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Old 02-22-2007, 10:49 PM #1
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Default Childhood spanking and sexual development

Okay I posted this in another forum once and really ticked off the administrator. But it's an issue I've thought about so I'll put it out there:

I'm very opposed to spanking children. Not just because I'm opposed to physical violence in general (which I am) but also because I think it can mess with a person's sexual identity. There's a website called Nospank.net that has some articles specifically on this topic. One in particular: http://www.nospank.net/donahue.htm

I agree with that author that it can be a sexualized form of abuse. Alhough I don't think anyone ever intends it that way (except maybe for a few sadists out there). I'm curious if anyone else has thought about it in this fashion?

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Old 02-22-2007, 11:16 PM #2
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

No.... I have never had any thoughts along this line, and I did spanked my own two children (boys) and my nieces or nephews that I watched, helped raise most of them.... and they all turned out just fine and they love me - for they know that I cared enough to disciplined them when they needed it, but I also gave them a balance of love and respect.

I would be interested in knowing more about why and even how you came about having this type of thinking when it comes to using spanking as a form of discipline.



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Old 02-23-2007, 07:30 AM #3
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

I guess I could see how someone would think along those lines but I didn't have any problems. I was spanked as a child (rarely and only as a very young child, say pre-7 years old) but I also saw my parents/father give my mother loving pats on her bottom so I could see how theoretically I could have become confused? But I think it would have to be really really oddball and abusive, both the spanking (one doesn't think of older children being "spanked" and I think anything after puberty in that direction is wrong/abuse -- "whipping" older children with objects/belts, etc. is not "spanking" extended!) and the child's association with "sex" since young children aren't thinking in that way when they're being spanked so how they'd later associate it is kind of beyond me. I don't think adults into "dominance" forms of sex/lifestyle are relating that to childhood spanking and I doubt that such interests are "caused"/come out of spanking alone. But I don't think that sexual interests are "deviant" unless they are unwanted by the person who has them or are harmful in a truly dangerous way of that person or others.

I'm not sure, Sidony, if one can really make cause/effect connections in "general," (physical punishment = messed up sexuality) especially if one doesn't know a goodly number of people who feel they are sexually messed up and were also punished in this way? I don't think there have been any studies? and I'm loathed to make connections otherwise. I am personally against "time outs" but know my opinion is just that, a personal opinion based on my own experience so while I might not use time outs with a child of mine, they work for other parents so. . . I was spanked and it worked for me; I'm an upstanding member of civilized society :-) and happy/healthy. If I were going to come out against anything in childhood as causing continuing problems (across the spectrum, not just sexually) it would be emotional abuse. I think repeated emotional "patterns" are more important than anything else that happens to a child and can warp their "normal" development patterns. I think sexual "development" is too unexplored/unknown and idiosyncratic to be linked with anything in childhood yet.

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Old 02-23-2007, 10:36 AM #4
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

I was spanked as a child, maybe 3 times. I knew that mom spanked me, I had really done something wrong. She never spanked hard, just enough to let me know that what I did was wrong. I specifically remember the last time she spanked me, I was 7 and I called my friend "stupid". She pulled me in her room and spanked me and said "we never call people stupid". And you know what? Now I'm 28 and I don't call my friends stupid. Its stuck.

I've heard a lot about the spanking debate, and I feel so bad for parents. No wonder there's so many unruly children in the stores anymore. Since people are saying spanking is abuse, parents don't have many options to get their points across to their young children. I don't see the harm, but thtat's my opinion. A light wack on the bottom seems to really get a point across.

I don't know about spanking being a form of sexual abuse, I really think that's quite a reach. But then again, I'm not a child psychologist and have chosen not to have kids. I just wanted to chime in because I was spanked as a child and I turned out ok. =)

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Old 02-23-2007, 01:42 PM #5
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

Yes, from my own personal experience I do believe it is or can be sexual abuse.


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Old 02-23-2007, 02:05 PM #6
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

I was spanked as a child (although my mom developed eczyma at some point and her doctor told her to use a slipper -- that was the end of spanking being useful as a form of discipline - ha ha). While it didn't traumatize me in any way nor seem like sexual abuse, I can say that I don't see why hitting your own child is a good idea. There are more humane ways to discipline other than hitting.

But whether it is sexual abuse or not... I think it depends upon the intention, not the act itself.

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Old 02-23-2007, 02:09 PM #7
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
ECHOES said:
Yes, from my own personal experience I do believe it is or can be sexual abuse.

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">


Would you mind explaining why you feel this way...... just curious that's all.

And, please know that... I would never push my ways upon another mother, but I would express why some form of discipline should be meet with when a wrong is done by a child, as to have them learn that it was wrong and not acceptable.... it is up to every parent to decide what they will use as a form a discipline.


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Old 02-23-2007, 02:17 PM #8
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
LMo said:
But whether it is sexual abuse or not... I think it depends upon the intention, not the act itself.

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">



YES...... I agree here, for it is in how a person goes about the discipline that can leave another to view it as it as sexual abuse or not.... for if it is done after a child has done something wrong and the person has taken time to calm down before administering the spanking then I feel the child will see it for what was....... BUT - if the spanking is done just because the adult person feels like doing it and they make the child pull down their pants / underclothing before they begin with the spanking then it might be able to be seen as a form of sexual abuse.


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Old 02-23-2007, 02:43 PM #9
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
Rhapsody said:
I would be interested in knowing more about why and even how you came about having this type of thinking when it comes to using spanking as a form of discipline.


</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">

Mostly because I attended a private school where there was a fair amount of corporal punishment. But it went on at too late of an age (there were kids at the age of 10 and even several years older who were paddled in the schools). (I definitely agree that it it shouldn't be done that late!) I did make a connection between that type of punishment and sexuality unfortunately. It was just too close of an age (I was starting to develop sexually at the same time I was being confronted by that type of physical punishment, etc.). I think it had a negative impact on me sexually, and so I started reading about it. There are a fair number of stories of kids who became aroused by corporal punishment and went on to have interests in sadomasochism. And though it's no great crime, I did have to work to associate sexual feelings with ideas other than dominance, humiliation, pain etc. I would have preferred that it not be that way for me so I tend to think of corporal punishment as a risk. It's probably a very small risk (and probably only risky when it's done a little late -- maybe like after the age of 7 or something), but some of the stories on the website I mentioned are pretty sad. Some people become so obsessed with S&amp;M practices (or even just corporal punishment for sexual arousal) that they can't enjoy regular sexual intimacy. I think that's a sad state.

I've regretted bringing up this topic in the past since it's such a sensitive issue. I'm definitely not implying that anyone would intentionally harm their children. But I think it's an issue worth considering from a different angle (and this is one that's almost never discussed). I appreciate that no one has attacked me for bringing this up! I personally know that I don't have a clue about parenting though! I imagine I'd go for the alternative "time-out" techniques or something like that if I ever had children. Physical punishment (in my case) only had detrimental effects.

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Old 02-23-2007, 02:53 PM #10
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Default Re: Childhood spanking and sexual development

I can see your POV now and I agree that spanking should not be used as a form of discipline when a child becomes a certain age, and I can see how it could get all mixed up (confusing) in the mind of a teenager... they are just starting to develop sexually and they are still not for sure about the sexual feelings they are starting to experience - and then these two feelings get mixed together for some, intertwined in them.

Thank YOU very much for sharing your POV with ME.... it has helped me to understand where you are coming from, and with that I give you my respect for being brave enough to express your feeling on this subject. Thank YOU!!


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