Posted on November 14, 2011

Researchers: African-Americans Most Likely to Use Physical Punishment

CNN, November 10, 2011


“The majority of parents across all ethnic groups spank at some point,” said Elizabeth Gershoff, a professor and researcher on corporal punishment at the University of Texas at Austin.

But among the groups most likely to use it: African-Americans.

In a study Gershoff co-authored that examined 20,000 kindergartners and their parents, she found that 89% of black parents, 79% of white parents, 80% of Hispanic parents and 73% of Asian parents said they have spanked their children.

But why do so many black parents approve of disciplining their children that way? {snip}

Some researchers have suggested it’s a legacy left by the brutality of slavery. Some say it’s rooted in fear–that if parents don’t use force to demand obedience, someone else will. Others said African-American parents, in aggregate, are disproportionately lower-income, have less education and are more likely to follow a religion that implores them not to spare the rod for fear of spoiling the child–all factors that correlate with use of corporal punishment, regardless of race.


Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who has studied mental health issues and parenting in African-American communities, is a leading voice against corporal punishment. It’s an uphill battle.

“It’s culturally embedded in America that spanking is a legitimate and good way to discipline children. But the fact is, nearly all studies, except for a few, say it is not a good way of disciplining and can actually produce damage,” Poussaint said. “We have such damage in the black community, when you add to that parents beating their kids, it’s sending the message that violence is an OK way to solve problems.”


19 responses to “Researchers: African-Americans Most Likely to Use Physical Punishment”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sweden outlawed corporal punishment in 1979. What differs between African Americans and Swedes? What other nation / people have a legacy of slavery (protip: all)?

  2. Tim in Indiana says:

    I was just recently watching a YouTube video in which a liberal was crowing about how the incidence of spanking has declined in recent years.

    It never ceases to amuse me how blacks, who are the darlings of the liberal establishment, are the least likely to support liberal causes in general, the issue of spanking being only one example.

    The way liberals condescend to blacks is also the source of much merriment, since, in liberals’ eyes, only blacks seem unable to overcome hardships that ended over 150 years ago.

  3. Aaron says:

    Seems like the “legacy of slavery” line would be easy to prove or disprove. Just look at the stats of blacks in Britain or obviously Africa itself.

  4. white is right, black is whack says:

    Holding everyone and everything but blacks themselves accountable for their bad behavior and failures in life.

  5. Detroit WASP says:

    Blacks even blame their poor eating habbits and weight related health issues on slavery. Honest, they do. The fun never ends.

  6. Bill R says:

    African-Americans are most likely to kill a black person with gun or knife, also.

    Spanking is not a form of violence, when done sparingly and reasonably. In point of fact, 50’s kids were spanked routinely when needed and nearly universally. Those who grew up then rarely resort to violence of any sort by and large. It was only in the 60’s and 70’s that liberal know-nothing psychologists and psychiatrists began telling us it was spanking which was responsible for the violence we were seeing as a growing problem. Just coincidentally, that was also the timeframe the restraints were coming off the black man, and excuses were being made for his unrestrained behavior and the rise in violent crime. It was also the timeframe that suddenly it was oh-so-important to care more about the poor widdle feelings of the students than their grades and behavior. It was also the timeframe we were first hearing of the public schools deciding grading was a bad idea, and that integration was a dandy idea. Bah. Maybe the way black women spank is more akin to black violence and produces same, but blacks are just inherently violent so it’s no surprise that spanking by blacks is violent. Heck, they can’t even go to a Denny’s or chicken shop without blazing away at each other or throwing tables and chairs around.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Then why are black students getting in trouble the most?

  8. Anonymous says:

    And yet they’re still the most misbehaving demographic in the country; how could that be????

  9. Eric says:

    I have another theory, less politically correct I must confess. Perhaps blacks are just prone to violence. Mindless, for the hell of it, violence. Most likely due to high testosterone levels and low intelligence.

    Just last week while walking out of the grocery store I saw a huge black woman beating her kids that looked to be about 3 years old. The reaction from the other blacks was not surprising. They thought it was funny. Legacy of slavery indeed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yes, indeed. I overheard a grossly obese negress in a cafeteria who was overloading her plate with fried okra and fried catfish…said that she eats “African” only and doesn’t care if she is fat. She then said that she saw on television a show about sex and mentioned the ancient fertility Goddesses of Africa were all fat. Sigh…

    Yes the fun never does end.

  11. Jack Krak says:

    It’s the same lack of ability to control impulses that characterizes black behavior at all ages in all circumstances. When do any blacks ever stop and think to themselves “Wait, I’m not sure if this is the best thing to do”?

  12. Kenelm Digby says:

    Slavery was abolished 150 years ago.

    – It’s as absurd as saying that a ‘genetic memory’ of flogging horses before there was motorized transport is the cause of physical punishment.

  13. olewhitelady says:

    So, according to this study, only 10% more blacks than whites spank. But, still, it must be the legacy of slavery. Well, maybe the fact that 79% of whites spank is a legacy of slavery under Rome. No doubt, liberals will be giving the same excuses for blacks 1500 years from now that they did 150 years after American slavery, so the same type of excuse should be okay for whites.

  14. Ed says:

    I think that a good work ethic would also be a legacy of slavery. But then again, who am I to think that way.

  15. Shawn (the female) says:

    Blacks don’t spank. They smack, hit, beat, slap, stomp and curse. Along with the ever present threat, “Shedd UP ‘fo I whoop you a**!”

  16. Anonymous says:

    Blacks are more violent in general then other groups, so it makes sense that they would be more physical in their punishment of their kids too.

  17. Hunter Morrow says:

    There were more Civil War deaths and injuries from combat and infection in 4 years than the total number of Whites who owned slaves at the height of American Slavery.

    Shouldn’t hundreds of thousands of people getting killed in 4 years lead to a monstrous White pathology, particularly in the area that saw the worst fighting and the most casualties and wound up losing the war, The South?

    I guess not. Whites commit all crime, not just sex crime and violent crime, ALL CRIME, at lower rates than Blacks. They are less likely to beat their kids or kill their spouses and dates.

    “Legacy of slavery” pfft.

  18. Up to my neck in CA. says:

    I lived in Oakland CA. for about three years. The young baby mommas beat the tar out of their little ones. I’ve seen mothers about 20 smacking a toddler about 3 very hard over and over while screaming “you little m….. f…..!” Low IQ and impulse control go hand in hand.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “Spanking is not a form of violence, when done sparingly and reasonably. In point of fact, 50’s kids were spanked routinely when needed and nearly universally. Those who grew up then rarely resort to violence of any sort by and large.”

    Except against their own children…

    ‘Spanking’ IS ‘a form of’ violence, it IS violence itself, and it is the root of ALL violence. I suggest you do some more research. Every single parent who has murdered their own child, believed in corporal punishment – every single one. You should try reading the reports of what such children have gone through, at the hands of their ‘parents’, before they were murdered by them. You are just trying to exonerate your own parents, and childishly convince yourself that they ‘loved’ you, when they were hitting you.