The Jan. 23 editorial on the proposed California spanking ban poses the question if spanking children younger than 3 years old is abuse. The answer is a profound yes. Anyone who has been following this debate or the latest information on child development knows that any form of hitting has been directly linked to lower scores on intelligence tests, permanently lower serotonin levels and impaired brain development.
In addition, these studies have shown that the more a child is hit, the lower his or her score will be in tests that measure cognitive abilities.
As two-thirds of all serious physical abuse cases start as “harmless” spankings or corporal punishment, the only way the bill falls short is that it doesn’t go far enough. The law should be extended to children of all ages. If an adult was to even threaten another with any form of physical harm, that adult could be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It is high time we extend the basic human right of physical safety to all members of society.
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