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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.