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Political cartoon from 1860 depicting Stephen A. Douglas receiving a traditional “over-the-knee” spanking from Columbia as Uncle Sam looks on approvingly.

Spanking (or smacking) is the most commonly-used form of corporal punishment, consisting of one or more sharp smacks applied on the buttocks.


The verb to spank has been known in English since 1727, possibly onomatopeic in nature.

It is remarkable that English and several other languages have a specific, common verb for spanking, that distinguishes it from corporal punishment applied to parts of the anatomy other than the buttocks. Thus in Latin the only word derived from culus (buttocks) was culare, meaning 'to spank,' similar to the Italian sculacciare; in French, the verb is fesser, also from 'fesses' (buttocks). All of these terms testify to the historical or persisting prominence of this punitive target in many cultures.

What and how


Spanking, by today's definition, consists of striking the buttocks, usually as a physical punishment, with either an open hand or various implements such as a cane or belt. In the empirical research literature, spanking is also know as customary corporal punishment (CCP) that consists of a swat of the hand on the child's buttocks or thighs, for the purposes of suppressing behavior judged offensive by the parent. CCP is part of a larger class of aversives, ubiquitous in childrearing, ranging from ignoring behavior or verbal disapproval, to stern correction and confinement. CCP is sometimes mistakenly equated with beating, which includes parent hostility and rage that produce trauma and physical injury in the child.

In the United States and Canada, all discipline applied to the posterior is usually known as spanking. In Britain and many Commonwealth countries smacking or whacking is used as the general term; with spanking usually referring to bare-handed discipline.Some times people will whip their child with a hand, or an object that is much more harmful including a spoon, a paddle, or an object that the person has in his/her hand.

Scope of punitive use

The two subsections group the various spanking spheres for convenience: the 'domestic' model spanks in a paternalistic mentality, intending or at least claiming to (re)educate the spankees, often 'for their own good', and more informally, which often includes the use of conveniently available objects made for another purpose, such as a hairbrush, belt, pointer (rod), Physical punishment yardstick or various household objects, etc.; meanwhile, the 'judicial' model essentially aims to enforce the social code, be it the (formal or customary) law or a substitute order, 'for the common good' (raison d'état, social cohesion, public safety and morality...), usually with a traditional, often even formally imposed implement.

Domestic model

Spankings are administered in particular to children by their educators, i.e. mostly (biological -, step-, adoptive - or foster) parent or guardian and school -, orphanage etc. staff;

Spankings were however also, especially in the past, administered to other persons considered as legal (and/or moral) minors (sometimes illegally still treated as such), including;

  • Wives (by their husbands) and women in general.
  • Servants (especially domestics, not by coincidence also called (house)boy or maid; the British Lord Chief Justice declared their corporal punishment, like children's, indisputably justified in 1795);
  • Often copied from domestic discipline, as in fraternites and sororities (originally living units where seniors and/or staff wielded the paddle rather like parents at home), and sports and other teams (though now nearly only as 'play' in hazing and rarely as actual coercive sanction) and other initiation context, as with recruits (in military, police and some other professions).
  • Informal spankings in the domestic context can also occur in an institutional environment, parallel to the more formal punishments, when administered by the victim's peers.
  • In the US it is illegal for foster parents to spank foster children.
  • In the US teachers may not spank or hit children in their classroom.

Judicial model

Although non-erotic fiction usually shows or says corporal punishment for adults as administered above the waist, in most cultures and legal systems it was at least as common to administer on the buttocks, i.e. as a spanking, most forms of judicial and prison beatings (convicts by definition are at the mercy of the authorities; even today severe punishments, even the dreaded judicial 'Singapore' cane, are awarded to enforce internal prison rules in various countries).

For obvious practical reasons adults are rarely spanked over knee or lap, rather bending or bound over some object or construction (closely resembling the child's exposure, without the skin contact that is often undesirable or even indecent for the official spanker), in fewer cases standing or hanging (as usual for punishment above the waist) as against a wall or whipping post.

The very parallel with child discipline is part of the deliberate use of public humiliation as part of punishments. Hence, the condemned is often bared, completely or partly to expose the buttocks, or only covered for modesty, with little protection against the instrument; this is still usual under sharia in many countries. While even the back is sometimes left clad for an Islamic whipping, as in Saudi Arabia, in (ethnically mainly Chinese) Singapore and (Muslim) Malaysia it is more common to cane the bare buttocks.

