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Monday, September 28, 2009

One for the pro-smackers in the house


Why kids who get spanked have lower IQs

The debate over spanking goes back many years, but the essential question often evades discussion: does spanking actually work? In the short term, yes. You can correct immediate misbehavior with a slap or two on the rear-end or hand. But what about the long-term impact? Can spanking lead to permanent, hidden scars on children years later?

On Friday, a sociologist from the University of New Hampshire, Murray Straus, presented a paper at the International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, in San Diego, suggesting that corporal punishment does leave a long-lasting mark — in the form of lower IQ. Straus, who is 83 and has been studying corporal punishment since 1969, found that kids who were physically punished had up to a five-point lower IQ score than kids who weren't — the more children were spanked, the lower their IQ — and that the effect could be seen not only in individual children, but across entire nations. Among 32 countries Straus studied, in those where spanking was accepted, the average IQ of the survey population was lower than in nations where spanking was rare, the researcher says.


This week's Time examines the debate around corporal punishment, arguing that smacking your children may stunt their cognitive development. While Straus' study cannot under any circumstances be seen as conclusive due to the number of variable factors in the broader environment of the children it examines, it does support other studies which signal that smacking can impact on a child's ability to learn.

Such findings are not surprising: we know from adults that the impact of violence can lead to stunted emotional growth and conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It is hardly extrapolating to imagine that children, while unable to articulate their emotions/pain to the same level as adults, might suffer a similar impact from this violence. Straus' study reveals the social acceptability and frequency of such violence: roughly three-quarters had been disciplined through corporal punishment in the last two weeks. Perhaps someone should show these statistics to the US religious conservative group Focus on Family group who funded the "vote no" smacking referendum campaign in NZ to the tune of $1 million.

The arguments that the pro-smacking lobby provide in New Zealand for harming our children simply do not stack up. You can't smack another adult just because you are frustrated, so why should you need to smack your children? There are better ways to discipline children that teaching them that violence is the resolution to problems. Thankfully, despite his posturing to the conservatives, section 59 looks set to stay as it is under a Key Government. Let's hope Act's John Boscawen doesn't get too much leverage in his campaign to build on parent's fears to make smacking the status quo again.

26 Comments:

At 28/9/09 10:55 am, Blogger Wayne said...

What a load of codswallop - there is nothing to prove a causal relationship between IQ and smacking - obviously lower socioeconomic groups will, on average, hit their children more than the well-to-do. And IQ correlates with wealth, and correlates with success.

This stuff is as hokey as those who argue the genetic inferiority of blacks based on IQ - its not about being black, its the socioeconomic position of many blacks (the result of history), that results in the lower IQ.

Showing how two things correlate with each other says nothing about whether one causes the other or not. This sort of 'research' is entirely ideologically driven.

You people are really clutching at straws now.

 
At 28/9/09 12:34 pm, Blogger paulinem said...

Wayne I agree this report is a load of codswallop ..I would be interested in knowing how many kids Phoebe has reared herself to make such rediculous statements

My kids all got smacked ""when they needed too be "" and they have all grown with no problems ...three graduated well so no problems re stunting their brain growth etc ...

By the way re other blogs etc in reply humm what have they to do with Phoebes report .......

 
At 28/9/09 12:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So by corollary one can argue because Maori and PI's tend to discipline their children more with force thier children grow up to be more stupid which is why they are economically backward?

Fuck what a stupid argument. Thanks for providing fuel to racists hicks Phoebe.

 
At 28/9/09 1:08 pm, Anonymous Gosman said...

I think it is inappropriate to draw the firm conclusions from that study that you are putting forward.

The article stated the following "Still, it's not clear if spanking causes lower cognitive ability or if lower cognitive ability might somehow lead to more spanking.".

Even one of the study's authors mentioned that "It could be that lower IQ causes parents to get exasperated and hit more".

That is not to say that spanking children will not lead to negative outcomes like lower IQ. However it is bad academic form to make a definitive link based on that article.

 
At 28/9/09 2:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smack the fear of Jesus into them I say!

 
At 28/9/09 2:14 pm, Blogger Phoebe Fletcher said...

