Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spanking the Dummie

University of New Hampshire professor Murray Straus has looked into the average IQ scores of children who are spanked compared to those who aren't, and he's determined that spanking makes kids dumber. While this may be the case, it's important to note that Straus is debuting his research at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma. Note that this isn't a scientific journal. And while it's not uncommon for scientists to present early research initially at a conference of their peers, this does beg the question of whether Straus considers spanking to be violence, abuse, or trauma. In which case, his results might be skewed. Also, there's no telling whether children who are spanked are also more at risk for other factors that might contribute to lower IQ scores. In other words, there's no good reason yet to determine spanking was directly responsible for inhibiting their intelligence. Or maybe I'm just being too nitpicky. I've only ever spanked adults, but I can't say I'm 100% against violence toward children. I taught middle school English. More details here.

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