Home > Posts by Mark, Truth in Love Staff, Vs. Psychology > “Research” on spanking!

“Research” on spanking!


I just read this from yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100412/hl_time/08599198101900

For those of you who do not know, much of my graduate work at FSU was in evaluating professional research and statistics. When I read an article like this, I get righteously angry because:

1) Spanking is NOT defined in the article (how did these scientific researchers evaluate a spanking? what was their criteria? how was it measured?)

2) We do not know about the sample size, whether it was randomly assigned or not, etc. These things are CRITICAL in evaluating research.

3) They say they accounted for other variables but we don’t know how or what they did. We have to trust them (and frankly, I do not).

4) They do not tell us the P.V.E. (proportion of variance explained) which tells us the power of the study. I doubt it was very high. Most studies are not higher than 10%. What this means is that the study is able to account for 1 out of 10 of all of the total, possible variables that could have impacted the study’s findings. In other words, the study really is limited to only 10% of possible factors though when you read an article like this, they do not make that element clear.

Though they say they do control some of the variables in this article, I’d like to see what they actually did and what the P.V.E. was. Again, it’s likely very low because all studies are pretty low on this.

5) Studies are not fool proof and often not very scientific though they claim to be. Do not be fooled by their findings. I need to read the actual research article itself to properly critique it. This is only someone’s interpretations of the findings, not the actual research study findings. Again, do we trust the interpreter?

The Bible does not tell us to spank with our hands. The Bible says to use a rod and a reproof (a small object, not your hand) and a teaching that is a rebuke (called a reproof). Spanking is not defined for us in this article so I’m not clear if the Bible agrees or not with their definition of spanking. A spanking alone without a reproof is not biblical. A reproof given without a rod is not biblical. It is a rod and reproof. (see Proverbs)

Overall, do not be misled by these “scientific studies.” Man’s wisdom pales in comparison to God’s wisdom. You can trust your Bible because it is God Himself speaking His Word of truth in love.

-Mark (thankful for the answers found in the pages of Scripture)

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