By: Anna Ecklar

Logical Fallacy #1

"Spanking is wrong, because we all agree that hitting people is wrong and children are people (4)." This fallacy, addressed in Article #1 uses False Dichotomy to only give one option to the reader, because who would object that hitting people is wrong?

Logical Fallacy #2

"Spanking the baby may be the psychological seed of war (4)." This fallacy, known as Slippery Slope, is found in Article #1 as well. It connects two ideas - war and spanking - that don't really have anything in common. While this fallacy could also be known as Post Hoc (false cause), it belongs more here as the two are more of concepts than specific events. Spanking has been around for hundreds of years and, while wars have occurred, they were not over spanking.

Logical Fallacy #3

"The only way to maintain the initial effect of spanking is to systematically increase the intensity with which it is delivered, which can quickly escalate into abuse (3)." Again, this fallacy uses False Dichotomy to persuade (as found in Article #2). This quote takes away other options, through spanking, for making the behavior cease in the long-term. There are benefits from spanking, in moderation, and with other forms of discipline, the act can work quite well for the good of the child later in life.


My Essay:

In order to correct the most inappropriate of behavior, many children may need an occasional spanking that pairs with other forms of disciplinary action, although this method should never be overused. Everyone has seen, or heard, the likes of a spoiled child before. Their feet stomping on the clean supermarket floor while they cry out, frustrating their gentle parents and those around them. Communication and rewards are offered, but the child just must have that toy and is most certainly not willing to back down without some reinforcement. It is at times like this that a simple “swat” is needed. Spanking is a common disciplinary tool that had been used even in Colonial times, but, recently, it has become a very debated topic that can enrage even the most peaceful of parents. As more and more worry about child abuse, protests to ban this ancient act have appeared more rapidly than ever before. While parental restraint is needed, children mustn’t be allowed to receive whatever they please, and an occasional spank can alter their behavior for the better.

In fact, many parents nowadays feel as though disciplining their child this way would change others´ view of them, and they would be seen as abusers, not as good parents. One of the most common arguments is that spanking is a form of child abuse that will make your child antisocial and violent, while there is little to no evidence in support to that claim. In addition, many people who are anti-spanking tend to overuse the term ¨spank¨ and make it sound more violent than the act truly is. The act of spanking is ¨to strike especially on the buttocks with the open hand” as written by Merriam-Webster Dictionary and as originated in the early 1800s, and this action does not include hitting, punching, kicking, or any other abusive act, unlike what is commonly believed.

As mentioned before, spanking should not be the only method used, but it can sometimes become the only way to correct a certain misbehavior, depending how naughty the child is acting. Children who are not disciplined tend to feel as though they are “the boss” when their parents have always been the true authority. Statistics show that there are more issues with child abuse in Sweden after spanking had been banned, with the amount of cases rising to 500 percent. In addition, parents have resourced to more violence and turn to hitting, pushing and shoving their children, beating them twice as often. Only a decade after the ban, adolescent criminal assaults had increased by six times. In another study of 164 families, it was discovered that while spanking did not cause any problems in the spanked children, those not spanked showed some behavioral issues later on. As revealed by these facts, children who do not receive any discipline in the form of spanking, may be connected to violence and behavioral problems, which shows that they may not recognize that they have an authority and that they are not permitted to do what they please. In some countries with similar bans, parents are not legally able to even take their child by the hand and have them go somewhere they do not wish to go.

As mentioned previously, many believe that spanking can cause more violence in society, most of this committed by the spanked children; however, crime has increased in America since the ‘50s, while the percentage of parents who spank has only gone down. To be more specific, crime has nearly tripled since then, and the percentages of spanking parents has changed as well - 99% of parents in the ‘50s spanked, while only 70-90% spank now. This act is also greatly persecuted, and parents are occasionally reported for using corporal punishment in public, even if they had warned the child and the behavior continued.

In conclusion, spanking - otherwise known as corporal punishment - is a useful method, that paired with other forms of discipline, is effective and within reason. While this action will likely always be persecuted, the arguments against it are not supported by evidence and parents should feel free to use this method without persecution.