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Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Families and Its Effects on Children Paperback – September 10, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0765807540 ISBN-10: 0765807548

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (September 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765807548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765807540
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A comprehensive expose of the corporal punishment controversy by an eminent scholar. Straus provides the long needed scientific evidence linking corporal punishment to subsequent violence and other adult problems. This book gives major new importance and credibility to the uphill effort to end corporal punishment of chil­dren." —Adrienne Ahlgren Haeuser, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"Murray Straus has exposed 'the best kept secret of American child psychology': hitting kids is the dark force in family life. Just as smoking was accepted a generation ago, corporal punishment is still okay in polite society. However, like smoking, hitting emerges as a destructive anti-social act with serious costs to public health." —James Garbarino, Cornell University

About the Author

Murray A. Straus is the founder and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory, and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has been president of the National Council on Family Relations and two other scientific societies. He is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Beating The Devil Out Of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Children; Understanding Partner Violence: Prevalence, Causes, Consequences, and Solutions; and Stress, Culture, and Aggression. In addition he has written over two hundred articles on the sociology of the family, South Asia, and rural sociology.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Read this book now, and learn the facts about spanking rather than the myths.
"cddugan"
Every school teacher, day care worker, parent, and child care advocate should read this book.
Bridgette Carpenter
There is NO bias in this book as the research was conducted in a scientific method!
ChildAdvocate 4ever

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 94 people found the following review helpful By "cddugan" on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dr. Murray Straus has updated his 1994 _tour de force_ with new studies and data in a highly readable format for the general public. Professor Straus, of the University of New Hampshire, is one of the world's foremost researchers in the field of family violence, and it was his research on wife-beating in the 60's and 70's which led him to recognize the connectedness of all subtypes of family violence, including the "virtuous violence" against children euphemistically known as "spanking."
Spanking appears to "work" in the short run because the child stops doing whatever provoked the parent's displeasure. But the research Straus summarizes in this important new book clearly shows that in the longer run, spanking has no measurable beneficial effects at all, and is associated with a variety of long term negative effects. The more children are spanked, the more they assault siblings and other children. The more children are spanked, the more their rates of age adjusted antisocial behavior increase over time. Spanking in childhood is associated with higher levels of alcoholism, depression, masochistic fantasy, and suicidal ideation later in life.
As more family violence data accumulates, more evidence accumulates in support of Straus's view of normative forms of violence "spilling over" into criminal forms. Parents who spank their children are significantly more likely to also physically abuse them than parents who don't. Parents who spank their children are more likely to physically abuse each other. And physically abused children are even more likely to grow up to commit crimes against nonfamily members than spanked children, who are in turn more likely to do so than nonspanked children.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Simmer on December 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This revised edition by Murray Straus is an exceptional addition to the discussion of whether or not to spank. Chapter by chapter, he addresses every rationalization commonly given for spanking, and presents research which debunks each one. For instance, parents might say that they spank in order to prevent their children from becoming antisocial in adulthood. Straus shows that, controlling for other variables, the use of corporal punishment actually increases the likelihood that the child will be violent as an adult, spend time in jail, drop out of school, and experience depression.

One hundred fifty years ago, it was legal for masters to hit lazy apprentices, for teachers to hit unruly students, and for husbands to hit disobedient wives. These behaviors were even approved by the general society. Now, these behaviors are illegal in every state. However, corporal punishment is still legal in every state--which means that the behavior which would get me arrested if I performed it with my co-worker, my neighbor, my wife, or the neighbor's children--is perfectly legal when I do it to my children. It is even regarded as responsible parenting. Straus's book is a tour de force, which should represent a bugle call to every responsible parent who wishes to reduce the level of violence in our families and in our society.

This is an extraordinary book--one which should be studied by any parent who is considering using corporal punishment in parenting
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Format: Paperback
This book is very important. Especially since there are teachers and day care workers who spank and terrorize their students at evangelical faith-based child care facilities and schools. They don't seem to realize that their schools are really just "thug factories" when they spank the kids starting at a very young age. I should know. I used to work for a school that was very open about their pro-spanking policy. The day care workers would terrorize the kids with threats, they'd make the kids stand in the corner with their noses against the wall, they made the children stand holding books in each hand, and quite a few other creative methods of punishment. It's outrageous that corporal punishment in schools and day care centers is still going on in 2011. This book is a very important reference. Every school teacher, day care worker, parent, and child care advocate should read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grouseru on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Thorough--yes, but I think a little dated. As the book cites, recent changes in public opinion continue to shift away from corporal punishment. I'm sure this book has been helpful to many. My only complaint is that it does not have any discussion of shaking children and infants. It may not be covered by the research on this project, but it deserves mention at least briefly in the definitions, explaining why it was excluded from the study. Further research and discussion are definitely needed on the topic.
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