The question of whether or not you are a parent is very relevant. You can't know what being a parent is like unless you are one. You can preach about how spanking is bad until you're blue in the face... but unless you've dealt with a small child throwing a temper tantrum.....
So only a parent has dealt with a small child throwing a temper tantrum? What if I babysit children, I'm in the day care industry, etc.? There's a number of people who have experience in handling children. You still don't need experience in handling children to read scientific studies and notice that spanking, on the whole, damages children.
By the way, while we're talking about people in the child care industry and in school... Corporal Punishment is illegal there in most of the United States, yet they still manage to do their job just fine regardless.
Personal experiences are relevant too. The study was about kids who were spanked. How many people here were spanked? I think for the most part we're all reasonably intelligent adults, so if a bunch of us here are fairly intelligent and were spanked... that kind of blows that study right out of the water now doesn't it? And of course, the question has to be asked, how many of those parents lied for fear of being accused of abusing their children?
Personal experiences offer one data point. One data point is meaningless considering that there are three hundred million people alone in the United States.
I was spanked. Average IQ is 100-115. Mine is 147. My high school GPA was 3.2. My college GPA was 3.7. I enjoy watching the History Channel, and Discovery Channel. I also enjoy reading and writing. I've written fan fictions and original stories that I've been told are very good, by my editor and some readers.
Just because you're 'smart' by your own estimation doesn't mean you couldn't have been smarter if you weren't spanked, so there's an error in judgment. And much of what you listed to testify for your intelligence doesn't actually mean anything, such as the history channel and fan fiction qualifications.
Spanking hasn't hurt me any.
That's quite a far-reaching statement, and you're probably not qualified to make such a judgment. People often have a hard time assessing their own strengths and weaknesses and it could simply be that the ways in which is has affected you are more complicated than you realize. I also think it's possible that you're right, but the fact that you state it with such confidence I think betrays your overly simplistic outlook on the situation.
My personal experience is evidence against the statistics in that study. And if I had been selected for that study, my personal experience would have been part of that scientific data. All of that data was collected by recording information about the kids. So one would think statistics about other real people would be just as relevant.
Personal experience is not evidence against a trend, and that's all studies show.
It's fairly obvious that studies on Corporal Punishment show that there is a trend between Corporal Punishment and negative outcomes, but that doesn't mean that corporal punishment will always lead to a negative outcome. If it seems like I've been saying that, then that's my failure as a communicator. I'm sure there are people who have been spanked that have not in any way suffered emotional, intellectual, or psychological damage as a result.
Be that as it may, studies show that it has a measurable effect on the populace.
I have a few questions for everyone who seems to support parents spanking their children. Why do you believe it's acceptable to literally cause your child pain in order to make them comply with your instructions? Do you really think that causing another person pain as a way of enforcing rules you've established for them to follow is going to foster a good relationship between you and that person? Knowing that causing someone pain in order to control their actions is a tyrannical, despotic action in every circumstance but the parent/child relationship and in law enforcement situations dealing with criminals/prisoners (and it's often considered inhumane there), what about the parent/child relationship makes it a justifiable action exactly?
I'm sure we can all agree that spanking can cause damage, that doesn't seem to be anything that anyone is disagreeing with. With that in mind, why do people seem so willing to expose children to a source of potential harm in this instance when in many others they're so fierely protective? I would assert it's because they have confidence in spanking because it was done to them, so they don't logically consider just what it is that they're actually doing to children to force their will on them. What reason do you even have to believe that spanking, or any physical form of punishment, is ever necessary to begin with? If we can agree that it's not necessary, then why take what we have all accepted is a risk with your child?
Again, personal experience is not relevant. Personal experience discusses one case through the very biased prism of a single human being's memories and perceptions which have been shown to, time and time again, be flawed. If there is any objective evidence showing that spanking has a purpose, then I'm fully willing to reconsider my opinion on the matter. But so far I have seen the people claiming that it should be considered acceptable do nothing but tear down the studies that disagree with their opinions while producing zero credible evidence in their defense.
And finally, my parents administered corporal punishment to me. It was not a damaging experience in my estimation, though I can't be for sure if it didn't have some ramifications that I'm not aware of. I think I turned out generally okay, however. I definitely wouldn't fault my parents or consider them abusive for what they did. But that does not in any way mean that my experience was typical.
Taking your personal experience as support for a general position is like looking at a single dot of an impressionist painting and characterizing it as crap; the dots come together to form a greater picture which truly color the overall action as something to be encouraged or discouraged. I'm not going to get into whether or not it should be legal or illegal because that involves a whole other slew of issues. The question here is whether or not parents should be told that spanking is tool that they can administer to their children safely? And I don't see how anyone can possibly say "yes" to that question in light of the facts.
EDIT: Here's another resource from a website by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Why Spanking Is Not the Best Choice
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend spanking. Although most Americans were spanked as children, we now know that it has several important side effects.
* Even though spanking may seem to "work" at first, it loses its impact after a while.
* Because most parents do not want to spank, they are less likely to be consistent.
* Spanking increases aggression and anger instead of teaching responsibility.
* Parents may intend to stay calm but often do not, and then regret their actions later.
* Spanking can lead to physical struggles and even grow to the point of harming the child.
It is true that many adults who were spanked as children may be well-adjusted and caring people today. However, research has shown that, when compared with children who are not spanked, children who are spanked are more likely to become adults who are depressed, use alcohol, have more anger, hit their own children, hit their spouses, and engage in crime and violence. These adult outcomes make sense because spanking teaches a child that causing others pain is OK if you're frustrated or want to maintain control—even with those you love. A child is not likely to see the difference between getting spanked from his parents and hitting a sibling or another child when he doesn't get what he wants.