Male->Female Corporal Punishment and Age

A question popped into my mind today. It’s pretty much the norm in today’s societies that men are not allowed to physically hit a woman. But in some schools of thought adults are allowed to physically punish children via spankings and such.

If a father that believes in corporal punishment has a daughter, at what point is she a “woman” and beyond the scope of physical punishment?

I asked a friend this and he said there is a difference between “spanking” and “hitting”. Which then just begs the question, if a woman punches a man, can he spank her in retaliation?

This is all too vague and based on opinion. Of course a man can spank her in retaliation, and “in some schools of thought” that might even be allowed or acceptable. In other schools of thought any physical violence against a child (or a woman, or anyone) would not be allowed or acceptable.

Well I guess I was being specifically vague since I don’t necessarily believe in smacking women or kids.

So I guess I open up the question specifically to those who believe in corporal punishment for kids - at what point would you consider it “hitting a woman” to discipline your child? Or would it never cross that boundary as they are your child?

I was just curious if that ever became an issue.

It’s not okay to hit a woman because it’s not a fair fight, and in the old sexist days she was considered her father’s or husband’s responsibility to punish. Disciplining a child physically and slugging somebody who injured your reputation, pride, or property have nothing in common except for intentional physical pain.

I’ve certainly heard some parents express the opinion, “As long as s/he lives in my house s/he is subject to my rules and my discipline.” That isn’t my view on it, but I can’t say it’s an unreasonable one. I think if spanking is effective at all, it’s at a young enough age that people would not be arguing about the age issue, but spanking at all.

There might be some legal answers to this. I don’t think there are any states (though there are some countries) that have made parental spankings illegal. I think there are a few states, like Kansas I believe, which have specifically made spanking legal. I assume they state an age limit.

The OP is better suited to In My Humble Opinion instead of General Questions. Moved.

samclem, moderator

There is no difference between spanking and hitting. Laying hands on a defenseless child, whether male or female, for the purpose of causing pain is wrong. Unfortunately for people who think hitting defenseless children is okay, they have to stop when it becomes illegal (i.e. the child turns 18).

Most states have laws that allow parents to physically strike their children. I see Delaware passed a law in 2012 that outlawed spanking, unless my info is out of date. Some state laws say 18, some don’t state an age.

BurnMeUp, I think most people who are okay with spanking think it’s a thing for young children – certainly under 10, and usually under 7 or 8 (and over age 2 or so). The idea is usually that you’re talking about kids who are thought capable of internalizing “If I do X, I will get a spanking” but not perhaps more abstract concepts like “If I do X, I will get some punishment TBA, such as a timeout or a lost privilege, that will in its own way be just as negative an experience as spanking.”

By definition, then, I think the people that would advocate spanking a child anywhere near puberty are few and far between.
I am curious, though, why you confined it to fathers and daughters. Does a mother spanking her son raise no question, because men hitting women is OK?

Corporal punishment in school (with parental permission) is common still in the southern US, and the last time I was threatened with a ‘spanking’ was in a small Christian school and I was 16, and a high-school student. (I had not had my eyes closed during prayers.) My mother had not given permission for me to be spanked, but she had for my younger brothers (both under 10 at the time) and the male principal was going under the assumption that they had simply lost the paperwork for my permission.

Their policy (presumably to avoid accusations of abuse) was to spank on clothed rears, with the student bent over a desk, with two additional teachers (one of each gender) in the room as ‘neutral observers.’ I wasn’t having any of that bullshit, so I said if they touched me I’d cry cult rape and take my chances with the police and false reporting. I was bluffing, but I must have a good poker face. I think I was in detention for the entire remainder of the school year.

In other anecdotal ‘evidence’ I was a member of a fringe christian movement known as ‘quiverfull’ or ‘gothardite’ and the going theory there was that a girl child belonged literally and physically to her father until the night of her wedding, when ‘headship’ (ownership/responsibility) passed to the husband. Parents and husbands were expected to keep their families in order through ‘loving discipline’ but a hard-headed child or wife was understood to have a willful ‘rebellious spirit’ that needed to be broken - whatever it took - to create a passive docile feminine nature that submitted to God and man. These are the people who give advice on how to choose flexible pipes to leave fewer marks, or advise on the best methods for food and water and sleep deprivation to most quickly break a stubborn child’s spirit.

