Spanking

 

spanking

Three Girls about to get a spanking.

Back to index Page

Definitions                                                           

Spanking (not any beating), by today's definition, consists of striking the buttocksThe buttocks are the two masses of muscle (gluteus maximus, sometimes abbreviated to "glute") and fat covering the posterior aspect of the human (primate) pelvis. They allow humans (primates) to sit upright comfortably without resting weight on their feet, as (for example) cats and dogs do when they sit upright....
[click for more]
repeatedly, usually as a corporal punishment, with either an open handThe hand (med./lat.: manus) is a portion of the arm or anterior limb of a human or other primate, at where the appendage terminates. This part of the limb is especially used in grasping and holding. Each hand is a mirror image of the other....
[click for more]
or various implements including a belt or strap, various types of whips (see flagellation) such as martinetA martinet (French) is a short whip made of a wooden handle of about 25 cm (10 inches) in length and about 10 lashes of equal length. The lashes are usually made of leather, but sometimes soap-stiffened cords are used in place of leather. It is a traditional instrument of corporal punishment in France and other European countries....
[click for more]
and tawseA tawse is a typically Scottish implement for corporal punishment, called tawsing after it, that was often used for educational discipline instead of the English cane (which, like the horse crop, was however used in private schools, usually on bare bottoms or the hands)....
[click for more]
(traditional in France resp. Scotland), switch or other form of rod, paddle (the US favorite), some curious devices as produced for US masonic lodge initiations (such as the electric so-called spankernker may refer to several things:...
[click for more]
, and trickster 'paddling machines'), or still various (e.g. 'household' - cfr. pervertiblePervertible is a widely used term originally coined by David Stein to describe ordinary non-sexual objects, especially everyday household objects, that can be used sexually, particularly in BDSM play. The word is frequently misspelled "pervertable." ...
[click for more]
) objects such as a slipperSimilar in usage to a shoe, a slipper is an indoors version along the same vein. Shoes are generally made of canvas, plastic, or rubber. Boots are generally made out of either leather of a leatheresque synthetic compound, and have hard rubber soles. Slippers are frequently made out of either felt or soft leather (which may or may not be lined with a soft material such as felt). Some slippers, particularly those meant to be used near pools, bathrooms, or other wet places, are made of plastic or rubber....
[click for more]
(common in Commonwealth domestic discipline, also said when other footwear is used), a wooden spoon, or the hairbrushA hairbrush is a brush for brushing, tidying, and detangling human hair. It is typically used on longer hair, while a comb is normally used on shorter hair. It is sometimes used as a spanking implement, especially in the United States. As an implement for erotic spanking, a hairbrush is a pervertible....
[click for more]
.

There are many alternative terms, often linked with an implement (such as belting, caning, whipping), but also sometimes used more generally (such as thrashing, dressing-down, whacking, wupping) or using terms for a stroke (usually in the plural), such as blow, swat (hence swatting), lick (hence licking) and less common ones including onomatopoeiasIn rhetoric, linguistics and poetry, onomatopoeia is a figure of speech that employs a word, or occasionally, a grouping of words, that imitates, echoes, or suggests the object it is describing, such as "bang", "click", "fizz", "hush" or "buzz"....
[click for more]
such as "pop (hence the word pun 'pop culture')". There are still other terms for hits (e.g. blow, stroke, cut refer to the effect), sometimes rather describing the physical effect, such as cut, stripe - nearly all those terms can of course also apply to beatings elsewhere on the body, and even though a term as hiding or tanning suggests administering on the bare these can also be used more generally. Next there are descriptive terms for spanking using a synonym of buttocksThe buttocks are the two masses of muscle (gluteus maximus, sometimes abbreviated to "glute") and fat covering the posterior aspect of the human (primate) pelvis. They allow humans (primates) to sit upright comfortably without resting weight on their feet, as (for example) cats and dogs do when they sit upright....
[click for more]
and a generic term for (corporal) punishment, such as posterior chastisement, stern discipline, sometimes specifying the degree of nakedness of the spankee, as in panties-down, bare-arse, or bare-bottom punishment.

 

Scope of punitive use

The two subsections group the various spanking spheres for convenience: the 'domestic' model spanks in a paternalisic mentality, intending or at least claiming to (re)educate the spankees, often 'for their own good', while the 'judicial' model essentially aims to enforce the social code, be it the (formal or customary) law or a substitute order, 'for the common good' (raison d'état, social cohesion, public safety and morality...)

 

Domestic model

Spankings are administered in particular to children by their educators, i.e. mostly (biological -, step-, adoptive - or foster) parent or guardian and school -, orphanage etc. staff, but also, especially in the past, to other persons considered as legal (and/or moral) minors (sometimes illegally still treated as such), including:

 

Judicial model

Although non-erotic fiction usually shows or says corporal punishment is for adults as administered above the waist, in most cultures and legal systems it was at least as common to administer on the buttocks, i.e. as a spanking, most forms of judicial and prison beatings (convicts by definition are at the mercy of the authorities; even today severe punishments, even the dreaded judicial 'Singapore' cane, are awarded to enforce internal prison rules in various countries).

