Gov’t Slammed for Misquoting Research to Ban Parents from Spanking Kids in Their Own Homes

A researcher has slammed a British government campaign for misusing recent data to support a ban on parents disciplining their own children with a spanking.

The government recently cited “proof” that spanking is always bad and used that faked data to fuel its ban on spanking, even in a parent’s own home. But at least one educator is warning that the government has misquoted the data.

According to

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Professor Robert Larzelere, a professor of parenting research at Oklahoma State University, said, according to Wales Online, the “consultation document also failed to summarize all of the most important studies, before claiming that it provided an evidentiary base for a smacking ban.”

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He was referencing a government report recommending a ban.

At issue is the movement by government officials to impose a ban on parents spanking their children under any circumstances.

Welsh Assembly Member Darren Millar told Wales Online, “The Welsh government seems determined to implement their unpopular smacking ban in the face of a lack of public support and opposition from esteemed academics.”

Larzelere said that the government should apologize for its abuse of the facts. He added that the government should think twice before criminalizing “tens of thousands of loving parents who use the occasional smack to discipline their children.”

In fact, Larzelere said that the research supports the use of spanking as a learning tool.

“Back-up smacking has been associated with less aggression or defiance than 10 of 13 alternative disciplinary tactics,” he said. “Two other studies found that smacked children had better outcomes than never-smacked children as long as smacking was discontinued by ages nine or 11.”

The researcher also said that data shows that societies that ban spanking see an increase in criminal behavior by young people.

Certain government officials have been angling to institute the ban for years and almost got it through this time. However, officials backed off the ban in the face of how unpopular the law is among parents.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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