Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Spanking is not a crime

Spanking is one subject where court experts have a different view from the rest of the population. Surveys consistently show that 80% of the population believes that spanking is sometimes necessary. Presumably, another 10% or so believe that spanking is sometimes acceptable.

On the other hand, 80% of child psychologists believe that spanking is always harmful. They believe this in spite of the fact that all the scientific studies indicate that moderate spanking is harmless. There are some studies that claim to show that prolonged and severe child abuse can lead to various anti-social behaviors, but those studies have failed to find any harm to moderate spanking.

My wife made no spanking allegations against me. She spanks the kids herself, and does not object to me spanking. Nevertheless, the court mediator took it upon herself to quiz the kids about whether I spank them! Fortunately, she said that she was happy with their responses.

The family court system is based on the premise that the court-appointed experts know much more about child-rearing than the average parent, and that they have better judgment. But I doubt it. On subjects like spanking, most of these supposed experts subscribe to unscientific theories that defy common sense. Some of them haven't even raised kids of their own, and only know what they have read in books written by quacks.

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