For obvious practical reasons adults are rarely spanked over knee or lap, rather bending or bound over some object or construction (closely resembling the child's exposure, without the skin contact that is often undesirable or even indecent for the official spanker), in fewer cases standing or hanging (as usual for punishment above the waist) as against a wall or whipping post.

The very parallel with child discipline is part of the deliberate use of public humiliationBefore the age of large, modern prisons, local communities would often punish minor and petty criminals by public humiliation. This involved a variety of methods, most often placing a criminal in the center of town and having the local populace enact a form of "mob justice" on the individual. The punishment of public humiliation could range from anything to an offender simply stating in a loud voice what crime they had committed, wearing a sign that indicated the same, or in the more extreme cases being sub...
[click for more]
as part of punishments. Hence, the condemned is often bared, completely or partly to expose the buttocks, or only covered for modesty, with little protection against the instrument; this is still usual under sharia in many countries. While even the back is sometimes left clad for an islamic whipping, as in Saudi Arabia The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a country on the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, with the Persian Gulf to its north-east and the Red Sea to its west....
[click for more]
, in (ethnically mainly Chinese) Singapore The Republic of Singapore (Chinese: 新加坡共和国; pinyin: Xīnjiāpō G�ngh�gu�; Malay: Republik Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசு, Cingkappūr Kudiyarasu), is an island city-state in southeast Asia, located at latitude 1�17'35"N longitude 103�51'20"E and situated on the southern tip of Malay Peninsula, south of the state of Johor of Peni...
[click for more]
and (muslim) MalaysiaThe Federation of Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. It consists of two geographical regions divided by the South China Sea: West Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Malay Peninsula) shares a land frontier on the north with Thailand and is connected by a causeway and a bridge on the south with the island state of Singapore; East Malaysia, the northern part of the island of Borneo, is bordered to the south by Indonesia and borders the Sultanate of Brunei on the east, south, and west. ...
[click for more]
it is more common to cane the bare buttocks.

 

Position

In its most common usage as a means of domestic corporal disciplining, spanking usually refers to a child lying, stomach down, across the educator's lap — misleadingly referred to as taking a child 'over the knee' (OTK), though literally that is also possible — and the parent or teacher repeatedly swatting the child's backside.

It is generally believed that this is the safest manner in which to spank since striking a standing child could cause back injury. Spanking advocates argue that the buttocks are the safest place to administer corporal punishment since it produces a sharp stinging pain but injury is unlikely; indeed even the terrible judicial cane in, say, Singapore is applied right there, with protective padding just in case the back, especially the kidneys, get accidentally hit.

However there are alternative positions, mainly used for adults (rather too big and/or heavy to put over lap or knee, so the spanker may find it more difficult to hit with full force; also the phyiscal contact with the spankee, who if male often gets (semi-)erect as an involuntary bodily reflex, may be considered unpleasent and/or indecent) but also for more grave and/or formal discipline, even of minors, using an implement.

One option is to have the spankee standing, usually against a wall, tree, or pole. While this means the buttocks are not raised or tensed, which reduces the impact of the hits, and thus the intended pain, severe blows may hurt the spine as it is not free of the body weight as in resting positions; leaning can largely remediate this, especially if the support has a slight inclination.

If the spankee is made to bend over from his standing position, the painful and humiliating exposure is improved, but the spine risk remains. Especially when bending so deep as to (be be able to) grab the ankles or touch the toes, maximizing exposure even beyond the OTK level, forceful blows may well make the spankee loose balance and fall, again an uncontroled injury risk.

A spankee lying down, on the contrary, is safest from injury, and the least exposed. As a patient well beneath him is unpractical for the spanker, except if the implement is quite long and flexible as a whip, the spankee is often lying on a rather high surface, such as on a table.

Still another position is hanging from a beam etc., normally tied down, often by the wrists. Again the spine is safe, the posterior exposure reduced, but here the weight on the arms is a discomfort, increasingly painful with duration, in fact also used as a corporal punishment in itself (here accessory), the wrists may be cut by the caughs or ropes. A variation is hanging upside down, tied by the ankles; similar in effect for spanking, except the legs thus carry the weight, rather devised for a falakaA Falaka is a Persian instrument of corporal punishment used to immobilize torture victims who would then have the soles of their feet beaten with rods. Similar to the European concept of stocks, the victim would be made to lie down on their back, and their feet would be fastened to a 2 metre pole with a loop in the middle made of either leather or rope. The loop was held in place by passing its two ends through two holes made in the pole with knots at either end to prevent the cords from slipping through. ...
[click for more]
(beating on the foot soles).

