Smack children but not with implements (US) 2 October 2014
Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe spanking a child is acceptable at home and a majority say corporal punishment is tolerable provided it does not involve implements such as the one a National Football League star used on his son, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found. The findings help explain where Americans stand on corporal punishment after the indictment on child abuse charges of Adrian Peterson, a top NFL running back, in a case that sparked a contentious public debate over what is acceptable. The 29-year-old Minnesota Viking allegedly left bruises and wounds on his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with the whippy end of a tree branch, called a switch, an act that Peterson has publicly admitted to. The online survey of 3,637 adults found that about 68 percent approved of spanking at home, and that figure varied little between race and income groups…

A majority of respondents, about 60 percent, said corporal punishment was acceptable if it doesn’t leave a physical mark, about the same number who said it should be allowed if it doesn’t involve an implement such as a belt, cane or paddle..

The survey supports the belief that corporal punishment is employed less these days in the United States than decades ago. Three in four respondents said they had received corporal punishment as a child, more whites than minorities, and whites with children at home were slightly more likely to say they had carried out corporal punishment than were minorities. More older respondents reported receiving corporal punishment than did younger adults.