Sunday, March 2, 2008

Steaming Mad

Like most good spankos, my eyes and ears are finely attuned to catch the merest mention of spanking in the mainstream media. So when MSN ran this headline on their home page yesterday, I couldn't help but notice: Spanking Raises Chances of Risky, Deviant Sexual Behavior.

A CAVEAT: I have no desire to open up the debate on whether or not adults should spank children. That topic can get out of hand far too easily and isn't what I'm mad about anyway. I'm angry about this section of the article:

They found that spanking and other corporal punishment is associated with an increased probability of verbally and physically coercing a dating partner to have sex; risky sex such as premarital sex without using a condom; and masochistic sex such as spanking during sex.

There is a "dose response" at work here. "The more parents spank, the higher the probability of harmful side effects," Straus noted.

Of course, there's a similar dose response for smokers. But if someone reaches the age of 65 without developing lung cancer, it doesn't mean that smoking isn't harmful. It means the person was one of the lucky ones.

It's the same with spanking, Straus said. "If a person says, 'I was spanked, and I don't have any interest in bondage and discipline sex, that's correct, but it's not because spanking is OK, it's because they're one of the lucky ones."

Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me? We've all read studies and heard discussions about spanking making kids more violent or at least normalizing violence; that's not new. But these studies (there are four of them) aim to show that spanking your kids will make them run out and find unmarried, nonconsensual partners they can spank and then fuck without condoms. And that all of these things are equally bad. I see so many flaws in this rationale I think the researcher should be embarrassed to publish his work. And I would personally like to kick him in the shins and call him some bad names--to his face.

Let's start with the idea that 90% of parents spank their kids at some point (these are his statistics). If that's the case, there are either a lot more kinky folks out there than we know about, or a lot more lucky folks than Straus knows about. Then let's talk about the implausibility of trying to link teenage/adult unprotected sex with childhood spankings--where, exactly does he find any remotely logical connection between the two? Successive occurrence of unrelated actions does not imply causality.

But I think what bothers me most is the ignorance and fear-mongering latent in his conclusion. Straus' concludes that parents are condemning their children to dangerous, kinky, immoral, and deviant sex lives because he assumes that spanking/BDSM/kinky sex is inherently wrong and to be avoided at all costs. Which is either laughably, pitiably stupid, or maddeningly, damnably ignorant. I'm leaning toward the latter.


Paul said...

Iris, don't get your knickers in a twist.
Anyone with an ounce of sense will discount this nonsense.
They used to say that there was one born every minute, given the increase in world population this has segued to at least one every second.
Bearing this in mind, the MSM will continue to shower us with mindless crap, we will just have to use a bigger umbrella.
Warm hugs,

Indiana said...

Iris, I can certainly see why you're annoyed. I'm sure media attention like this will keep quite a few people in the closet for longer. On the other hand, it was anti child spanking literature like this that first got me curious about "those poor people who can't enjoy sex without being hurt" or some pathetic description like that. I certainly wanted to know more about "those people," no matter how unattractive and limiting the description was.

Somewhere on the internet, I saw someone speculate that he was closet spanko himself, thus the additional hostility. Makes sense to me.


Lele said...

I saw this too...what a moron! The assumption that spanking, etc is inherently bad really bothered me too.

I wish I had the guts to send him a sarcastic and condescending email telling him that I have "deviant sex" and could he, in his infinite wisdom, have any suggestions for curing me?

Dr. Ken said...

It is, of course, a total crock. I was never spanked, my parents never resorted to it in my family at all--and I turned out to be as big a spank-happy Top as anyone in the spanking scene.
It's just a load of B.S.--from the Latin, "Buffaloe Chipae"

Dr. Ken

Sara said...

Iris, there are so many erroneous assumptions and faulty conclusions, and I just do not have that much time this morning! This sounds to me much like what "experts" said 30 yrs ago. If a boy is too coddled he could become homosexual. Laughable now, but many believed it (and the uneducated still do, btw).

I was never spanked, and have long fantasized about it. My husband was once, and never fantasized about it. We both would be categorized by this fellow as sexual deviants today.

I would also like to point out that while we engage in marital spanking, both for pleasure and discipline, we did not spank our children. The man is confused. It is bunk...forget it!

Anonymous said...

I had the same reaction to this article, especially on being compared to a lung cancer victim. I'd like to dismiss Strauss as a crackpot, but unfortunately he is a widely published author in the field of domestic violence, etc., so his words are sure to carry weight.

I'm angry and frustrated, also. You just say the word and I'll be right there with you, kicking his other shin. I know some really good words to call him, too.


Jigsaw Analogy said...

I didn't read the article, and I'm not gonna bother (because I've been reading the newspaper this week and have met my journalistic outrage quota for the week).

HOWEVER. The argument sounds to me like the ones that say that sexually abusing your daughter will turn her into a lesbian. Um, no.

The other thing I personally object to is the notion that all spanking is the same. Whether or not one agrees with spanking children, I think there are not so many people who agree with outright abuse. Heck, even thoroughly pro-spanking right wing Christian types don't agree with what they percieve to be abuse.

Come to think of it, it's one of those studies, particularly if he thinks 90% of parents sometimes spank their kids, that would be like saying attending a religious insitution causes child abuse. Or going to an amusement park. Or going grocery shopping. I mean, really. (Maybe I *will* read the article, and see whether the words "going to church with your children" can be substituted for spanking....)

Iris said...

Paul, Dr. Ken, and Sara, in a lot of ways you're right: I don't have the power to change this guy, so he's not worth losing sleep over. At the same time, though, it does make me angry to see pseudo-science used to cement ignorance and engender fear. This doesn't help parents, it doesn't help spankos, and it doesn't prevent actual domestic violence.

Indiana, that observation is intriguing; he is certainly reeeeally interested in spanking...

Sadly, Lele, I don't think he has any ideas for curing you--you've already been warped beyond his help. :-)

Red, suit up, girl! Getcher kickin' shoes on!

JA, you make some excellent points. No one condones abuse, but there are a lot of different definitions about abuse. As a former teacher, I know that there are some kids who wilt with a stern look and others who need more. For the first kind of people, the second kind of discipline would be over the top and possibly abusive. And I love your point about "visiting Grandma" or "going to Disneyland" as being potentially warping/damaging/abusive. :-D