  • Often the strong arm of the law -mainly (para)military and police, not seldom charged with the physical execution of corporal punishment- and some similarly hierarchical organisations, has particularly strict internal discipline, usually enforced internally (as by court-martial, or in 'minor' cases simply by the superior officer), which in many traditions entailed punishing the culprit's (often bared) tail-end;
    • especially navies, where order must be maintained in confined spaces at all cost, are renowned for stern discipline, and some measure of it not unknown in merchant naval traditions either, but usually only 'boys' (including midshipmen, though) were spanked, adult sailors rather had their back and/or shoulders lashed;
    • in general the treatment of boys under arms has at least a measure of the paternalistic 'educational' discipline, often meaning they are more likely to have the bare bottom punished;
    • when martial law is imposed (formally or de facto), at home (as in Pakistan under sharia-zealous former president general Ziah al Haq [1]) or under military occupation, such harsh practice is often extended to the civilian population (more difficult to control and/or less respected) as well, even limiting normal process of law; while regular corps discipline is generally conducted within quarters or correctional facility, to 'whip' the masses into obedience public administration is often preferred for maximized deterrence; yet in some cases the accusations of 'war crime'-type punishment are somewhat hollow insofar as the occupied country often already used similar physical coercion, e.g. Korea publicly caning the criminal's bare behind over a bench before and during the Japanese rule [2]
  • Judicial corporal punishment is making a comeback in a number of post-colonial, non-Islamic countries, including the cat o' nine tails in various Antillean Commonwealth nations.
  • Furthermore there is a wave of reviving or beefing up of (re)legalized traditional justice, as by tribal chief's courts, and their customary punishments not infrequently include spanking, sometimes even carried out by the regular police force.
  • Even where corporal punishment remains illegal, or is very restricted, it rather often is a common weapon for so-called vigilante justice, sometimes tolerated or even legally legitimated by the authorities (as in various parts of Africa, e.g. Botswana), sometimes practiced by rebels (as in Nepal), often remarkably popular with the general public or a large section where official 'modern' western-style justice seems unable to stem crime, as in South Africa.
  • In at least one instance, an empress took it upon herself to dole out a spanking to an unruly subject:
Among the large number of men whom she treated this way were Leontius, who occupied the position of Referendarius, and Saturninus, son of Hermogenes the Magister, both of them just married.
This Saturninus had married a second cousin, a maiden of good birth and excellent character, whose father Cyril had approved the match, Hermogenes having died earlier. No sooner had they shut themselves into the bridal chamber than Theodora seized the groom and carried him off to another chamber, where in spite of his heartbroken protestations he was married to Chrysomallo’s daughter. This Chrysomallo had once been a dancer and later a courtesan, but at the time of this incident she was living in the Palace with another Chrysomallo and Indaro. For there it was that after abandoning woman’s oldest profession and the life of the theatre they had established their headquarters. When Saturninus had slept with his new bride and found that she had been deflowered, he informed one of his intimate friends that the girl he had married was nothing but damaged goods. When this comment came to Theodora’s ears, she said that he was showing off and had no right to be so puffed up, and ordered her servants to bend him over like any schoolboy. Then she gave his behind a fearsome beating and told him not to talk such nonsense in future.

Procopius, Secret History

  • Finally, there are cases of 'summary justice' which don't even fit the vigilante logic, but still intends to enforce a social order by improvised corporal punishment, such as some Bolivian bus drivers using a belt on strike-breaking colleagues [3] on the streets, or “In French pit villages the wives of striking miners confronted scabs and humiliated them by removing their trousers and spanking them.” -Lynn Abrams, The Making of Modern Woman (New York: Pearson Education Limited, 2002), 203.

Educational spanking

In some schools, spanking is allowed as a means of disciplining students. Such schools often allow elementary students (ages 6–11), intermediate students (ages12–13), and high school students (ages14 –18) to be so disciplined. However, schools or school districts usually specify the circumstances under which spankings may be administered and which personnel may administer them.

World Corporal Punishment Research[4] has compiled "Regulations of individual schools or school districts" throughout the nation, state by state, and internationally, "with external links to present-day school handbooks" that specify the circumstances and personnel who are authorized to administer spankings. Spanking is still permitted in 22 U.S. states, and only two of those 22 states, Ohio and Utah, require schools to honor parental requests not to use corporal punishment.

