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October 3, 2013 / JayMan

Another Map of the American Nations: School Corporal Punishment

In his most recent post, Greg Cochran quipped that since corporal punishment is a quiet issue these days, it likely works. EDIT: That is, it works in keeping kids in line at school, and only that. Needless to say, the map of states with legal corporal punishment in schools follows the Map of the American Nations (from Wikipedia)
Red = allowed; blue = not allowed:

Corporal_punishment_in_the_United_States.svg

The “Dixie” nations of the Tea Party as discussed in the previous post again make an appearance. School corporal punishment is clearly a Deep Southern, Greater Appalachian, and Far Western phenomenon.

This should not be surprising. The Southern nations were founded by two much more aggressive groups of fore-bearers than the northern nations were, the Cavaliers and the denizens of the English-Scottish border areas (also see Flags of the American Nations). Indeed, while the “home” states of those two groups, Virginia and West Virginia, currently ban corporal punishment today, they were among the most recent states to ban it.

However, it’s worth taking a look at how often corporal punishment is actually used in schools in these states:

Corporal table

The states with high incidences of corporal punishment all have significant non-White populations, primarily Black (see M.G. on that here). We can safely assume that Black students receive most of the punishment in these states.

Those states which have nearly all-White populations – mostly Greater Appalachian ones – seem to use the punishment on a much smaller share of students. This is consistent with the notion that the Scotch-Irish and Cavaliers are violent with respect to other Whites, but considerably less violent than other groups, such as Blacks.

Cochran suspects that corporal punishment might work; perhaps the reality is that it works best for the more aggressive (and hence more troublesome) groups. I suspect it’s largely unnecessary for the more peaceable northern Whites (aggressive later arrivals to the North notwithstanding).

EDIT: For the record, since I didn’t make it clear, I am not a fan of corporal punishment myself personally. That said, for the peoples in the South, and perhaps certain people of color, it may be an effective solution for them. I see no reason to expand it to the North or change anything overall.

Edit, 9/16/14: See also from the Audacious Epigone, on racial differences in support for corporal punishment:

The Audacious Epigone: Pat on the butt too much for Pats’ fans
The Audacious Epigone: Spare and spoil? Not in the US

Spanking, too, has a racial component. Namely, blacks are its strongest advocate. The following table shows the percentages who agree that spanking is justifiable, by race.

See also my further discussion of the American Nations:

More Maps of the American Nations

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29 Comments

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  1. Mark / Oct 3 2013 3:25 PM

    Why is it okay for anyone to assault children? I fail to see whether it is relevant whether or not it “works.”

    • JayMan / Oct 3 2013 3:26 PM

      I’m not a fan of corporal punishment myself.

    • elijahlarmstrong / Oct 3 2013 3:46 PM

      Because if it “works”…well, if it “works”, it prevents later misbehavior and violence (and it renders just deserts unto bratty children). But I honestly don’t know whether it does work.

    • JayMan / Oct 3 2013 3:53 PM

      @elijahlarmstrong

      Because if it “works”…well, if it “works”, it prevents later misbehavior and violence (and it renders just deserts unto bratty children).

      I’ve edited the post. If it works, it likely only works in the school setting as long as the threat of corporal punishment is maintained.

      It’s not a tool for shaping future upstanding citizens. It’s probably at best a tool for making the school staff’s lives easier.

    • Amber / Oct 3 2013 6:34 PM

      My toddler keeps climbing onto the stove. Time outs, taking him away from the stove, telling him not to, ignoring the behavior, all failed to stop him. Since I actually cook and have other children to watch, this is actually a really dangerous behavior. A few swats on the behind stopped his stove-climbing.

    • Tomás / Oct 4 2013 9:14 AM

      For a yank to correct a troublesome rebellious man-in-the-works teenager is to “assault children”. It reminds me of those who include the fatalities in the Gangs Wars as “children killed by gun owners”.

      Yanks are like that. You can educate an agressive boy and make a normal balanced adult out of him or you can yankilly asume that everyone is equal and that your morals are absolute and mandatory for the whole human species (being so illuminated as they are).

      Memo to yanks with bad memory: southern-appachalian people are not more aggresive, as such, than yanks.They’re more clannic. When it comes to agressiveness of every stripe, it’s difficult to match the moral posturing, social and legal repression, or economic revenges continually practiced by the morally illuminated yanks. And, should I mention the massive military crusades the yanks use to push against every non-yank hominid on the Earth’s surface who dares to resist his mandatory yank-fication?

      “- Hey, there are some tribes, somewhere, which are still not celebrating male-on-male backdoor love! Let’s bomb the shit out of those inbred toothless despicable redne… I mean, those tribal primitive bastards!
      – But, what if that’s not enough?
      – Well, then we will send some of those inbred toothless despicable rednecks of our own we have our glorious armed forces filled with. **They’re so aggresive**…”

      And then there’s the War of Northern Agg… I mean, the “Civil War” (laughs).

