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Is there still a place in today’s society for corporal punishment?

I recently heard a Dr. Murray Straus in a radio interview on NPR say that he compares the research on spanking to studies on cigarettes – “people use it because it seems right at the time, but that’s because they can’t see the long-term dangers.”
After listening to the interview I was surprised to hear about the long term affects. When I grew up my parents spanked me when the need arose and I was subject to corporal punishment in both grammar school and high school. Although I don’t look back on the times I was on the receiving end with fondness, I don’t really see any long lasting effects from it either. And I must admit, just the threat was usually enough to lengthen my attention span. So I guess what I am asking here is…
Under what conditions do you think corporal punishment is appropriate? Do you see a difference between its uses at home vs. at school? What about in a public place like a shopping mall? And if you think it is completely inappropriate, please let me know what your alternatives are for disciplining you child.
When you answer could you please identify if you were subject to corporal punishment when you were growing up. I think it would be an interesting thing to know to provide context for the answer.


Closing Statement from Gary Lanoie

After reviewing the replies I can come to no conclusion.

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    Jan 26 2014: Hi, Gary!

    I received a few spankings as a child and was once back-handed off my chair at the kitchen table as an unruly teen, finishing my meal in uncharacteristic silence, but finishing my meal. Attended Catholic grade school and high school where corporal punishment happened, but not to me. Very instructive example in nature here. Bonobos, for several reasons, are our closest relatives in both genetic composition and behavior.

    The males in peaceful, female-dominant Pan paniscus bonobo groups never develop into the murderers that males in male-dominant Pan troglodytes chimp troops sometimes do. Males are larger and stronger than females in both species. Groups of 3-5 female Alphas lead large bonobo groups, and when a teenage male becomes too violent for their liking, the female alphas gang up on him and give him a severe beating or two, as they deem necessary. Thus large males are allowed to lead/protect small food foraging groups, but never become alphas or killers.