Thursday, October 25, 2007

Approval for spanking is on the decline: Since 1986, the GSS has asked Americans if they feel that spanking is sometimes necessary. I looked the percent who said no:

Percent thinking that spanking is not necessary

1986 16.5
1996 27.1
2006 27.7

There was a jump in the late 80s, but it has leveled off in the past decade. This matches the trend I have witnessed in the classroom: more people seem to be uncomfortable with not only spanking, but also punishment in general. I could count on one hand the number of times I have spanked my kids, but no punishment? You gotta be crazy. No wonder we have so many poorly behaved kids.


Anonymous said...

Having spoken to Israelis and knowing many Chinese, spanking and other physical punishments are still regarded as useful tools by those groups.

One could see this as a conspiracy to remove a useful tool from the middle classes, while the elites still use it behind closed doors.

dearieme said...

The French bring up their young rather well. Do they spank?

agnostic said...

There was a good review of French parenting over at 2blowhards a few months ago. It was an essay by a neurotic American mother (from New York, I think) living in Paris.

I don't know how much they spank, but they whip their kids into line. The important detail in the essay is that when some little brat was disobeying his mother in a public park, an unrelated old woman came over, pinched his ear really hard, and said "Listen to your mother!"

We know from behavior genetics that parenting practices have no lasting effects on adult personality traits or IQ. But in France, it's not just your parents who are going to smack you back in line -- everyone is there to step in and civilize you.

In the US, the larger culture is too permissive, so even if you have strict parents, most of the time you'll get away with appauling behavior. In France, there's no escape from the civilizers, so unruly kids stop trying after awhile.

It's amazing that Parisians have managed to maintain the pattern of a "small community that polices manners" in such a large city. Of course, part of that requires that the community members be policeable -- one reason why they're not so hot about massive immigration from countries outside of Eurasia.

Anonymous said...

You know that youth crime has been falling for 2 decades now, don't you, you reactionary twat?