort problem increasingly frequently in wikipedia articles - hopefully this is just bad luck on my part.) ( (talk) 15:52, 12 August 2010 (UTC))

Good point. His website says "He has a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology and has edited and published three professional publications." Not clear that he has any academic or professional standing. I have deleted the paragraphs in question. Alarics (talk) 19:43, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Politically Correct/Evidence-Based Terminology[edit]

As the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not consider 'spanking' (itself a corrupt term) to be a form of discipline, any actual mention of it being a form of discipline should be 'discipline.' Either that or say that some people consider it to be a form of discipline. Objectively speaking, this means I cannot call it abuse but, instead, 'abuse,' which is my professional opinion, or I can merely state it is the belief of some people, like myself, that spanking is abuse. Wikipedia can say that some people refer to it as discipline or abuse, but it is not objective to call it either one. Therefore, if Wikipedia is to remain neutral it cannot call spanking a form of discipline. I added the 'discipline.' If someone has a better way to remain neutral then so be it. But I object to someone calling it discipline, when I know it is not. That's like saying that stoning children to death is a form of discipline or sticking a child's hands in scalding hot water is discipline or that beating one's wife is a form of discipline. Daviddaniel37 (talk) 20:56, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

When people spank their children for what they consider to be disciplinary purposes, they can be said to be disciplining their children. Surely what the APA and the AAP mean is that, in their view, this is not very effective discipline, but that is a different matter, quite aside from the fact that other people disagree with them from their own experience. It is not for WP to take sides. I think putting quotes around the word "discipline" in this context implies that Wikipedia has a POV. The body of the article already makes clear that there are differing views, and the positions of APA and AAP and similar bodies are covered at length in Corporal punishment in the home. Alarics (talk) 07:44, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

History of spanking[edit]

I think there should be a history section. (talk) 23:29, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree, actually. But, is there enough material in independent reliable sources to actually support such a section? Plato and Tacitus, for example, talk about children getting a "beating" but they certainly do not make clear that spanking is what they are referring to. Would the history section only discuss the Medieval era onwards, then? Or are there any sources discussing it even that recently?
(Later addition - I notice above that Alarics points out the drawings from ancient times depicting spanking, so I guess there is at least a little evidence of earlier use that might be discussed.)
The article Corporal punishment has a history section, which may be relevant, as may sections of other related articles.--Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:17, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Do we really need a history section for this article separate from the history section in Corporal punishment? I think it would be much better to improve that. I think the notion that there is a separate history of "spanking" as opposed to that of corporal punishment, or indeed Corporal punishment in the home, is pretty dubious. -- Alarics (talk) 06:27, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Evidence of spanking of men by women in a domestic context[edit]

I'm surprised that the article says: ""However, there is no evidence of spanking of men by a woman in a domestic context. This may be due to the relative physical strengths of the two genders and the traditionally accepted role of the husband as the head of the family unit."", for example page 38 (exhibit 9) says that 7.4% of men responding to the survey reported having been physically assaulted by their partner. It is not clear what form the assault took place... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

"Physically assaulted" is unlikely to mean spanking. It probably refers to random violence, which is not at all the same thing. -- Alarics (talk) 12:08, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

In entertainment section misplaced[edit]

The section In entertainment doesn't seem to me to belong in this article. Shouldn't this be moved to Erotic spanking, possibly in a section named Subliminal erotic spanking? Or possibly be totally removed, under WP:POPCULTURE? I don't really object to the content but I think it's in the wrong article. I've inserted the IPC banner at the top of this section, just to make sure that this matter is addressed. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 06:22, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I quite agree. I should be happy to see this section deleted. -- Alarics (talk) 12:30, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I really don't want to delete it. I just received a dablink notice in my user page and, while fixing the link, I expanded the first major paragraph in the section three-fold. I just want to find a better place for it than Spanking. Unless someone comes up with a better idea, I will move it in the next week or so to the Erotic Spanking article, in a section renamed Spanking in modern mainstream entertainment. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 22:01, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yep, please go ahead and move it there. -- Alarics (talk) 22:21, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

James Dobson[edit]

There's a spanking-related debate at James Dobson that could use more external input. Still-24-45-42-125 (talk) 21:07, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Separating adult contexts[edit]

The adult consensual/sexual contexts are now more clearly separated. Sources for those issues should not be added to this article (as many links would be inappropriate or offensive to persons interested in spanking as a child punishment, or issues arising therefrom) in general, though one is provided to prove the point that this is mainstream sexual fetish today and that ancient texts advised it as such.

