My colleague Nikki Peele at The Post’s new online section, The Root DC, has just delved into a fascinating, if sensitive, parenting issue: spanking and race.
Peele has discussed corporal punishment before and was surprised that black and white people seemed to have differing views on the subject. “I think we would be naive not to think that our cultural and familial experiences don’t play a part in what we regard as appropriate discipline,” she says.
Studies back up her perceptions.
In 2004, a Child Trends’ analysis of the General Social Survey [pdf] .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.
How much of your decision to spank or not has been influenced by your upbringing? By your friends and family? By your race?