      There are many kinds of aggresiveness, as every married or engaged man knows…

    • JayMan / Oct 4 2013 9:51 PM

      @Tomás:

      Yanks are like that. You can educate an agressive boy and make a normal balanced adult out of him or you can yankilly asume that everyone is equal and that your morals are absolute and mandatory for the whole human species (being so illuminated as they are).

      To be fair, Yankees apparently make up less than 50% of the population of “Yankeedom”. See n/a’s on-going posts on the matter.

      I suspect the true number, even when one is being as inclusive as possible and include people who are any part Puritan, you’d get a fraction not much smaller than this. We may never know the true fraction unless we get some genetic analysis.

      Memo to yanks with bad memory: southern-appachalian people are not more aggresive, as such, than yanks.They’re more clannic.

      I wouldn’t say that. I’d say that the Cavaliers and the Borderlanders were indeed more aggressive, overall, than the Puritans or the Quakers were. It’s just that the Puritans were quite capable of being violent for nationalistic purposes – like most any NW Europeans society.

  2. Amber / Oct 3 2013 6:24 PM

    I went to school in Texas, and none of us kiddos had ever even heard that corporal punishment was an available option. Detentions, suspension, expulsions–those we were well aware of. Corporal punishment may be technically not illegal in Texas, but it’s not being actively used.

    Several of the states which don’t use it also have large minority populations, such as Texas, LA, and SC. Alabama and Mississippi certainly have large black populations, but OK and Arkansas don’t. Certainly in Alabama and Mississippi black (and Hispanic) kids may be receiving a disproportionate share of the punishment, though I could also see special-ed kids being targets, or just kids in more rural districts. I’d be careful about assumptions without further data.

    At any rate, I don’t see any correlation here between % black or minority population and use of corporal punishment. Mostly it looks like the folks who’re okay with spanking their kids just haven’t bothered removing certain laws from the books or adding other laws, with only four deep south states actually using it.

    • Amber / Oct 3 2013 6:28 PM

      PS: I bet the biggest correlation is actually poverty.

    • Tomás / Oct 4 2013 9:29 AM

      Poverty correlates with IQ. IQ correlates with the control of impulsive behavior, from the sexual drive to crime acts to delayed gratification. IQ correlates with genetic factors (well over the 50% of the total share) and environmental factors.

      Environmental factors can be break down to Culture and Environment (strictu sensu). Culture is the result of an evolutionary process, with memes evolving and influencing each other, and memes and genes affecting each other as well. In a nutshell, a dysfunctional culture correlates, again, with IQ and ethnicity.

      Poverty is a weak and proximate factor, never “the cause”. At the same time *poverty is far more a consequence than a cause*.

      Poverty is more the consequence, than the cause.

      You’re not morally responsable, in no way, of their violence. Period. And there’s no reason, no way, why you and your descendants should be forced to endure, support and suffer them. That’s tirannical.

    • JayMan / Oct 4 2013 9:35 PM

      @Tomás:
      Pretty much, well said. This would seem to be basic HBD.

    • JayMan / Oct 15 2013 12:47 PM

      @Amber:

      I went to school in Texas, and none of us kiddos had ever even heard that corporal punishment was an available option. Detentions, suspension, expulsions–those we were well aware of. Corporal punishment may be technically not illegal in Texas, but it’s not being actively used.

      That’s not what the data say. Maybe it wasn’t used in your district, but Texas is a huge state….

      Several of the states which don’t use it also have large minority populations, such as Texas, LA, and SC. Alabama and Mississippi certainly have large black populations, but OK and Arkansas don’t.

      Actually, all those states do indeed have large Black populations.

      At any rate, I don’t see any correlation here between % black or minority population and use of corporal punishment. Mostly it looks like the folks who’re okay with spanking their kids just haven’t bothered removing certain laws from the books or adding other laws, with only four deep south states actually using it.

      Actually, I graphed it. Not counting FL, AZ, and CO, the correlation between the fraction of the state’s population that is Black and the fraction of students which are disciplined is r2 = 0.27. Smallish, but significant. Of course, I didn’t measure the fraction of the school-age population that is Black, which may be a bit higher and might result in a better fit.

  3. Anthony / Oct 3 2013 7:33 PM

    So are white teachers or black teachers more likely to use corporal punishment? I suspect that a black teacher whuppin’ a black student would be the least likely racial combination of teacher and student to generate parent complaints.

    Another interesting breakdown would be private vs public schools (and is it legal in private schools in any of those blue states?), and also as Amber suggested, poverty rates.

    • JayMan / Oct 3 2013 8:07 PM

      @Anthony, Black teacher-Black student is probably the least controversial combination, I suspect – and also, I suspect, the most common.

    • Anthony / Oct 4 2013 3:45 PM

      Suspicions are fine – and I have the same ones. But is there any actual, you know, data?

