by Emily Moratti
Dr. J.C. Barnes co-authored a study that exposes genetic factors that increase the aggressiveness of boys that were spanked by their parents as a child. As he explains in the article, aggressiveness is a genetic trait that is evident in the behavior of children. He also goes on to state that if a male child has this gene and was also spanked, his aggressive tendencies are more likely to develop. Alternatively, there appeared to be no difference in female aggressiveness.
They used twin methodology to study the effect of this disciplinary behavior on the hereditary trait. They found that aggressive behaviors, for example temper tantrums, actually increased when a child was exposed to physical punishments. They examined children ages 9 months to 5 years old in the hopes of pinpointing when intervention would be the most advantageous for the children. The hope is that this study, and future studies of the same topic, will help to diminish the use of spanking as a punishment.
University of Texas, Dallas (2012, March 5). Spanking and genetics may increase childhood aggression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 20, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/03/120305132250.htm
1. Why doesn’t this phenomenon affect females?
2. Does this mean these children will grow up to be more aggressive and prone to criminal enterprises?
3. What form of punishment is most effective and also helps lessen this aggressiveness.