New studies show that spanking has been shown to be ineffective and potentially dangerous. File picture.

In November 2018, the Constitutional Court reserved judgment on whether parents should be allowed to spank their children. 

Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA), a non-profit organisation, initially took on the State and children's rights organisations against spanking. Now that the case is due back in court next month, it once again shines a spotlight on corporal punishment in the home.

But now new studies show that spanking has been shown to be ineffective and potentially dangerous. After extensive research, the American Academy of Pediatrics in November 2018 released its most strongly worded policy statement warning against the harmful effects of corporal punishment in the home.

“One of the most important relationships we all have is the relationship between ourselves and our parents, and it makes sense to eliminate or limit fear and violence in that loving relationship,” said Dr. Robert D. Sege, a pediatrician, told The New York Times.

The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics, and recommended that parents be encouraged not to spank. Multiple studies have also found that children do not benefit from spanking. Instead, it has been associated with increased aggression and defiance.