      Speaking of suspicions – what do you suspect the typical white conservative supporter of corporal punishment in schools would think if they shared our suspicions about the racial breakdown of corporal punishment?

    • JayMan / Oct 4 2013 8:52 PM

      @Anthony:

      Suspicions are fine – and I have the same ones. But is there any actual, you know, data?

      I’m sure if I did some digging, I might find some. I never claimed to have any data on this.

      Speaking of suspicions – what do you suspect the typical white conservative supporter of corporal punishment in schools would think if they shared our suspicions about the racial breakdown of corporal punishment?

      Feel free to speculate on this one… 😉

  4. Niall / Oct 3 2013 8:37 PM

    Corporal punishment is a godsend here in Korea. It not only puts fear into students but also builds a unique bond between teachers and students.

    • Tomás / Oct 4 2013 9:38 AM

      I hope the All-Knowing All-Powerful Morally-Superior Masters of Yankdom don’t hear about that. They could start some non-aggressive campaign of cultural non-aggressive manipulation to gain the redneck support to send their (rednecks’) oh-so-aggressive children and siblings to kill and die for the Global Non-aggressive Revolution of Moral illumination.

  5. Luke Lea / Oct 4 2013 10:36 AM

    You need to get rid of that video that starts playing on every post. At least on my browser, Opera.

    I remember the first and only time I received corporal punishment in school, around 1948. I was in first grade, the teacher assigned some busy work — to copy on paper a paragraph she had written on the blackboard. I thought to myself that’s so easy it’s stupid, so got out my modeling clay and started to play. The teacher walked back to my desk and asked why I was playing with clay instead of doing the assignment. When I told her why she marched me up to her desk in the front of the room, took a ruler out of her desk drawer, seized one of my hands, and gave me half a dozen sharp smacks across the palm. I never made that mistake again.

    • JayMan / Oct 4 2013 9:33 PM

      @Luke Lea:

      You need to get rid of that video that starts playing on every post.

      Fixed!

      I remember the first and only time I received corporal punishment in school, around 1948.

      I’ve been told corporal punishment in schools was much more common all across the country in the past. It went out of fashion in the blue states, but not in the red ones, it seems.

  6. Staffan / Oct 5 2013 6:37 AM

    According to Wikipedia, corporal punishment in schools is forbidden in all of Europe – so even places like Turkey, Belarus and the Balkan. Not sure what to make of that.

  7. Suggestion / Oct 5 2013 5:50 PM

    My post is offtopic.

    I have a suggestion.

    Please make a frontpage link “Ask JayMan” where people can ask you for studies/links.

    You feature so many information and it’s so hard to find (because it’s all the same topic concerning ‘race’, ‘iq’, ‘black’, ‘white’).

    I am looking since 1 hour for the article/study that says that white women with lower IQ are the ones who mate with black men… and I cannot find it :-((

  8. Audacious Epigone / Oct 14 2013 7:29 PM

    It’s relevant to note also that blacks are the racial group most supportive of corporal punishment in the US, followed by Native Americans and then non-Hispanic whites. Like so many other violent socio-cultural activities and behaviors (dog fighting, etc), blacks and liberal whites are on opposite ends of the spectrum, with conservative whites somewhere in the middle.

    • JayMan / Oct 14 2013 9:52 PM

      @A.E.:
      Indeed.

  9. vijay / Oct 15 2013 8:45 AM

    One thing to note: people seem to be confused here about approval of something, and actual practice, and whether the approved thing actually works. I give examples here to show none of the three are related:

    1. I approve of free sex; I have no chance of putting it in practice; free sex works only for a very select group of population. 90% of the people are ugly, and have slender chance of sex.

    2. When a group approves of something, it does not mean they will actually do it, or it even works. Blacks approve of corporal punishment; however there is no real evidence that they put it in practice, or the practice actually disciplines children in black families.

    We need to differentiate between what we believe, what we practice, and wwaht may work.

  10. KevinM / Oct 16 2013 1:25 AM

    Got more than my share of pops thru the 60’s and 70’s. Also got hit by chalkboard erasers and chalk, and in the 1st grade made to stand in the wastepaper basket in the corner. Guess they were out of dunce’s caps. None of that’s done anymore.

    Legal issues for the schools and all. Less effective than it’s cracked up to be, too.

    Never had to resort to it with our own kids, but they’re girls.

  11. not too late / Mar 4 2014 10:40 AM

    Maybe it has some correlation with how many kids a family has. When you have one child, he is a precious snowflake. When you have five, well, you have to get them under control and in line. It would take all of your time to coax feral kids into tolerable submission. I have kids that are not not not just easily submissive and obedient. I am sure that clever, quiet, compliant folks breed and produce the same. Wild folks like I was as a child, produce wild kids. Duh. Just be glad they are doing something to tame them, so they don’t come after your precious little snowflakes. Also, parents who sign the form permitting corporal punishment are probably using it at home! Another duh.

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