GSS respondents were asked: "Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree that it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking?" I assigned the following scores to answers: strongly agree (4), agree (3), disagree (2), and strongly disagree (1):
Mean spanking scores (sample size = 13,506)
Smart group 2.71
Mediocre group 2.98*
Dull group 3.05*
*significantly higher than smart group
There is a four-tenths of a standard deviation between the smart and dull group--a medium-size gap. It is not clear to me that the view that spanking is never necessary is the rational one. Smart people do seem to be leading the charge against strict discipline.
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