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Spanking and the corporal punishment of children: the sexual story

King, Nigel, Butt, Trevor and Green, Lorraine (2003) Spanking and the corporal punishment of children: the sexual story. International Journal of Children's Rights, 11 (2). pp. 199-217. ISSN 0927-5568

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    Abstract

    In the late 1970s there was a report in the British tabloid press that a manufacturer
    of school canes or straps (memory is uncertain after 25 years) was
    apparently indignant that his products were being sold in London sex shops,
    where they were favoured by “perverts”. The tone of the article comprised
    that mixture of moral outrage and titillation with which those familiar with
    the media will be well acquainted. With the cover of indignation, readers are
    allowed vicarious excitement and sexual thrill (Conrad, 1999). In the very
    different social climate of the early 21 century, it is hard to imagine this story
    being either told or received in quite the same way. Even in the UK (the last
    western European country to outlaw school corporal punishment), beating
    has been banned in all schools, and the recognition that spanking is for many
    people a sexual practice is widespread and would no longer count as news. Yet
    there remains at least a sense in which the story still works, if only in a diluted
    form. We have not gone all the way in seeing any sexual activity between
    consenting adults as acceptable, and smacking children is generally seen as
    an unequivocally non-sexual act and as regrettably necessary or even a good
    thing (McGillivray, 1997). Debates on corporal punishment still generate an
    extraordinary amount of heat on the part of those insisting on its legitimacy.
    It is even claimed that it is a religious duty – witness the christian parents
    in the recent BBC documentary “A Good Smack?” (2002) who state that
    “the Bible : : : does sanction smacking within a loving family environment”.
    The Labour Government has refused to extend to children that freedom from
    assault that all adults have, and have even famously defended the value of
    “loving smacks” (Gittens, 1998).

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: UoA 41 (Sociology) © 2003 Kluwer Law International.
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
    School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
    Related URLs:
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    Depositing User: Sara Taylor
    Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2007
    Last Modified: 22 Dec 2010 12:38
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/358

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