As long as it is strong, big and stable enough to hold the spankee and his weight, almost anything can be used as such a pervertible, though a smooth surface is preferable to avoid scaving injuries; however the ritual character of repeated spanking often leads to a firm preference for a fixed spot (as in the expression the woodshed treatment) and object.

Especially in the informal (e.g. domestic) context, often furniture is used, such as a a bed, chair or stool, poof, ottoman or sofa, table, (work - or other) bench; another example is retained in the expression 'over a barrel' (meaning at somenone's mercy, literally at the spanker's to whom the posterior is perfectly exposed).

Variations of positions bending over a support for spanking include:

The same term can be applied when or positioned over a punishment horse (to bend over and possibly be tied to during the administration of to the. The word and varies synonyms (such as the 'gray mare' used for strapping in the Colorado State Prison in Carson City) refer to the shape resembling an equine; often this is in fact a contraption already known as horse in its original, non-punitive use, such as the vaulting horse (or its smaller version, the vault buck — usually available in schools and athletic clubs; by the way in some languages, e.g. the German bock meaning buck (he-goat), similar constructions are named after other animals), sawhorse etcetera. This is also true of some names of similar apparatus such as the birching donkey and the (small) pony, but these are usually specially constructed for institutional use of posterior discipline. As legislators frequently (e.g. in the British empire) failed to prescribe precise apparatus, a myriad of contraptions have been used under even more names, such as whipping horse, caning bench, flogging frame, tresle etc.

 

Procedure

Some child specialists say that if a parent must administer a spanking, it should not be done in anger (indeed discipline must be rational and consistent, not emotional satisfaction) — and only as a last resort when other forms of discipline have failed. They say that for a spanking to be educational it must be perceived as logical and just: the spankee must know what exactly it is for, the severity fitting the 'crime,' preferably according to previous warnings; and the threat should be systematically carried out, not whimsically, nor the severity altered without justification. Especially with young children, it should follow quickly upon being caught, and some warn against consecutive comfort such as hugging as that might confuse the child, maybe even lead it to think that the beating (and the crime leading to it) earned it the affection. Some recommend preceding the spanking with an explanation to the child of exactly why the spanking will happen — or in the case of older children, having the child explain this reason to the parent — so that the child understands what the misdeed was.

Spanking is generally considered corrective punishment, without intention of permanent injury; however, such intentions do not always have their desired result. There are questions over what level of pain is appropriate until it crosses the threshold into abuse. Up until the mid-20th century it was perfectly acceptable in most communities for a spanking to cause a child to cry in pain throughout and have trouble sitting down afterward, even leaving stripes or bruises for days, sometimes even lasting scars. Today some (including courts in some countries) consider even mere redness of the skin abusive, though others would call it effective discipline.

Spankings are delivered over a diaper (nearly only in playfull context emphasizing humiliation, not painful enough for real punishment), over clothingBut most clothing consists of cloth, and most cloth can be (laundered) and mended (patching, darning) (but compare felt). Humans have developed many specialized methods for laundering, ranging from the earliest "pound clothes against rocks in running stream" to the latest in electronic washing machines and dry cleaning (dissolving dirt in solvents other than water)....
[click for more]
(may be specified, e.g. sport kit; otherwise arbitrarily unequal protection may be unfair, especially in an institutional context with rules for the number of strokes), over the undergarmentsUndergarments, also called "underwear", "lingerie" (undergarments for women), or sometimes "intimate clothing", are clothes worn next to the skin, usually under other clothes. Some clothing is specifically underwear, while T-shirts and some shorts are suitable as underwear as well as outer clothing. Suitability as outer clothing is, apart from outdoor or indoor climate, largely a social and sometimes even a legal matter. One of the criteria for shorts not to be suitable as outer clothing may be that it has ...
[click for more]
only, or upon the bareNudity or nakedness is the state of wearing no clothing. It is sometimes used to refer to wearing significantly less clothing than expected by the conventions of a particular culture and situation, and in particular exposing the bare skin of intimate parts. The term topless is sometimes used—especially in reference to females—to describe the lack of clothing covering the breasts....
[click for more]
buttocks in increasing order of intended painPain is both a sensory and emotional experience, generally associated tissue damage, or inflammation. Pain is ultimately a perception, and not an objective bodily state....
[click for more]
(though tight trousers and a wedgie can make a blunt implement, as a cane, feel even worse), and potential humiliationHumiliation is literally the act of being made humble, or reduced in standing or prestige. However, the term has much in common with the emotion of shame. Humiliation is not in general a pleasant experience, as it reduces the ego....
[click for more]
; the latter is greatly increased by witnesses, such as the household, the class, or even a school assembly.

The removal of the clothing by the spanker may be seen as humiliating as the child is made to experience being undressed by someone other than oneself. It also procures a feeling of helplessness in that the child is no longer in control of the situation.