In New Jersey and Iowa, all corporal punishment, including spanking, is prohibited in all schools, public and private.


Spankings are usually used as a last resort, after previous, alternative methods of discipline have been unsuccessful. Even then, students are often allowed to elect an alternative punishment if they prefer to do so. In some cases, however, spankings are mandated, and no alternative is provided. Spankings are usually delivered with a paddle, with a predetermined number (often three) to the child's buttocks. Spankings are given in private so as to protect the student's privacy.

Authorized personnel

Usually, the principal delivers the spanking. In some cases, a teacher is also permitted to spank a student. Parents are also frequently permitted to spank their children at school. When school officials spank a child, a witness must be present.


In its most common use as a means of domestic corporal disciplining, spanking usually refers to a child lying stomach down across the spanker's lap — misleadingly referred to as taking a child 'over the knee', though that is also possible — and the parent or teacher bringing their open hand down hard on the child's posterior. The buttocks are filled with nerve endings and the sting from sustaining repeated swats in quick succession is immediate and highly uncomfortable. Hence the 'last resort' reputation of this form of punishment.

It is generally believed that this is the safest way to spank since striking a standing child could cause back injury. Spanking advocates argue that the buttocks are the safest place to administer corporal punishment since it produces a sharp stinging pain, but injury is unlikely; indeed even the judicial cane (in, say, Singapore) is applied there, with protective padding just in case the back, especially the kidneys, are accidentally hit.


Some child specialists say that if a parent must administer a spanking, it should not be done in anger (indeed discipline must be rational and consistent, not emotional satisfaction) — and only as a last resort when other forms of discipline have failed. They say that for a spanking to be educational it must be perceived as logical and just: the spankee must know what exactly it is for, the severity fitting the 'crime,' preferably according to previous warnings; and the threat should be systematically carried out, not whimsically, nor the severity altered without justification. Especially with young children, it should follow quickly upon being caught, and some warn against consecutive comfort such as hugging as that might confuse the child, maybe even lead it to think that the beating (and the crime leading to it) earned it the affection. Some recommend preceding the spanking with an explanation to the child of exactly why the spanking will happen — or in the case of older children, having the child explain this reason to the parent — so that the child understands what the misdeed was.

Spanking is generally considered corrective punishment, without intention of permanent physical injury; however, such intentions do not always have their desired result, nor is the amount of the emotional injury easily quantifiable. There are questions over what level of pain is appropriate until it crosses the threshold into abuse. Up until the mid-20th century it was perfectly acceptable in most communities for a spanking to cause a child to cry in pain throughout and have trouble sitting down afterward, even leaving stripes or bruises for days, sometimes even lasting scars. Today some (including courts in some countries) consider even mere redness of the skin abusive, though others would call it effective discipline.

Spankings are delivered over a diaper (usually merely to emphasize humiliation, but not to cause pain), over clothing, over the undergarments, or upon the bare buttocks depending on the amount of pain or humiliation intended; the latter is greatly increased by witnesses, such as the household, the class, or even a school assembly.

The removal of the clothing by the spanker may be seen as humiliating as the child is made to experience being undressed by someone other than oneself. It also induces a feeling of helplessness as the child is no longer in control of the situation.

Most educators in modern-day Western societies consider avoidable humiliation inappropriate. Others consider the humiliation of exposing one's bare buttocks a legitimate or even essential part of the punishment, as the main purpose of spanking is to cause a psychological deterring effect by means of pain. [How to reference and link to summary or text]

The deterring effect of humiliation can be lessened or even outweighed by macho pride or, "taking it like a man". There are documented cases of British Royal Navy captains requesting corporal punishment under regulations prescribed to be publicly administered on the 'bare stern' with an instrument other than the one used on the bare backs of sailors. They considered being struck a 'man's punishment' and a virile badge of honor, worth the physical pain.


Spanking — like corporal punishment in general — is a hotly debated social issue in many countries. Questions exist as to whether children should be spanked (see the sections below), whether it is an effective method of discipline (and if so how it is best done, see above), and whether or at what point it constitutes child abuse. Most of the points mentioned apply more generally to most or all forms of physical punishment.

