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Spanking Raises Chances of Risky, Deviant Sexual Behavior

from geo - Thursday, February 28, 2008
accessed 711 times

Spanking Raises Chances of Risky, Deviant Sexual Behavior
Review found physical punishment of kids linked to unprotected, masochistic sex as adults

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have uncovered another damaging consequence of spanking: risky sexual behaviors, or even sexual deviancy, when the child grows up.

"This adds one more harmful side effect to spanking," said Murray Straus, a spanking expert who was expected to present the findings of four studies at the American Psychological Association's Summit on Violence and Abuse in Relationships in Bethesda, Md., on Thursday.

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"I think that it's pretty powerful," said Elizabeth Gershoff, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's School of Social Work. "It's across several studies and across different forms of either risky or deviant sexual behavior."

Straus, who was the author of all four studies, hopes the findings will raise awareness among child development experts.

"My hope is to convince my colleagues that they ought to put this in their textbooks," said Straus, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. "It's amazing. Something experienced by all American kids gets an average of half a page in child development textbooks, and not a single one comes to the conclusion that parents should never spank."

Even the revered Dr. Spock, who was anti-spanking, never came right out and advised parents outright not to do it, he added. Instead, Spock advised "avoiding it if you can."

A meta-analysis of spanking studies conducted by Gershoff found 93 percent agreement among studies that spanking can lead to such problems as delinquent and anti-social behavior in childhood along with aggression, criminal and anti-social behavior and spousal or child abuse as an adult.

"There's probably nothing else in child development that has 93 percent agreement in results," Straus said.

Five percent of people who have never been spanked hit their partners, versus 25 percent of those who were spanked frequently.

However, some 90 percent of U.S. parents spank toddlers, according to Straus.

The review being presented at the meeting are the first to look at the relationship of spanking to sexual behavior.

They found that spanking and other corporal punishment is associated with an increased probability of verbally and physically coercing a dating partner to have sex; risky sex such as premarital sex without using a condom; and masochistic sex such as spanking during sex.

There is a "dose response" at work here. "The more parents spank, the higher the probability of harmful side effects," Straus noted.

Of course, there's a similar dose response for smokers. But if someone reaches the age of 65 without developing lung cancer, it doesn't mean that smoking isn't harmful. It means the person was one of the lucky ones.

It's the same with spanking, Straus said. "If a person says, 'I was spanked, and I don't have any interest in bondage and discipline sex, that's correct, but it's not because spanking is OK, it's because they're one of the lucky ones."

And spanking a child once may be like picking up that first cigarette. "The trouble is, if you have a 2-year-old, you pretty soon decide you can't avoid it. The recidivism rate for whatever 'crime' you correct a 2-year-old for is about 50 percent in two hours."

"I've been researching corporal punishment for 30 years and, in the course of that time, the evidence has accumulated that it doesn't work any better than non-corporal punishment but has harmful side effects. I have come to the conclusion that parents should never, ever spank because, although it does work, it's no better than non-hitting methods that don't have harmful side effects. If there was an FDA for spanking, they'd say use an alternative that doesn't have harmful side effects."

More information

Visit the Center for Effective Discipline for other ways to discipline your child.

Reader's comments on this article

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from JB
Sunday, March 09, 2008 - 09:41


How 'bout, "Risky, deviant sexual behaviour raises chances of spanking"!

Or, "Risky, deviant spanking raises chances of sexual behaviour"!

Or, "Risky, deviant behaviour raises chances of sexual spanking"!

Or, "Risky, deviant chances raises sexual behaviour!"

Ok, I'm getting foolish now! ;)

(reply to this comment)

from Baxter
Monday, March 03, 2008 - 08:56


So that's why I get the urge for physical abuse from women!?.... Yeah, that makes sense.

(reply to this comment)

Friday, March 07, 2008, 02:16

hahaha(reply to this comment
from rze
Sunday, March 02, 2008 - 10:12

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
This article -- and by implication, this particular study -- is dumb & slightly insulting in that it's so vague at points & subjective with some of its presentation on sexuality.

There's a lot of factors & supporting questions that are totally omitted. For example, what about other influences s in development? How many of these "deviants" have a penchant for dominance over submission & vice versa ... and why?

"However, some 90 percent of U.S. parents spank toddlers, according to Straus."

