With those words Fox News reported on a recently released study that outlines just that – if you spank your kids it could color their outlook on sexual activity. An analysis of four studies by Murray Straus, co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire-Durham, found that children who suffer physical punishment in the form of spanking, hitting or slapping are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior as adults. The study, presented to the American Psychological Association, suggests that spanked children also are more likely to be “physically or verbally coercing” to a sexual partner and engage in masochistic sex, including arousal by spanking, later in life.
Elizabeth Gershoff, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, who reviewed 80 years of spanking research in 2002 in the APA’s Psychological Bulletin, says Straus’ work appears to be the first to link spanking with sexual problems.
I am curious how you would find yourself counseling a person who hears of this study and questions whether or not spanking their child could be more harmful than beneficial?