Violence begets violence.
Those who were given corporal punishment as children are 29% more likely to extend that abuse into their dating life, a new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston says.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics on Tuesday, looked at over 750 19- and 20-year-olds and asked them if they’d been spanked when they were younger. They also asked them if they had ever hit anyone in their dating life.
Sixty-eight percent of participants reported experiencing corporal violence as children, and 19% admitted to perpetuating that violence.
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“While we can’t say that spanking causes later violence, it follows that if a kid learns that physical punishment is a way to solve conflict, he/she may carry that over into conflicts with later intimate partners,” said study senior author Jeff Temple in a statement.
According to the research, about 80% of children cross-culturally and worldwide are physically punished.
“Parents are a child’s first look at relationships and how conflicts are handled. Corporal punishment is communicating to children that violence is an acceptable means of changing behavior,” Temple said.
Corporal punishment at home is banned in several countries including France, New Zealand, Sweden, Greenland and Peru. Here in America, while states have various laws pertaining to child abuse and bans on corporal punishment in schools, none have a complete ban on home corporal punishment. However, a 2016 study said that moms’ reliance on spanking decreased significantly from 1988 to 2011.
“While parents may think this form of physical punishment is a good lesson,” Temple said, “substantial research indicates that it does way more harm than good.”
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