If this is the case at the time of the study, I wonder how many of the current parent generation were spanked or similarly punished as tots. Is there more of a stigma against this sort of discipline now than there was then? Schools are no longer being allowed to practice shit like rulers to the palms or backsides; laws protecting children's rights only seem to get tighter. I'm going to take a stab here and say, yeah, it's harder to physically punish your kids and get away without any (due) onus. And I imagine that's a pretty big deterrent!

What I'm getting at here is if this 90% of U.S. parents spank toddlers, and IF parents are less likely to use corporal punishment now than parents were previously ... where are they getting this norm that "spanking during sex", for example, is supposed to be deviating from??? I'm curious where on the scale this study's standard of normal sexual behavior lies. If we, as a society, are indeed moving away from physically punishing our kids, their stats would seem to say the very opposite about American sexuality than what's being claimed there.

And then the reader is to believe that one is "lucky" if they don't have "any interest in bondage and discipline sex"? Not even ANY? Heh. Give me a break!

It's an interesting topic to attempt, though. I used to suspect that MOST spanked/other similarly punished kids would've had that ruined for them in their sex-life due to negative association. I imagine that was waaaay off, coincidentally, despite this form of punishment, or because of it -- whatever. Someone else can get Freudian, here.
(reply to this comment)
From cheeks
Monday, March 03, 2008, 13:31

In my county in the States the schools are allowed to spank a child with the parents permission.(reply to this comment
From rainy
Monday, March 03, 2008, 00:04

I agree.
I would imagine that spanking during sex (something that would put me off completely btw, due to childhood fears of spankings) is something that has become popular in recent generations that were less likely to have been spanked as children. The article made no sense to me either.(reply to this comment
From vix
Monday, March 03, 2008, 11:23


I don't think it's necessarily more common now than it always was, just people don't always keep it all hush hush like they used to, or they're at least less likely to have to hide such appetites from a partner. I bet far more couples engage in this sort of sexual play together now that it's not something you *have* to see a prostitute or a dominatrix for.

(reply to this comment

from smashingrrl
Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 08:52

Saw that on dan savage's blog. Funny. But then if sexual deviance is the outcome...well, far be it from me to discourage it.
(reply to this comment)
From Samuel
Saturday, March 01, 2008, 17:28

(Agree/Disagree?) to this comment
from Mistress Patience
Friday, February 29, 2008 - 20:40

This explains a great deal about English men.
(reply to this comment)
from Falcon
Friday, February 29, 2008 - 09:18

If the consensual adult enjoys bondage and spanking, then there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. Grant it, other side effects such as long term trauma, violence at home and continuing similar cycles of abuse are reason enough not to spank a child, but I wouldn't necessarily categorize the above sexual preferences as a 'harmful effect'. I wonder if any study has been done showing that the average adult who has not been spanked as a child displays the same percentage of similar sexual preference.
(reply to this comment)
From rze
Sunday, March 02, 2008, 10:31

"I wonder if any study has been done showing that the average adult who has not been spanked as a child displays the same percentage of similar sexual preference."

Yeah, it's funny how the stats quoted are only in reference to "criminal and anti-social behavior and spousal or child abuse as an adult" while omitting any that support their claims on, for example, "any interest in bondage and discipline sex". I have a hunch their sexual deviance is, by number, society's norm.

The study has good intentions, though, at least as far as their anti-spanking rah rah rah stance.(reply to this comment
From AndyH
Friday, February 29, 2008, 11:28

Thank you! Since when was being Vanilla a good thing? I'm damn proud of my deviant sexual behaviour, and I think it has a lot more to do with my short attention span then with childhood abuse. Even Kink gets boring after awhile, but I'll be damned if I'm just gonna have straight sex my whole life. (reply to this comment
From vix
Friday, February 29, 2008, 14:41


I don't see the point of using 'good' or 'bad' on this subject but if I had to, I'd say that being vanilla is just as 'good' as any other persuasion.

(reply to this comment

From AndyH
Friday, February 29, 2008, 15:28

No it's not. It's dull. Dull. Dull. My God it's dull, it's so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly DULL. (reply to this comment
From vix
Saturday, March 01, 2008, 05:13


Ohhh, so what you were saying is that vanilla is not a good thing *for you*.

(reply to this comment

From Donald Trump
Friday, February 29, 2008, 17:10

Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5(
"If you need Viagra, you're with the wrong woman."(reply to this comment
from shikaka
Friday, February 29, 2008 - 07:56

So this must be why Im such a raunchy, depraved beast! Oh Behave!
(reply to this comment)

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