Diana Baumrind: "The scientific case against the use of normative physical punishment is a leaky dike."

George Ryley Scott: "There has probably never been an evil of any description for which it was not possible to dig up some argument in its favour, some excuse for its continued existence. The justification for the existence or extension of a practice lies not in the fact that it possesses certain virtues, but that those virtues outweigh its drawbacks, or that it serves society in some essential form for which there is no alternative method available. By no species of argument can anything of this nature be claimed for corporal punishment. Its evils, its drawbacks, and its disadvantages, as we have seen in the process of our inquiry, outweigh hugely and in every possible way, its few virtues— virtues which are based upon the most dubious foundations."

PHOTO: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times


  1. Jordan Riak's letter to several editors about the research of Drs. Baumrind & Owens

  2. Findings Give Some Support to Advocates of Spanking, New York Times, August 25, 2001

  3. To spank or not? Debate back as studies conflict; Report on East Bay families denies harm of occasional whacks , Contra Costa Times, August 25, 2001

  4. Study sees no harm in some spanking,, August 24, 2001

  5. EDITORIAL: Study's no endorsement of discipline by spanking, (Daytona Beach, FL) News-Journal, August 30, 2001

  6. EDITORIAL: Putting away the paddle, The Nashville Tennessean, September 4, 2001, and comments by Robert Fathman

  7. Murray Straus' comments on Baumrind's data

  8. Robert Fathman's letter to Diana Baumrind

  9. Eli Newberger's letter to The New York Times about Baumrind's flawed study

  10. Chris Dugan's response to "UC Berkeley study finds no lasting harm among adolescents from moderate spanking earlier in childhood," by Patricia McBroom, Media Relations - U. of California at Berkeley

  11. Tanya Cassingham's letter to Dr. Owens

Diana Baumrind's paper "Does Causally Relevant Research Support A Blanket Injunction Against Disciplinary Spanking By Parents?" and Data Tables handout can be viewed in PDF format, using Acrobat Reader. Go to


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