I am merely postulating that of course exposure to violence has cognitive effects - I stated numerous times that the study was inconclusive (thanks for reading). I was more using it as a point for beginning conversation. You would be hard-pressed to find a psychologist that didn't argue the same for adults, so why is it okay for children?

 
At 28/9/09 2:15 pm, Blogger Phoebe Fletcher said...

I would also argue, Anon 12:34, that such arguments you suggest are based on myth anyway and Pakeha equally hit their kids.

 
At 28/9/09 2:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would also argue, Anon 12:34, that such arguments you suggest are based on myth anyway and Pakeha equally hit their kids."

I'd say you were wrong because such hicks could point to the record levels of child abuse amongst Maori and PI according to CYPF's.

Maybe you should be more circumspect in your arguments and consider its ramification which in this case are unpleasant.

 
At 28/9/09 3:53 pm, Blogger Wayne said...

I am merely postulating that of course exposure to violence has cognitive effects

Whacking someone over the head with a bit of 4 x 2 would have for sure - but that was always beyond the pale.

But ordinary corporal punishment - that is not violence - that is discipline.

And legions of well-adjusted, perfectly happy adults, who in childhood were disciplined in such a way by their equally well-adjusted, perfectly happy parents, provides plenty of evidence that little ill came from a bit of childhood discipline.

What we do know is kids who were not disciplined when young, invariably turn out to be self-centred, selfish, and in some cases psychopathic.

I was more using it as a point for beginning conversation.

But it is a ridiculous starting point, because the conclusions are as silly as saying because most people who drive say, a BMW, are rich, saving up and owning a BMW will make you rich.

Such illogical tripe barely deserves further discussion.

It bascially shows you people have basically nothing substantive upon which to justify this ridiculous law.

 
At 28/9/09 6:44 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Excellent post Phoebe, well reasoned and well argued, the denial some seem to need to hold onto to justify their continued support of assaulting children is sad.

 
At 29/9/09 9:08 am, Anonymous Gosman said...

The article in question goes against the grain of recent studies which show that disciplining your children, (including using but not exclusive to smacking), leads them to be balanced and well adjusted adults.

Now does anyone see something wrong with that above statement?

 
At 29/9/09 10:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just out of interest, Wayne, Gosman and Paulinem - do you believe global warming is caused by man made pollution?

 
At 29/9/09 11:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why butt your nose in bomber?

Why the need to defend Pheobe when she doesn't need it, you don't do it to Tim.

You feel the need to protect/validate weal little Pheobe to all the big mean males?

It's not the first time you have done this.

Fuck you are patronising to women.

Saddest thing is your sexism is so ingrained you can't even see it.

 
At 29/9/09 12:20 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Why butt your nose in bomber?

Why the need to defend Pheobe when she doesn't need it, you don't do it to Tim.

You feel the need to protect/validate weal little Pheobe to all the big mean males?

It's not the first time you have done this.

Fuck you are patronising to women.

Saddest thing is your sexism is so ingrained you can't even see it.


GRIN - I see, um, I posted my point because I thought Pheobe made a bloody good point and it's not true that I haven't made the same types of posts crediting blogs by Tim. I think you jumped to conclusions.

 
At 29/9/09 1:25 pm, Anonymous Gosman said...

So how do you explain the fact that this study is at odds with a multitude of different studies on the same subject then?

 
At 29/9/09 2:06 pm, Anonymous Amelia!! said...

you people are arseholes.. gee gosman, maybe this study goes against the grain cos all the other researchers are advocates of smacking, or their just narrow minded idiots.. its the ones that go against the grain that revolutionise our way of thinking or the world according to most of you would still be bloody flat!
Give into the fact the law isnt, and should not change.. Even the smiling assasin has no plans to remove it so swallow your own poison people and find another area to bitch about..

P.s anon's are cowards.. put your name to your opinion..dont be shy, your mother wasn't..

Keep it up Pheobe!!

 
At 29/9/09 2:23 pm, Anonymous Gosman said...

I can't believe noone has pulled me up on the glaring problem with my last two postings.

Come on people it isn't too difficult to spot.

