Joseph Stromberg said in Vox that “it’s never okay to hit a child” and argued that spanking children doesn’t discipline them effectively — he claimed that research has “consistently” reached this conclusion — and can cause them long-term mental problems. Hostility to spanking kids has become something of a cause at Slate.
But spanking isn’t going to be banned anytime soon, because a large majority of Americans believe it’s sometimes appropriate. They’re right.
Robert Larzelere, a professor at Oklahoma State University who researches human development and family science, tells me that the studies on which the anti-spanking journalists rely have two great flaws.