On upworthy.com today, a website which claims to engage about 50 million people a month, I came across the first infographic (below) that I know of that summarises the scientific evidence against spanking (corporal punishment) as an effective parenting technique . This is great. The truth about spanking continues to spread. Research suggests that the vast majority of parents still believe in spanking, but mostly only because they think there is no alternative. This is perhaps one of the most harmful and tragic beliefs of our time. The still widely accepted wisdom in regard to child rearing hasn’t yet caught up with the science. Most parents are still parenting as if spanking benefits children when the reality is that it harms them, now and later on in life.
The best hope for greatly reducing violence against children is the general acceptance of the reality that spanking is harmful and wrong, as this will lead to the widespread adoption of non-violent alternative parenting techniques by parents. The societal norm will be flipped on its head. Resorting to and not refraining from spanking will become what is viewed as ‘weak’ or bad parenting.