 
At 30/9/09 6:26 am, Anonymous Gosman said...

I love the fact that I can claim that there are studies out there that have conclusions at odds with the one mentioned in this thread and noone bothered to ask if I have any EVIDENCE for this!

BTW Amelia!, the irony that was dripping from your last post was simply delicious.

 
At 30/9/09 8:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the fact no one cares what you have to say Gosman. A petty point is a petty point, just because no one wants to play catch with you doesn't mean you are right Gosman.

 
At 30/9/09 8:54 am, Anonymous Gosman said...

Don't you know Anon that Mr Bradbury takes a very dim view of people who post anonymously, especially if they engage in personal abuse. I think he calls it gutless behaviour.

Anyway the point of my post, (that seems lost on some people), is that the comments by Phoebe that there are other studies which concur with the general thrust of Mr Straus' report is unsubstantiated.

Phoebe may well be correct in her asertion. There could be a plethora of academic studies out there. The trouble is she hasn't linked to any of them.

 
At 30/9/09 10:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosman said...
Don't you know Anon that Mr Bradbury takes a very dim view of people who post anonymously, especially if they engage in personal abuse. I think he calls it gutless behaviour.


A) Bomber might not think much of anon posts, but he views them with more respect than yours gosman.

B) "no one cares what you say gosman",
"a petty point is a petty point",
"no one wants to play catch with you"

Hardly dripping with personal abuse.
But here is some for you:

Now why don't you go set up your own blog, and shit your daily musings there, rather than smear your verbal faeces all over the internet.

Btw, I knoe the kiwiblog posters personally abused the shit out of you far more than anyone here.

Must suck to be disliked by everyone gosman.

 
At 30/9/09 1:42 pm, Anonymous Gosman said...

Ummm... where did I state you did engage in personal abuse Anon?

All I stated is Mr Bradbury takes a dim view of Anon posters especially those who engage in that sort of behaviour. However now that you have done so, I'd like to congratulate you for the gutless behaviour. LOL!

As for being disliked by Mr Bradbury, I take that as a badge of honour rather than something to concern myself with.

I note to that you also are making unsubstantiated claims. I don't think you can back that one up regarding Kiwiblog. Certainly I have some juicy bits of banter from posters on this thread which make Kiwiblog comments seem like a Sunday School picnic in comparision.

How come you can't seem to keep to the topic and post anonymously anyway?

 
At 30/9/09 7:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family Fist will love this one! Jesus gave us hands to beat with...

 
At 1/10/09 7:53 am, Blogger Cannalyzer said...

Bomber is obviously defending his infrequent contributor here in the hope she isn't scared off by the big bad bullies

At the end of the day this dumb law will have no impact whatsoever on child abuse. All it will do is criminalise otherwise good parents who may feel it necessary to use corporal punishment.
Thanks for wasting Parliament's precious time on this drivel, more nanny state hogwash. The lefties are actually worse that the right for over regulation.

 
At 1/10/09 2:51 pm, Anonymous gosmans mummy said...

Gosman said...
Ummm... where did I state you did engage in personal abuse Anon?


right here

Don't you know Anon that Mr Bradbury takes a very dim view of people who post anonymously, especially if they engage in personal abuse. I think he calls it gutless behaviour.

Now why would you mention personal abuse when talking about anon, if it was not directed at anon?

As for being disliked by Mr Bradbury, I take that as a badge of honour rather than something to concern myself with.

riiight.
that why you constantly post here, and whine like a bitch when bomber won't publish it.

I don't think you can back that one up regarding Kiwiblog.

Google it gosman.
the ripped you a new asshole, and told you to fuck off back to tumeke, because, gasp, all you could talk about on kiwiblog was how mean bomber was.

How come you can't seem to keep to the topic and post anonymously anyway?

A) I don't feed trolls.
B) Is gosman your first or last name?

You're as anonymous as me idiot.

 
At 4/10/09 9:38 am, Anonymous Gosman said...

All you have done with this last post is to reinforce the original point I made, which is that it is not good form to make claims without backing them up with some kind of evidence.

You have provided no evidence that anything like that happened on Kiwiblog.

 

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