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Will Spanking Eventually be Illegal?

Stephanie Rausser

The president of Brazil is trying to pass a bill that would make “any cruel or degrading treatment that humiliates or seriously threatens children” – including spanking – against the law. And here’s a surprising fact: spanking is already illegal in more than 20 countries. Will the United States be next?

A recent study in Pediatrics showed that kids who are regularly spanked are more likely to be aggressive and violent later. Researchers said one reason is that spanking set a poor example, leading kids to believe that aggressive behavior is an appropriate solution to problems. Another study suggested that spanking may lower a child's IQ. Yet on message boards around the web, you’ll find parents hotly defending this old-school form of discipline.

What do you think: is spanking wrong? And even if you don’t agree with it, do you think it should be against the law?