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June 20, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Corporal Punishment
Last Featured: 1/27/2003

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Spanking is a time-honored method of disciplining children with roots in the Bible. Even the renowned Dr. Benjamin Spock supported the practice until late in his career. Advocates of the practice say that permissive attitudes do more harm than good and that spanking sends a clear message to a child about right and wrong. Opponents counter that the practice is ineffective and can lead to abuse and serious physical injury. They say it teaches children to be violent and address problems by using force. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has taken a stance in opposition to corporal punishment while a number of family values advocacy organizations say bans on spanking amount to government controlled childrearing.

Susan Bitensky is a law professor at Michigan State University -Detroit College of Law where she teaches constitutional law and jurisprudence. She has written extensively about corporal punishment in book chapters, law reviews, and newspapers and presented papers on the issue at law schools and international symposia. Prior to teaching, Bitensky served as associate counsel to the Board of Education of the City of New York and as a labor lawyer in private practice and with the United Steelworkers.

John Rosemond is a North Carolina family psychologist who has worked with families, children, and parents since earning his masters degree in psychology from Western Illinois University in 1971. Rosemond has worked as a psychologist in community mental health settings in Illinois, Iowa, and North Carolina and directed several mental-health programs for children and in full-time private practice as a family psychologist. Since then he has devoted his time to speaking to parent and professional audiences nationwide, writing a parenting column that is syndicated in approximately 200 newspapers and nine best-selling parenting books.

Closing Quote
"Parenting is not logical. If it were, we would never have to read a book, never need a family therapist, and never feel the urge to call a close friend late at night for support after a particularly trying bedtime scene. We have moments of logic, but life is run by a much larger force. Life is filled with disagreement, opposition, illusion, irrational thinking, miracle, meaning, surprise and wonder."

— Jeanne Elium

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Join the Debate
NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Minnesota State Law
World Corporal Punishment Research
The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children
Children Are Unbeatable!
American Academy of Pediatrics
The National Center for the Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternatives -(NCSCPA)
Pacific Justice Institute
Corporal Punishment in the Discipline of Children in the Home Research Update for Practitioners
Parenthood in America
Empathetic Parenting.org
Chicago Sun-Times article: British Uphold the Right to Spank (pdf)
Focus on the Family
Listing of empirical studies on corporal punishment
Family Research Laboratory: Physical Punishment Survey
Time article: Spare the Rod? Maybe
Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Families and Its Effect on Children
by Murray A. Straus and Denise A. Donnelly
To Spank Or Not To Spank
by John K. Rosemond
Without Spanking or Spoiling: A Practical Approach to Toddler and Preschool Guidance
by Elizabeth Crary
College Admissions
No Child Left Behind
School Violence