I posted about this on my own website, but I'd like to get thoughts here as well, since JW's are big proponents of the 'violence is the answer' side of this debate.
New research is suggesting that spanking children may result in lowered IQ's. (LA Times Article) One hypothosis I've read elsewhere as to why this may be is because when faced with an unexpected result (the glass broke) the non-spanked child wonders why the glass broke and how much abuse a glass can take before breaking (essentually, the problem-solving/scientific parts of the mind find the unexpected result interesting, and want to learn more). The spanked child immediately enters fear mode - he's in trouble, his parents will be dealing him pain soon. For a simple $1 mistake one child becomes curious, and the other is struck with fear and anxiety.
I know for myself as a child, I feared my dad. Mom didn't have the heart to do it sometimes, but she was good at exaggerating the situation and assigning evil/destructive motives to us - and then my dad would beat us.
Sure doesn't seem very nice to me, and worse, it entitles people who don't have suffient judement as to how much is too much to go on their marry way. My dad tried to be just - but that doesn't mean that he didn't leave marks on my brother or I more than a few times.
Is violence really an acceptable answer for parents? Or is it a long-term solution (lower IQ, less expressive/creative, anxious fearful child) for a short-term problem (not wanting to sit still for boring religious lectures)? Are children that weren't spanked growing up to be killers?
(I'm not a parent, just an idealist that gets annoyed when I see my sister attack her quiet, generally well-mannered kid out of anger becuase he did something a little ignorant. Hey, the bible says she should, right?)