Herodotus had a travelogue that claimed that every wife and prostitute in some region (perhaps near Russia) had a whip for use on herself above her bed, and would abandon the house before abandoning that whip. However the quote is difficult to find. Certainly it is appropriate in erotic spanking or here to establish how long ago the fetish was recognized.

Also please redirect the erotic context very close to the front of the article, regardless of which specific claims are disputed as to source. Certainly there is no conceivable dispute that there IS an erotic context... This is probably 90% or more of all references to spanking, and arguably erotic spanking content should be the article spank redirects to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:37, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry but I feel there is already quite enough of this stuff without the further paras you have added. It belongs in the Erotic Spanking article and only needs to be mentioned briefly here. -- Alarics (talk) 14:29, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

The opening sentence.[edit]

- "Spanking is the act of striking the buttocks of another person to cause temporary pain without producing physical injury."

That doesn't make any sense to me, because pain is essentially a signifier of physical injury. From the WP article on pain: "The ability to experience pain is essential for protection from injury, and recognition of the presence of injury."

Therefore, all painful spankings produce physical injury. If there is no injury, then there will be no pain. So the sentence as it stands is incoherent.

I suggest removing the qualifying clause so it reads, "Spanking is the act of striking the buttocks of another person to cause temporary pain." That makes sense.

Gnu Ordure (talk) 13:56, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

No, that doesn't follow at all. Just because there is pain when there is injury, doesn't mean there is necessarily injury when there is pain. You have fallen into the Fallacy of the undistributed middle. It is certainly not true that "all painful spankings produce physical injury". In fact, ordinary spankings never produce physical injury. -- Alarics (talk) 14:22, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Alarics. I'm afraid I'm not following you. There's a three-step sequence: if I prick your finger with a pin, your body is injured/damaged/harmed, and you say 'ouch' because you experience the pain of the injury. Step 3 depends on step 2; the fact that you experience pain means that you have been injured (and a physical examination would find evidence of the injury).

That sequence applies equally to an adult spanking a child. The goal of spanking is to cause pain i.e. to get to step 3. They can't get there without going through step 2.

So, all spankings produce physical injury. If they didn't, there would be no pain. Gnu Ordure (talk) 15:45, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Sorry but this is nonsense. Do you really think a pinprick is an "injury"? Anyway, the existence of pain does not prove an injury. If I have a headache I very likely do not have an injury. If I have heartburn it's not caused by an injury, I just have too much acid in my stomach. If it comes to that, not all injuries produce pain, though most do. So there is no necessary equivalence in either direction. -- Alarics (talk) 16:06, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

"Anyway, the existence of pain does not prove an injury. If I have a headache I very likely do not have an injury." - OK, but in the spanking scenario there's no doubt or ambiguity about the source of the pain; one, the adult delivers a blow, two, the blow injures/damages/hurts the child, three, the child experiences pain in the injured area. That's what happens, Alarics; if you believe that the blows don't injure the child, how do you explain the pain they feel in their buttocks? Gnu Ordure (talk) 19:06, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Let me try to explain to you the fallacy of the undistributed middle. A simple version of it is "All cats have paws. My dog has paws. Therefore my dog is a cat". The mistake is to think that, because all cats have paws, all creatures with paws must be cats. In reality, all cats have paws, but so do many other animals. Similarly, because injury (usually) causes pain, you are assuming the the presence of pain must indicate injury; in reality, there can be all sorts of pain that have nothing to do with injury, and one of these is normal spanking, which causes no wound and may not even produce any visible mark at all. Unless you are stretching the meaning of the word "injury" beyond breaking point, an ordinary spanking does not cause any injury, and the pain produced is not indicative of any injury. -- Alarics (talk) 23:40, 28 July 2013 (UTC)