Spanking

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Spanking is a form of corporal punishment commonly used to discipline a toddler, child, or teenager. It generally involves an adult- typically a parent, guardian, or teacher--striking the offender's buttocks as a response to poor behavior, with either an open hand or an implement, to cause temporary pain without producing physical injury.[1] When an instrument is used in lieu of a hand, spanking becomes switching, paddling, belting, caning, whipping, or birching, depending on the type of implement. When an open hand is used, spanking is referred to in some countries as slapping or smacking. Historically, boys have tended to be more frequently spanked than girls.[2][3][4][5][6]

Spanking can also refer to the practice of striking an adult in a playful manner as a social ritual or form of entertainment.

Some countries have outlawed the spanking of children in every setting, but many allow it at least when administered by a parent or guardian. For the legal status of corporal punishment in different countries, see Corporal punishment in the home and School corporal punishment.

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Terminology

In North America, the word "spanking" has often been used as a synonym for an official paddling in school,[7] and sometimes even as a euphemism for the formal corporal punishment of adults in an institution.[8]

In British English, most dictionaries define "spanking" as being given only with the open hand.[9] In American English, dictionaries define spanking as being administered with either the open hand or an implement such as a paddle.[10] Thus, the standard form of corporal punishment in US schools (licks with a paddle) is often referred to as a spanking, whereas its pre-1997 English equivalent (strokes of the cane) would never have been so described.

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