Posts Tagged murray straus

Smacking may have lifelong consequences

August 20, 2009

The Boston Globe reports on recent US research on smacking.  Some quotes from Murray Straus, founder of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampsire:

“Suppose there are two medicines that work, but one has harmful side effects that don’t show up for 10 or 20 years. Even if one dose has only a tiny chance of an adverse effect, I think parents would want to avoid that risk. That’s the way they should think about spanking” –

When asked, “Can you think of a situation when it’s OK for a husband to slap a wife in the face,” almost half of those who had grown up being spanked regularly (three or more times a week) said yes.

“If you want your child to grow up to be the kind of person who reasons instead of hits,” he says, “I can’t imagine why any parent would ever spank.”

Read the full article.

Four studies: smacking leads to sexual coersion and risky sex

April 22, 2009

Dr Murray Straus is a Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, and a former president of the National Council on Family Relations.

In February 2008, he gave a presentation to the American Psychological Association Summit Conference on Violence and Abuse in Interpersonal Relationship entitled Corporal Punishment of Children and Sexual Behavior Problems: results from four studies.

The studies show some interesting yet frightening results about the effects of smacking children, including

  • The more smacking, the more antisocial behaviour two years later
  • Smacking is related to physical aggression, psychological aggression, and property crimes
  • Corporal punishment before age 12 significantly increases the probability of future verbal and physical sexual coersion
  • Corporal punishment as a child significantly increases the probability of risky sex (insisting on sex without a condom and approval of violence)
  • The more corporal punishment as a child, the greater the probability of risky sex as an adult

Many people who condone smacking their children say that it should only be done lovingly, but Straus’s research shows that the link between corporal punishment and masochistic sex is greatest when the parents are warm and loving.

Straus’s presentation concludes with a suggestion that birth certificates should contain a warning:

Spanking has been shown to be dangerous to your child’s health and well being.

For more information, download the presentation.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

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