Empirical evidence on the practice ofCustomary corporal punishment (CCP} in the United States is found in the random sample survey the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) that indicates that between 1980 and 1996 approximately 80% of all parents discipline their children with CCP one or more times a month during the second and third years, when the child's mobility and language skills are developing quickly. The level of abusive punishment, over and above CCP, is not known in these data. NLSY data also indicate that over half of all parents who use CCP with younger children taper their use by the time the child is in second grade, suggesting the behavior problems were not severe and were resolved. NLSY data also show differences appear along racial lines. In the United States, African American children are spanked more often than white or Hispanic children, and later into the elementary school years. NLSY data also show differences according to sex, especially after three years of age, when boys are spanked more often than girls; this sex difference is most evident around the early elementary school years.

Arguments for spanking

Arguments for the use of CPP fall into four categories: empirical research evidence, civil rights, religious belief, and philosophical.

Empirical research in support of the benign effects of CCP comes from findings of the 1996 conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics: ( Larzelere, Robert E.(1996). A review of the outcomes of parental use of nonabusive or customary physical punishment. Pediatrics, 98(4), 824-828). Baumrind, D. (1995). Child Maltreatment and Optimal Caregiveing in Social Contexts. New York: Garland Publishing. Baumrind, D. (1995). A blanket induction against disciplinary use of spanking is not warranted by the data. Pediatrics, 98 (4), 828-831.) )

Empirical evidence in support of the positive effects of CCP come from Larzelere, Robert E. & Brett R. Kuhn (2005). Comparing Child Outcomes of Physical Punishment and Alternative Disciplinary Tactics: A Meta-Analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Vol. 8, No. 1..

Empirical evidence in Larzelere et al (2005) has shown that customary CCP is a superior form of discipline for younger children (ages two to six) when used in a controlled manner for defiant behavior that has not yielded to milder forms of punishment (such as ‘time out’). Authoritative parents, who exhibit a more controlled and systematic manner of addressing discipline situations, occasionally use CCP, especially under the circumstances described, and experience lower levels of behavior and emotional problems with their children. Such is not the case with the extremes of other parenting styles, which vary between excessive (authoritarian) punitiveness, and permissiveness; the latter form encourages in children higher levels of sustained anger, moodiness and in more extreme cases, social pathology. Permissive parents tolerate higher levels of defiance, but may also be more inclined to verbal aggression when their attempts to redirect the child are ineffective and they judge the behavior intolerable.

Other anecdotal arguments used by some proponents of spanking is that proper and effective spankings cause only temporary pain and no damage. It has been claimed that when parents and children are engaged in a prolonged struggle for authority, the anger and bitterness that results can cause an emotional estrangement that far outweighs any possible negative effects from moderate spankings, while a sound spanking on the bare bottom would "clear the air." Some advocates for spanking come from a behaviorist point of view, and argue that spanking is a form of operant conditioning, whereby the child associates a certain behaviour with the physical pain and/or humiliation caused by spanking. Since a child's learning process is believed to be less complex than that of an adult, they claim that children are more likely to be influenced by such a conditioning.

Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence for a widespread and deep skepticism among pro-spankers of all the arguments against spanking, and a general feeling that the practice of spanking recalcitrant children has proven its worth over a period of many centuries. They believe that the bias against spanking is arbitrary and an improper application of egalitarian principles to what they claim is an inherently unequal social relationship.

Civil rights advocates who accept spanking often frame the issue of CCP as a matter of parental rights, stating that parents have the right to raise their children in the way they consider most appropriate. They also hold there is little evidence that moderate spanking is harmful. Religious rights advocates of spanking refer to Bible verses mentioning "the rod", and assert that spanking is therefore an acceptable punishment from a Christian moral or religious point of view. Some attribute the quotation "spare the rod and spoil the child" to the Bible; in fact, it comes from a bawdy poem entitled "Hudibras" by Samuel Butler. The Bible verse itself reads, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)". A later verse also advises, "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death. Proverbs 23:13-14 (NIV)".

A precis on the philosophical principles of the use of CCP in child-rearing and the development of conscience is developed by Cross (1999) .

Arguments against spanking

Anti-spanking advocates argue chiefly that spanking is abusive, that it is ineffective, and that it teaches children that physical violence is an acceptable way to deal with other people. Some also believe that this may contribute to physical abuse in cases of bullying at school and physical abuse on siblings in family battles that occur between the children. Many cases of bullying at school have been linked to physical abuse cases. Spanking is also criticized for being a violation of human rights.

