Spanking, or corporal punishment, is the intentional use of physical pain to control a child's behavior. Spanking carries more of a social stigma today than it once did. Corporal punishment is banned in public schools in 31 states. As of 2015, corporal punishment is actually illegal in 30 countries. However in recent polls of American parents, up to 70 percent spanked their children.
Corporal punishment is an important moral issue, because it is widespread among Americans and in the developing world. But why are many parents willing to sanction behaviors towards children that they would never sanction towards adults? Why is there a double standard at play when it comes to hitting kids, who are the smallest and most dependent of people?
Many parents who were spanked as children believe that it is fine to spank kids because they themselves turned out ok. However this is a poor argument and a logical fallacy (appeal to tradition or common practice). Thanks to various academic studies, much more is known today about about the psychological and behavioral consequences of spanking than was known in the past, and none of it is good. Parents should carefully consider the case against spanking before deciding whether or not to spank their children as a form of discipline: