Is spanking an acceptable punishment for children?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
September 18, 2018, 2:00 PM GMT+0

People in the south are more likely than those in other regions to say that spanking is an effective punishment

A K-9 charter school in Hephzibah, Georgia recently sent home consent forms to parents, informing them of a new policy of using paddling – hitting a child on their bottom with a wooden paddle – as a form of punishment for students. Americans are somewhat split on whether spanking is an effective form of punishment. While 37% say it is effective, 45% say it is ineffective, according to new data from YouGov Omnibus.

Men (45%) are considerably more likely than women (29%) to say that spanking is an effective way to punish a child. About half (51%) of women say that it is ineffective, compared to 39% of men who hold the same belief. Another 20% of women and 16% of men say they’re not sure whether or not it’s effective.

There are also some differences of opinion between people in different age groups. Americans 45-54 years old are the most likely (43%) to say spanking is effective. Another 41% of people who are 55 or older also agreed, while only 26% of people who are 18-24 did. The group most likely to say it’s ineffective was 25-34-year-olds, 50% of whom chose this answer.

There are also some interesting regional differences. People in the south – which includes Georgia, the state of the charter school in question – are considerably more likely (44%) than other regions to say that spanking is effective. Only 37% of the midwest, 34% of the west, and 26% of the northeast agreed.

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus.

Image: Getty