Even without sexual motives on the part of the punisher, some maintain that spanking

can interfere with a child’s normal sexual and psychological development. Because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, slapping them can trigger powerful and involuntary sensations of sexual pleasure. This can happen even in very young children, and even in spite of great, clearly upsetting pain.[1]

Dr. Teresa Whitehurst said "The literature is replete with accounts of rape victims who never came forward to name their accuser or even to admit they'd been violated because they were so ashamed at their bodies' involuntary response to touch, thinking that this would suggest they enjoyed the assault. Nerve endings can and do function without our conscious consent. The pendulum is beginning to turn against spanking and paddling as science amasses more and more evidence regarding the sexual role played by the buttocks, and the ways in which any touch--with a hand or with a paddle--can create unwelcome but unavoidable arousal." Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, member of ChristCentered Christians for Nonviolent Parenting (CCNP); clinical psychologist; author of How Would Jesus Raise a Child? (Baker Books, 2003), Project Zero, Harvard's premier research institution.

Opponents also hold that spanking is ineffective and that other forms of discipline are more successful at teaching a child to behave properly. Also, unlike taking away a child's favorite toy, spanking is permanent and cannot be reversed if it is determined that it was not actually warranted. Spanking may lead, it is argued, to psychological damage and even possible PTS syndrome-related effects due to prolonged fear, feelings of mistrust and being un-loved, alike with bullying at school or other forms of abuse.

The fact that a parent (or other caregiver) is allowed to inflict physical and emotional pain on a child, whereas the same act performed upon another adult would be tantamount to assault, also brings into question the appropriateness of this form of physical punishment. For example, when Michael Fay, a young American man, was caned in Singapore, some Americans expressed outrage against that form of punishment.

Opponents also claim that spanking teaches children that violence is an appropriate way to treat one who offends. Some believe that spanking, like clear-cut forms of physical abuse, may perpetuate a "cycle of violence" which contributes to violent behavior in the child as an adult. Children learn by example, and those subjected to the deliberate infliction of physical pain "to teach them a lesson" will, the argument goes, learn that this is an appropriate way to treat others who have wronged them.

It is also argued that there is a significant risk in regards to the trust of a parent. If children feel that they are being threatened by this form of chastisement, it is likely that they may have difficulty believing that the parents are there to protect them because of the claim "I would never hurt you" has been violated. This may impair their ability to follow their parents or do what they advise and to listen to them.

It is also attested by neurological studies on neuronal stengthening and pain in brain development that children have a lower pain threshold than adults.

Spanking opponents who face opposition from the "Biblical" pro-spanking advocates can also use the "he who spares the rod hates his son" quote from Proverbs 13:24 to their advantage in a debate. The quote was attributed to Solomon, but his son Rehoboam grew up to be such a despised and hated ruler that his nation divided. However, this approach requires interpreting the rod as a physical device for beating, which most anti-spanking advocates disagree with.

Alternatives to spanking

Main article: non-violent child discipline

Opponents of spanking state that there are numerous methods of non-violent child discipline which they think are at least as effective as spanking, and without the negative side-effects that they attribute to spanking.

Minimal use of spanking

Despite the intensity of the controversy over spanking, positions between the two extremes are also common. Many parents believe that spanking is not inherently abusive and can sometimes be an effective form of discipline, but also believe that it should usually be avoided. Some, for instance, use spanking only when a child does something dangerous and it is critical that an immediate, lasting impression must be made. Others point out that individual differences in temperament have a great effect on the way children respond to discipline, and criticize both extreme positions on spanking as taking a "one size fits all" approach. They argue that spanking may be the most effective form of discipline for some children, but that it should only be used on those particular children who respond well to spanking and do not respond to alternative methods of discipline.

Other criticisms and questions about spanking

Some people opposing spanking have speculated on the links between eroticism and the spanking of children (see also erotic spanking). They regard the spanking of children as a form of pedophiliac sexual abuse, and also claim that childhood spanking may lead to the development of paraphiliac behavior in later life.[5] [6] Donnelly and Straus (1994), for example, theorized that childhood spanking could lead to the development of masochistic tendencies. [2]

This speculation generally outrages supporters of spanking, who contend that no such link exists.

