Posted on October 12, 2011

Is Spanking a Race Issue?

Janice D’Arcy, Washington Post, October 12, 2011


In 2004, a Child Trends’ analysis of the General Social Survey found that “94 percent of non-Hispanic black women, compared with 72 percent of Hispanic women, 65 percent of non-Hispanic white women, and 46 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander women, agreed that a child sometimes needs a ‘good hard spanking.'”

A University of Maryland sociology professor wrote in an Opinion piece for The New York Times this summer that attitudes on spanking are changing, particularly in the black community. Still, Rashawn Ray theorized that many parents face peer pressure on the issue: Blacks may feel pressure to spank and whites to not spank because of a cultural divide.


15 responses to “Is Spanking a Race Issue?”

  1. Alexandra says:

    As a White woman, my definition of “spanking” is a good swat on the bottom with the hand. Though lately taking away privileges seems to work better with my child (I am not anti-spanking BTW).

    From what I’ve read in news reports, blacks seem to prefer electrical cords, hot water….

  2. Eva says:

    This is less a racial issue than an issue of changing mores. Certainly Whites spanked their children much more in generations past than they do now.

  3. Stiv says:

    I can understand why black women would feel their children need a hard spanking. Black kids rarely listen or respond to anything else. Living among a fairly sizable number of black kids will make even the most child-friendly person feel the same. The worst age span seems to be 11-15. Although, the older teens may know how to hide it better and commit far worse crimes elsewhere.

    Occasionally, there are also some black adults who complain about the children of other blacks. You can’t ignore the kids.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Given how blacks behave, it’s hard to believe that ANY spanking goes on in the black family. And yet we always see public displays of it. Doesn’t seem to do much good.

  5. Anon says:

    It’s not usually recognized, but kids who often act badly tend to teach parents to escalate punishment because the parents learn, through trial and error, that spanking is the only way they can make their kids behave. Whereas easy-to-manage kids get milder punishments, such as time outs, because those punishments actually work with easier-to-manage kids.

    Black kids mature earlier, are more rambunctious, have more behavior problems than white kids, and are less likely to understand the consequences of their bad behavior due to their weaker skills in abstract reasoning. I can see a logical motive for why black parents would punish more harshly.

    A lot of adults may enter the whole parenting business with a philosophy about how to raise kids, but find out they only end up improvising and adjusting their behavior to their kids’ behavior. Children are not alike in personality, even at a very young age, and many parents simply end up doing what works.

  6. Robert says:

    I am a 58 year old White man. Whenever my brothers and I got out of line when we were young, we were spanked. There is nothing wrong with spanking as long as it is not result into abuse.

  7. neanderthalDNA says:

    Black kids do need more spanking. They thrive best when socialized in strict B. F. Skinner style behaviorism, which can necessarily get physical.

    No doubt few understand this in so many words, and many certainly dole out brutal beatings beyond the scope of punishment and at poor intervals and such is indeed child abuse.

    But as a former teacher I gotta say I loved those good old fashioned, hard working, church going black parents I dealt with – they are out there – who unflinchingly backed me up in classroom discipline matters with a good old fashioned belt when i called home…

    Ah, the kindness of cruelty.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am going through hell right now because my co-worker constantly talks to everyone about how she, “Is going to put her nephew,” whom she is raising as a son “in the hospital” by beating him. She is on the phone all day threatening and talking about the beatings she has already perpetrated on the poor kid.

    Yesterday I went to the supervisor to tell him I could not take all the talk of violence anymore. Co-worker bragged last week about her brother, who busted out her other brother’s front teeth because “He was disrespecting my mother.” She found this very amusing while the rest of us found it stomach churning.

    A black male co- worker told me that she had ruined the nephew by treating him with violence because now he looks on niceness as weakness, so when a teacher asks him to do something in a nice tone of voice, he won’t obey.

    Now she wonders why her nephew is acting violent at school. Now she is gunning for me. One of my other co-workers told me to run after the violent one came out of the supervisor’s office this afternoon. “Troll” he yelled.

  9. Anonymous says:

    remember those good old days, when whites knew how to handle their wifes and children, e.g. portrayed by brad pitt in the movie “tree of life”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let their own race spank them only to avoid the racism charges.

  11. Iron Helm says:

    There is nothing inherently wrong with spanking, something I’m sure most people here would agree with.

    However, 90% examples of spanking you will see are the result of lazy and impatient parenting by Narcissists who lose control when their child doesn’t do as they want.

  12. Shawn (the female) says:

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spanking when used judiciously and with control, as reasonable people in the past have always done. I always want to ask the ‘anti-spankers’ why children were so much better behaved years ago when they got spanked as they are now with the ‘feelings and self esteem’ approach. Now, you can’t stand most of them.

    It seems to me though, as with everything, the black version is different. I’ve never seen blacks spank their children – they smack them. They flail out at whatever body part is reachable, wildly swing at it and hope to connect, no matter where or how hard. The swing is always accompanied by yelling incoherent jive with a few “Shaddup!”‘s and “Beat your a**”s thrown in.

  13. Sardonicus says:

    I am a 58 year old White man. Whenever my brothers and I got out of line when we were young, we were spanked. There is nothing wrong with spanking as long as it is not result into abuse. Robert

    I agree with you Robert. When I got smart and sassy with back talk to my mother, father administered a well deserved spanking. I had it coming to me and I don’t regret it. However, It has to be done in moderation and not leave permanent damage.

  14. Reformed says:

    Spanking? Have you seen what black “mothers” do to kids in public? They beat the stuff out of them and nobody says anything because of race.

  15. Calvin John says:

    Spanking is not a racial issue as much as a government control issue. Too often, judges and socialistic workers harass parents and even kidnap their kids, even when state law specifically permits spanking.

    My own unscientific poll tells me that responsible people KNOW the unruly kids need to be spanked. But you’d never know that talking to the elite!

    This site gives the spanking laws, by state: