Lee (2011) contends that factors including the living environment, prior behavioral issues and peer pressure can influence the decision to spank. There are a host of different environmental factors that must be taken into consideration before any correct determination as to helpfulness of spanking can be assessed. There is no one blanket circumstance that can be applied as a standard. That remains the problem when trying to identify any one behavioral change due to spanking, for the better or the worse. Not only is the environment constantly a changing and evolving factor, but there remains the variable of the child themselves. With studies out on so many different facets regarding the children involved with spanking, Lee (2011) related that the statistics tend to show that the children receiving the most corporal discipline tend to be the children that had initial problems to begin with. With many arguments both supporting and detracting from the practice, it is a lively and often emotional debate. The evidence in this paper will show a balanced assessment of the issue followed by a fair a reasonable conclusion that spanking, when applied judicially, is not detrimental, but in fact can be a positive and useful tool in the correct circumstances. Studies against Spanking Strident in their opposition, many individuals and family oriented groups have taken a hard stand on spanking. Straus (2005) pointed out very clearly three defining reasons that spanking does not, nor ever will, work. 1. The act of spanking can produce consequential future side effects that any parent will not be able to gauge at the present moment. 2. The studies have shown that the act of spanking has no better effect on behavior than many other forms of punishment. 3. The violent act of spanking runs contrary to the values of a peaceful family and society as a whole. Values such as these reflect the growing concern that physical punishment early in life has the possibility of leading to physical acts of violence later on in life. As Straus (2005) has shown in his work, the link between acts such as spanking can easily produce an adult or teen that can act out in physically harmful ways, very much affecting those around them. Concerns such as these are only the beginning of the list of worries that some concerned advocates constantly extoll. Alongside the theory that spanking is violent, is that the act is very close to child abuse in certain instances. Taken too far, spanking can seem to be a very brutal and consequential experience for any child. The obvious long term effects of such a beating would be sure to resonant within the psyche of the child well throughout their adulthood. As shown by Marshall (2002) there are many alternative methods that are just as effective, and a lot less violent than the act of spanking. By using methods such as Time outs, treat depravation, rewards or even the practice of using animals to demonstrate the needed behavior, the alternatives appear to be just as successful in taming errant behavior as the act of spanking does. Behind the positive reinforcement stands the positive and beneficial source of the entire non spanking philosophy. Their reasoning states the any long term fix will only be achieved by actively demonstrating the
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