Most educators in modern-day WesternThe term Western world can have multiple meanings depending on its context. Originally defined as Europe, most modern uses of the term refer to the societies of Europe and their genealogical, colonial, and philosophical descendants, typically also including those countries whose ethnic identity and dominant culture derive from European culture....
[click for more]
societies consider avoidable humiliation inappropriate. Others consider the humiliation of exposing one's bare buttocks a legitimate or even essential part of the punishment, as the desired psychological effect is to deter, more than inflicting pain as such.

As a rule the humiliation resulting from a punishment diminishes as it is used more frequently: suffering the same fate as (nearly) all one's peers is far less embarrassing then being (nearly) the only one to be made to bend over, with trousers down.

Furthermore the deterring effect of pain can be lessened or even outweighed by macho pride in 'taking it like a man', as attested by the documented pleas of British Royal Navy captains to have corporal punishment under regulations prescribed to be publicly administered on the 'bare stern' and with another instrument then used on the bare backs of adult sailors, because they believed discipline was badly served as cocky boys considered a 'man's punishment' a virile badge of honor, worth the physical pain.

 

Controversy

Spanking — like corporal punishment in general — is a hotly debated social issue in many countries. Questions exist as to whether children should be spanked (see the sections below), whether it is an effective method of discipline (and if so how it is best done, see above), and whether or at what point it constitutes child abuse.

 

Arguments for spanking

Those who accept spanking often frame the issue as a matter of parental rights, stating that parents have the right to raise their children in the way they consider most appropriate. They also hold there is little evidence that moderate spanking is harmful. Further, many believe that discipline problems among children have recently increased, and partially attribute the increase to the decline of both parental authority and the use of spanking. Proponents of spanking also argue that moderate spanking is simple and effective, especially compared to non-spanking disciplines proposed by both academic psychologists and parents which may rely upon complicated or unrealistic methods that are often not implemented successfully.

Another argument used by proponents of spanking is that proper and effective spankings cause only temporary pain and no damage. It has been claimed that when parents and children are engaged in a prolonged struggle for authority, the anger and bitterness that results can cause an emotional estrangement that far outweighs any possible negative effects from moderate spankings.

Some advocates for spanking come from a behaviorist Behaviorism (or behaviourism) is an approach to psychology based on the proposition that behavior is interesting and worthy of scientific research. Within that broad approach, there are different emphases. Some behaviorists argue simply that the observation of behavior is the best or most convenient way of investigating psychological and mental processes. Others believe that it is in fact the only way of investigating such processes, while still others argue that behavior itself is the only appropriate sub...
[click for more]
point of view, and argue that spanking is a form of operant conditioningOperant conditioning, so named by psychologist B. F. Skinner, is the modification of behavior (the actions of animals) brought about by the consequences that follow upon the occurrence of the behavior. In simple terms, behavior operates on the environment producing various effects. The phrase operant conditioning draws out a crucial distinction from Pavlovian conditioning, which Skinner termed respondent - namely that respondent conditioning, like the dog's salivation or the knee-jerk, has neither much effe...
[click for more]
, whereby the child associates a certain behaviour with the physical pain and/or humiliation caused by spanking. Since a child's learning processBurrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 - August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist and author. He conducted pioneering work on experimental psychology and advocated behaviorism, which seeks to understand behavior entirely in terms of responses to stimuli. He also wrote a number of controversial works in which he proposed the widespread use of psychological behavior modification techniques (primarily operant conditioning) in order to improve society and increase human happiness....
[click for more]
is believed to be less complex than that of an adult, they claim that children are more likely to be influenced by such a conditioning.

Additionally, there is a widespread and deep skepticism among pro-spankers of all the arguments against spanking, and a general feeling that the practice of spanking recalcitrant children has proven its worth over a period of many centuries. They believe that the bias against spanking is arbitrary and an improper application of egalitarian principles to what they claim is an inherently unequal social relationship.

Some advocates of spanking refer to Bible verses mentioning "the rod", and assert that spanking is therefore an acceptable punishment from a Judeo-Christian moral or religious point of view. Some attribute the quotation "spare the rod and spoil the child" to the Bible; in fact, it comes from a poem by Samuel Butler. The BibleThe Bible (From Greek βιβλια—biblia, meaning "books", which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos meaning "papyrus", from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported papyrus) is the sacred scripture of Christianity. Most of the Old Testament is also part of the Hebrew Bible of the Jewish faith. It is also called "the Word of God", from the belief that the writings were inspired by an all-powerful creator (although the term "Wor...
[click for more]
verse itself reads, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs The Book of Proverbs is a book of the Tanach/Old Testament. It is a collection of moral and philosophical maxims on a wide range of subjects presented in a poetic form. This book sets forth a philosophy of practical life, and is a compilation and adaptation of common sayings. It is clear that the author of the book gathered and recast many proverbs which sprang from human experience in preceding ages and were floating past him on the tide of time, and that he also elaborated many new ones from the material...
[click for more]
13:24 (NIVThe New International Version (NIV) is an English translation of the Christian Bible. Translation The complete translation was first published in 1978 and revised in 1984. The translation work was done under the auspices of the International Bible Society and Zondervan Publishing House....
[click for more]
)"