The last time I was spanked I was around 6, and my grandma popped me one for being a little shit to her while she was babysitting us.

I’ll admit that I once had a gf whom I gave an occasional spanking to when she admitted she had been a brat. Hey, some adults have those kind of relationships.

In my house, I got ass whippings while my sister got grounded.

This is a common meme, but it is wrong. And I don’t think it helps the anti-corporal punishment movement to keep saying it.

It’s a bit like saying there’s no difference between an atomic bomb and a weapon. Spanking is a type of hitting, but there are many types of hitting that are not spanking. Some of them, like slapping on the back if someone is coughing, aren’t as bad, and some of which like like a 2x4 to the head are worse. There are even differences between spankings which might include both a pop to the bottom up through things I’d not even like to mention.

Fine, how about this: If you are spanking your child, you are hitting a defensiveless human being. If you are hitting your child, you may or may not be spanking.

Better? Spanking your child IS hitting your child, regardless of how you try to spin it.

I’d love to hear more about this…if you have the time please consider starting a “Ask me anything” thread on this subject.

bolding mine.

I’d need a little more idea which “subject” you want. The concept of “headship?” The quiverful movement? Patriarchy in religion?

Also, there would be serious levels of snark, and absolute disrespect towards religion. Less of an issue here than other places online I’m sure, but I’d hate to make anyone uncomfortable (and I am serious about that, despite the snarky tone) because of my strident personal dislike of certain philosophies.

To me, gender doesn’t enter into the equation.

I’ve never hit my son, but in theory, I don’t have a problem with giving a kid a swat on the butt, mainly to get his or her attention.

But I’d never do a lengthy, pants-down, multiple-whack spanking to ANY child, male or female, at ANY age. That would strike me as completely inappropriate YEARS before my hypothetical daughter reached puberty.

Some states have made it explicit that it is legal to spank. But be careful. Don’t leave an marks, and don’t admit to using an implement.

There is a guy here in VA who is being prosecuted for felony child abuse. His five year old splashed water outside a bathtub, and Dad slipped in the water and hurt his knee. In a reaction, he grabbed her by the shoulder (leaving a red mark), and swatted her on the ass. Leaving a bruise. He may very well be convicted of felony child abuse. There is good case law to support it in VA.

Personally, I don’t hit my kids. I find that a firm tone, or the occasional chin/cheek grab is sufficient. I don’t think gender factors into this. But I think if any parent grabbed their child, pulled their pants down, and spanked their bottom past, say, the age of 10… they’d be in for some trouble.

Specifically, the Quiverful Movement. I’ve always had a lot of questions about it, especially the economics of Quiverful for families that don’t have lucrative TV deals. I’ve always kind of suspected that while the man is the sole breadwinner, it’s the woman’s job to feed, clothe and educate a family of 20 on $100 a week or howevermuch of her husband’s blue collar income he deigns to give her and if she can’t manage it’s some sort of moral failing on her part.

But I may be wrong.

Such a thing never came up in our house. Mom took care of the spanking.

From stories I’ve heard about my uncle as a kid, it was no different the previous generation and grandma took care of the spanking. Apparently grandma favored the same kind of paddle as mom, a paddle ball toy without the ball.

Not really sure how or exactly when mom stopped considering spanking appropriate due to age. I remember getting spanked more before getting to school age than after, but it certainly didn’t stop for many years after that. Last one I really remember I think I was around 10 or 11 or so and had kicked my sister from behind while she was sitting at the top of the stairs. We were visiting out of town, so no paddle ball that time (apparently grandma hadn’t kept hers from when my uncle got it), that time I got the ping pong paddle. I certainly never got spanked in jr high or later.

Meh, every spanking I got, I deserved. Never out of rage, never any damage done (looking back as an adult, the sound was worse than anything, the actual strikes were very minimal and just caused a sting), and it sure made me act better in situations where I was tempted to do something I shouldn’t do. Anyone (in general, not dopers) who thinks the kind of spankings I got were in any way abusive may kindly go eat a bag of whichever genitals they’d like. I truly think it’s worse to not ever spank than to spank correctly when warranted.

So spanking was SO effective that it took “many years” for you to get it?