In any case, these speculations have never been proven. Additionally, some people who enjoy erotic spanking report that they were never spanked as children.

Legal situation

Corporal punishment of children in school is illegal in many western countries; it remains legal in roughly half of the U.S. states, although it is not commonly practised. In each of these states, it is up to each school district to determine whether corporal punishment will be used, in what situations will it be applied, and the manner in which it is given – typically by a paddle. There are cases where school officials have lost their jobs for spanking students.

In the United Kingdom, The smacking of children by teachers was made illegal in state schools in 1986 and extended to all schools in 1998. An amendment to the Children Act 2004 to ban smacking by parents was defeated by 424 votes to 75 in the House of Commons; however, an amendment to ban parents from smacking their children hard enough to leave a mark was accepted by 284 votes to 208, and came into force in January 2005 [7]. In January 2006, the UK’s four child commissioners called for a full ban on smacking, but this has been rejected by Tony Blair's government (Tony Blair has admitted spanking his own children). [8]

Spanking of children within families is illegal in some countries (for example, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Holland, Germany, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Israel, Latvia,Estonia, and as of January 2007, Greece). New Zealand is currently debating whether or not to outlaw parental spanking, having outlawed corporal punishment within its educational institutions in 1989. Similar initiatives in the U.S. have repeatedly failed. Parental rights groups have formed since the 1990s to prevent spanking from being criminalized. Critics of these organisations ask why these organisations refer to corporal punishment as a parental 'right' without mentioning an equivalent need for parental responsibilities. Some critics also state that children's rights should come first, and parental rights should come second. Major groups in the United States seeking a ban on spanking are Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education [9] and EPOCH-USA [10] The Supreme Court of Canada has, as of 2004, upheld a law which allows spankings by parents, caregivers, and teachers, but has restricted the law to only apply to children ages two to twelve.[11]. However, Canada now bans spanking children under age 3 or over age 12, and bans the use of any implements (belts, paddles, etc.).

Non-punitive and voluntary spankings

Spanking, combining physical discipline and buttocks, has always aroused attention [How to reference and link to summary or text], and exists in spheres of life distinct from punishment. Note the issue of legal consent which may or may not represent a defence to criminal liability for any injuries caused during the spanking. Apart from the erotic and from fraternity/sorority type initiations, which have their origin in educational (domestic or boot camp) types of discipline, these include :

Folkloristic spanking traditions

Religious customs

On the first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year holidays, a week-long 'Spring Festival', the most important festival for Chinese people all over the world, thousands of Chinese visit the Taoist Dong Lung Gong temple in Tungkang to go through the century-old ritual to get rid of bad luck, men by receiving spankings and women by being whipped (as in the Ancient Roman -unisex- Lupercalia); the number of strokes to being administered (always lightly) by the temple staff is decided in either case by the god Wang Ye and by burning incense and tossing two pieces of wood, after which all go home happily, believing their luck will improve. [12]

Birthday spanking

This is a custom in certain circles, to allow a number of others (e.g., father at home, teammates in a club, classmates in certain training institutions) to administer a spanking to the bottom of the birthday boy or girl, as an annual rite of passage and probably a matter of bonding. Customarily, the person receives a number of spanks corresponding to their age, plus, "one to grow on"; that is to say, someone who was turning n would receive n+1 spanks.

Another probably anecdotal tale is that of the ancient Egyptians using spanking on the birthday to prepare the person for the afterlife, i.e. soften the body for the tomb[How to reference and link to summary or text].

Another hypothetical origin for birthday spankings is the single smack on the bottom which doctors (or midwives) give to newborn infants, to start them breathing and thus begins their lives[How to reference and link to summary or text].

Recreational context

Playful enactment

Child's play often imitates real life, especially featuring part of daily life, even the most unpleasant.

Thus it has been recorded by a captain in the Royal Navy that boys on board often enacted the beatings they were subjected to in reality, both the 'day to day' caning and the truly painful and humiliating public administration of a flogging with the boy's pussy (lighter version of the cat o' nine tails) taking turns in the actual position on deck, sometimes including the lowering of the trousers (but using a cane for lack of a cat) [13].


  1. Tom Johnson: The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
  2. Donnelly, D. & Straus, M. (1994) The fusion of sex and violence, in M. A. Straus (Ed.) Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families. Boston: Lexington/MacMillan

See also

  • Erotic spanking

Sources, references and external links

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