 

Arguments against spanking

Anti-spanking advocates make a number of arguments against spanking, on a number of grounds: chiefly that spanking is abusive, that it is ineffective, and that it teaches children that physical violenceViolence is a general term to describe actions, usually deliberate, that cause or intend to cause injury to people, animals, or non-living objects. Violence is often associated with aggression. There are essentially two kinds of violence: random violence, which describes small-scale acts of random or targeted violence, and coordinated violence, which describes actions carried out by sanctioned or unsanctioned violent groups, such as war and terrorism....
[click for more]
is an acceptable way to deal with other people ("might makes right"). It is also possible that this may contribute to physical abuse in cases of bullying at school and physical abuse on siblings in family battles that occur between the children. Many cases of bullying at school has been linked to physical abuse cases.

The boundary between spanking and abuse is difficult for even traditionalists to define. Two commonly accepted guides are that the parent doing the spanking must not feel anger Anger is an emotion of displeasure, usually regarding an act or idea of another person or organisation. Sometimes a person feels angry at him- or herself for having acted stupidly or badly, etc. Anger involves a sense of wrongedness, outrage, frustration, irritation, or violent conflict....
[click for more]
at the child or satisfaction at the act of spanking, and that the spanking must not leave any marks or injury. Opponents suggest that both of these may be rationalizationsIn psychology, rationalization is the process of constructing a logical justification for a decision that was originally arrived at through a different mental process. This process can be in a range from fully conscious (e.g. to present an external defense against ridicule from others) to mostly subconscious (e.g. to create a block against internal feelings of guilt)....
[click for more]
, or a slippery slopeIn the contexts of debate or of rhetoric, the phrase slippery slope, also appearing as the thin end of the wedge or the camel's nose, refers both to an argument about the likelihood of one event given another, and to a fallacy about the inevitability of one event given another. Invoking the "slippery slope" means predicting (without necessary justification) that one step in a process will lead unavoidably to a second (generally undesirable) step....
[click for more]
. However, it does not seem to be possible for the parent to avoid showing anger or for the child to believe that the parent is not angry at them, as it is reasonable to assume someone is angry when they are hitting you.

Opponents also hold that spanking is ineffective and that other forms of disciplineDiscipline is any training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental development in a particular direction. Forms of discipline: Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order. A systematic method to obtain obedience, e.g. military discipline. ...
[click for more]
are more successful at teaching a child to behave properly. Also, unlike taking away a child's favorite toy, spanking is permanent and cannot be reversed if it is determined that it was not actually warranted. Spanking may lead, it is argued, to psychological damage and even possible PTS syndrome-related effects due to prolonged fear, feelings of mistrust and being un-loved, alike with bullying at school or other forms of abuse.

Opponents also claim that spanking teaches children that violence is an appropriate way to treat one who offends. Some consider that spanking, as with clear-cut forms of physical abuse, may perpetuate a "cycle of violence" which contributes to violent behavior in the child as an adult. Children learn by example, and those subjected to the deliberate infliction of physical painPain is both a sensory and emotional experience, generally associated tissue damage, or inflammation. Pain is ultimately a perception, and not an objective bodily state....
[click for more]
"to teach them a lesson" will, the argument goes, learn that this is an appropriate way to treat others who have wronged them.

There is a significant risk in regards to trust of a parent. If children feel that they are being threatened by this form of chastisement, it is likely that they may have difficulty believing that the parents are there to protect them because of the claim "I would never hurt you" has been violated. This may impair their ability to follow their parents or do what they advise and to listen to them.

There are possible physical risks involved which have not been proven. Mainly these risks concern the physical effects of hitting someone, especially when implements such as paddles are used. The buttocks are a sensitive area and are close to the kidneys or spine. Hitting the wrong area may cause harm to these organs.

Additionally, risks may occur when the child resists its punishment and tries to get away in an angry or other emotional state. This may result in accidental injuries such as falling down flights of stairs and running out into traffic, tripping up over things laid out on the floor, and even possibly hitting the parents back causing a possible reactions that results in them being further punished in similar and more dangerous ways. In such cases, they may begin to fight dangerously, and the result is most likely to be serious injuries on the younger opponent.

For children with afflictions such as epilepsy, asthma, un-diagnosed medical conditions such as heart rhythm disorder ("arrythmias") a spanking may aggrevate their condition which may be lethal. It is known that epileptic patients that are exposed to stress can be more likely to convulse for instance. Anything that produces physical stress on the body can do harm.

