On balance, spanking children is generally an unacceptable form of corporal punishment.
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Legal Definition of corporal punishment: punishment inflicted on a person's body
Definition of a child: a young person especially between infancy and puberty
According to one study  done at Harvard University, spanking of a child leads to alterations in their brain and is equivalent to severe maltreatment. It can also increase their perception of threats. The brain shows a similar response when a child is spanked as when sexual, physical, or psychological abuse is inflicted. So in terms of the impact and severity, it’s much the same.
The researchers used an MRI scan to look into the brains of 147 children. Some of them were spanked in their early years and some of them weren’t. Then the researchers looked at photos of various facial responses, which were positive, negative, and neutral. Children who were spanked by their parents had more activity in the brain responsible for emotional control and threat detection. They even showed higher responses to those expressions not considered threatening.
- Repeated use of corporal punishment may lead to aggressive behavior and altercations between parent and child and may negatively affect the parent-child relationship.
- Corporal punishment is associated with increased aggression in preschool and school-aged children.
- Experiencing corporal punishment makes it more, not less, likely that children will be defiant and aggressive in the future.
- Corporal punishment is associated with an increased risk of mental health disorders and cognition problems.
- The risk of harsh punishment is increased when the family is experiencing stressors, such as family economic challenges, mental health problems, intimate partner violence, or substance abuse.
- Spanking alone is associated with adverse outcomes, and these outcomes are similar to those in children who experience physical abuse.
- Every major health organisation has come out against spanking children.
- Spanking children leads children to be more suspicious of strangers and family alike.
- Spanking does not solve poor behaviour.
- Spanking increases one's likelihood of experiencing mental health problems later in life.