Opponenents of spanking also point out that many biblical references to "the rod" are in context of the shepherd and his sheep, and that the rod was used by the shepherd to guide or protect his sheep, rather than to hit them.[5].

It has been proven that children have a greater sensitivity to pain than adults. This is something that people may deny; it is, however, attested by neurological studies on neuronal stengthening and pain in brain development.

 

Alternatives to spanking

Opponents of spanking state that there are numerous methods of non-violent child disciplineThere are many effective non-violent methods of child discipline available to parents when discipline is necessary. While they are mainly advocated by many experts in child development and by opponents of spanking or other forms of corporal punishment of children, they are also often utilized by parents who spank as well. These alternatives to spanking are not complicated, but they do require parents to be willing and able to give more time and thought to discipline, to exercise self-control, to be consider...
[click for more]
which they think are at least as effective as spanking, and without the negative side-effects that they attribute to spanking; see that article for details.

 

Minimal use of spanking

Despite the intensity of the controversy over spanking, positions between the two extremes are also common. Many parents believe that spanking is not inherently abusive and can sometimes be an effective form of discipline, but also believe that it should usually be avoided. Some, for instance, use spanking only when a child does something dangerous and it is critical that an immediate, lasting impression must be made. Others point out that individual differences in temperamentIn psychology, Temperament is the general nature of an individual's personality, such as introversion or extraversion, it derives from the theory of the humours. In music, Temperament refers to the approximating, or tempering, of the rational frequency ratios of just intonation with the intent of increasing the flexibility of the resulting system of musical tuning. Types of temperament include equal temperament and other regular temperaments and well temperament....
[click for more]
have a great effect on the way children respond to discipline, and criticize both extreme positions on spanking as taking a "one size fits all" approach. They argue that spanking may be the most effective form of discipline for some children, but that it should only be used on those particular children who respond well to spanking and do not respond to alternative methods of discipline.

 

Other criticisms and questions about spanking

Some people opposing spanking have speculated on the links between eroticism and the spanking of children (see also erotic spankingErotic spanking is the practice of spanking another for the sexual gratification of either or both parties. Erotic spanking is generally regarded as a form of BDSM activity (sadomasochism in particular), although many spanking devotees do not regard it as such. Spanking can be carried out with the bare hands, gloves, a ruler, hairbrush, paddle, switch, cane, crop, birch, martinet or whip; it is sometimes combined with sexual roleplaying and/or ageplay. It is often delivered on the bare buttocks, and sometim...
[click for more]
). They regard the spanking of children as a form of pedophilic sexual abuseSexual abuse is physical or psychological abuse that involves sexual behavior. Most forms of sexual abuse are crimes in most countries. Forms of sexual abuse include rape and indecent assault....
[click for more]
, and also claim that childhood spanking may lead to the development of paraphiliacParaphilia (in Greek 'para' παρά = over and 'philia' φιλία = friendship) is a mental health term recently used to indicate sexual arousal in response to sexual objects or situations that are not part of societally normative arousal/activity patterns, or which may interfere with the capacity for reciprocal affectionate sexual activity....
[click for more]
behavior in later life.[6]

This speculation generally enrages supporters of spanking, who understandably prefer to see themselves as legitimate authority figuresIn politics, authority generally refers to the ability to make laws, independent of the power to enforce them, or the ability to permit something. People obey authority out of respect, while they obey power out of fear. For example, "the congress has the authority to pass laws" vs "the police have the power to arrest law-breakers". Authority need not be consistent or rational, it only needs to be accepted as a source of permission or truth....
[click for more]
acting from rational motives, rather than as pedophilesPedophilia (American English) or paedophilia / p�dophilia (British English), from the Greek παιδοφιλια (paidophilia) < παις (pais) "boy, child" and φιλια (philia) "friendship", (ICD-10 F65.4) is the condition of people (either adult or adolescent) whose primary sexual attraction is toward prepubescent children. It is a chronophilia, i.e. a paraphilia in which the paraphile's sexuoerotic age is discordant with h...
[click for more]
.

However, these speculations have never been proven. Additionally, some people who enjoy erotic spankingErotic spanking is the practice of spanking another for the sexual gratification of either or both parties. Erotic spanking is generally regarded as a form of BDSM activity (sadomasochism in particular), although many spanking devotees do not regard it as such. Spanking can be carried out with the bare hands, gloves, a ruler, hairbrush, paddle, switch, cane, crop, birch, martinet or whip; it is sometimes combined with sexual roleplaying and/or ageplay. It is often delivered on the bare buttocks, and sometim...
[click for more]
claim never to have received a spanking as a child.[7]

 

The legal situation

Corporal punishment of children in school is illegal in many western countries; it remains legal in roughly half of the U.S.The United States of America, also referred to as the United States, U.S.A., U.S., US, America�, the States, or (archaically) Columbia, is a federal republic of fifty states, mostly in central North America. The U.S. has three land borders, two with Canada and one with Mexico, and is otherwise bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 50 states, however, there are two, Alaska and Hawaii, which are neither contiguous with the other forty-eight nor with eac...
[click for more]
states, although it is commonly practised only in the South. In each of these states, it is up to each school district to determine whether corporal punishment will be used, in what situations will it be applied, and the manner in which it is given – typically by a paddle. There are cases where school officials have lost their jobs for spanking students.

In the UKThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and a member of the European Union. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, UK or, inaccurately, as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent parts. Three of these parts England, Wales and Scotland, are often considered countries or nations in their own right. The fourth is Northern Ireland and its border with the Republic of Ireland is the current limit of UK sovereignty on the island of Ireland....
[click for more]
the Children Act was passed in 20042004 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. It was designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) Elections were held in 73 countries during 2004. See a list of elections....
[click for more]
. One attempt to make spanking illegal in England and WalesEngland and Wales are two separate countries within the United Kingdom. However, for many administrative purposes they are treated as the single entity England and Wales. Specifically, the two countries share the same legal system, the successor to that of the Kingdom of England, and as a consequence, most laws....
[click for more]
did not pass when a majority of 424 to 75 Members of Parliament voted against the bill [8]. A House of Lords This article is about the British House of Lords. For the historical Irish body, see Irish House of Lords. The House of Lords is a component of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also includes the Sovereign and the House of Commons. The House of Lords is an unelected body, consisting of 26 senior clerics of the Church of England (the "Lords Spiritual"), as well as 669 members of the Peerage (the "Lords Temporal"). Lords Spiritual serve as long as they continue to occupy their ecclesiastical positi...
[click for more]
amendment, however, made it illegal to leave any visible marks.

Spanking of children within families is illegal in some countries (for example, SwedenSweden (Swedish: Sverige) is a Nordic country in Scandinavia, in Northern Europe. It is bordered by Norway on the west, Finland on the northeast, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat on the southwest, and the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia on the east. Sweden has a relatively low population density and is known for its peaceful, large forests and mountainous wilderness....
[click for more]
, FinlandThe Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta, Swedish: Republiken Finland) is a Nordic country in northeastern Europe, bordered by the Baltic Sea to the southwest, the Gulf of Finland to the southeast and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. Finland has land frontiers with Sweden, Norway and Russia and a maritime border with Estonia. The �land Islands, off the southwestern coast, are under Finnish sovereignty while enjoying extensive autonomy....
[click for more]
, DenmarkThe Kingdom of Denmark is the geographically smallest Nordic country. It is located in Scandinavia, which is in northern Europe. Denmark borders the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and consists of a peninsula attached to Northern Germany named Jutland (Jylland in Danish) and many smaller islands. Denmark is north of Germany and Poland, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway. Additionally, the territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are under the Danish crown, while enjoying political home rule....
[click for more]
, NorwayThe Kingdom of Norway is a Nordic country west on the Scandinavian Peninsula, bordering Russia, Finland and Sweden, with territorial waters bordering Danish and British waters. It has a very elongated form and has an extensive coastline along the North Atlantic Ocean, where Norway's famous fjords are found. The nearby island territories of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are under Norwegian sovereignty and are considered as part of Norway as a kingdom, while Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic Ocean and Peter I Isla...
[click for more]
, AustriaThe Republic of Austria (German Republik �sterreich) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It borders Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The state is a representative democracy governed in accordance with principles of Parliamentarism....
[click for more]
, Germany The Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is one of the world's leading industrialized countries, located in the heart of Europe. It is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark and the Baltic Sea, to the east by Poland, and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland, and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands....
[click for more]
, ItalyThe Italian Republic or Italy (Italian: Repubblica Italiana or Italia) is a southern European country, comprising a boot-shaped peninsula and two large islands in the Mediterranean Sea: Sicily and Sardinia. It shares its nothern alpine boundary with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The independent countries of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italian territory....
[click for more]
, CyprusCyprus (in Greek Kypros Κύπρος and in Turkish Kıbrıs) is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, 113 kilometres (70 miles) south of Turkey and around 120 km west of the Syrian coast....
[click for more]
, CroatiaThe Republic of Croatia is a crescent-shaped country in Europe bordering the Mediterranean, Central Europe and the Balkans. Its capital is Zagreb. In recent history, it was a republic in SFR Yugoslavia....
[click for more]
, IsraelThe State of Israel (Hebrew: מדינת ישראל, translit.: Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دولة اسرائيل, translit.: Daulat Isra'il) is a country situated in the Middle East on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a parliamentary democracy and, by national policy, a Jewish state. The Israeli population is predominantly Jewish with a large non-Jewish minority, mostly comprised of Israe...
[click for more]
and LatviaThe Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), or Latvia (Latvian: Latvija), is a country in Northern Europe. Latvia has land borders with its two fellow Baltic states—Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south—and Russia and Belarus to the east. In the west Latvia shares a maritime border with Sweden....
[click for more]
). Similar initiatives in the U.S. have repeatedly failed. Parental rights groups have formed since the 1990s to prevent spanking from being criminalized.

CanadaCanada is the second largest and the northernmost country in the world, occupying most of the North American land mass. It is a decentralized federation of ten provinces and three territories, governed as a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It was initially constituted through the British North America Act of 1867 and styled The Dominion of Canada....
[click for more]
has tightened its laws as of early 2004, and the laws now say that no infant or teen may be spanked.

 

Non-punitive spankings

As spanking, combining physical discipline (associated with violence =drama) and buttocks (a sexy part of both gender's anatomy), always aroused much human attention, it is no wonder that it entered spheres of life distinct from punishment. Apart from the erotic and from fraternity/sorority type initiations, which have their origin in educational (domestic of boot camp) types of discipline, these include :

 

Folkloristic spanking traditions

 

Religious customs

On the first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year holidays, a week-long 'Spring Festival', the most important festival for Chinese people all over the world, thousands of Chinese visit the Taoist Dong Lung Gong temple in Tungkang (southern Taiwan; is this unique?) to go through the century-old ritual to get rid of bad luck, men be receiving spankings and women to be whipped (as in the Ancient Roman -unisex- Lupercalia The religious ceremonies were directed by the Luperci, the "brothers of the wolf", priests of Faunus, dressed only in a goatskin. During Lupercalia, a dog and two male goats were sacrificed. Two youths were anointed with the blood, which was wiped off with wool soaked in milk, after which they were expected to smile. They afterwards ran round the Palatine Hill with thongs cut from the sacrificed goats in their hands. These were called Februa. Girls would line up on their route to receive lashes from these ...
[click for more]
); the number of strokes to being administered (always lightly) by the temple staff is decided in either case by the god Wang Ye and by burning incense and tossing two pieces of wood, after which all go home happily, believing their luck will improve.

 

Birthday spanking

This is a curious custom in certain circles, to allow a number of others (e.g., father at home, teammates in a club, classmates in certain training institutions) to administer a spanking to the bottom of the birthday boy (or, less commonly, - girl), as an annual rite of passageA rite of passage is a ritual that marks a change in a person's social or sexual status. The term was popularised by the French ethnographer Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957), in the early part of the twentieth century. Further theories were developed in the 1960s by Mary Douglas and Victor Turner....
[click for more]
and probably a matter of (usually male or mixed) bonding - the same procedure is more commonly used as an initiation or part of it, e.g. during hazingHazing refers to often-ritualistic harassment, abuse, or humiliation with requirements to perform meaningless tasks, sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group. The term often refers to either physical or mental forms of hazing. Hazing has been reported in a variety of social contexts, including academic fraternities and sororities, the armed forces, and in workplaces (Davis, 1998). Commonly reported hazing activities involve spanking among fraternities, and a practice known as blood pinning among...
[click for more]
.

Another probably anecodotal tale is that of the ancient Egyptians using spanking on the birthday to prepare the person for the afterlife, i.e. soften the body for the tomb.

 

Recreational context

 

Playful enactment

Child's play often imitates real life, especially featuring part of daily life, even the most unpleasant.

Thus it has been recorded by a captain in the Royal Navy that boys on board often enacted the beatings they were subjected to in reality, both the 'day to day' caning and the truly painful and humiliating public administration of a flogging with the boy's pussy (lighter version of the cat o' nine tails) talking turns in the actual position on deck, sometimes including the lowering of the trousers (but using a cane for lack of a cat)!

 

Spanking booth

This carnival attraction is a disciplinarian variation of the kissing booth, where the volunteer(s) (sometimes rather assigned, e.g. pledges as part of hazingHazing refers to often-ritualistic harassment, abuse, or humiliation with requirements to perform meaningless tasks, sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group. The term often refers to either physical or mental forms of hazing. Hazing has been reported in a variety of social contexts, including academic fraternities and sororities, the armed forces, and in workplaces (Davis, 1998). Commonly reported hazing activities involve spanking among fraternities, and a practice known as blood pinning among...
[click for more]
) must earn the donations (either for charity or the funds of the organizing society) by enduring swats, for example with a paddle, usually bending over and/or in riduculous and/or exposing costume. The rules may or not prevent an actual painful 'punishment' of the innocent bottom.


 

In either case it is usually kept mild, more horseplay than punishment.

 

See also

 

External links


 


 

Related Phrases


Childhood Discipline And Eroticism Belt "masochism"

 

Back to index Page