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Re: Beating the Devil Out of Them

 Speaking of reading recommendations (the title of this thread is Strauss's
 new book on childrearing) someone from alt.parenting.spanking sent me a
 copy of the following report, which I have printed below.  It's kinda long
 for a post, but if you don't wish to hear of an actual study about an
 actual place where spanking is actually not used, then of course you may
 choose not to read it.  Or you may choose to draw information from it,
 since it is right here and you don't even have to leave your chair to
 gather some relevant data about this issue.  Your choice, of course.
 Disclaimer:  My posting excerpts from a report on how well Sweden's 
 non-spanking law seems to be working in helping families to raise     
 well-disciplined kids does NOT imply my agreement 1) with regulating 
 parenting methods by laws or 2) with Sweden's socialist form of 
 government.  I find neither appealing.  Nor does my posting this imply 
 that I have drawn any conclusions about anything presented in this 
 report or necessarily agree with all conclusions the author draws.
 The following article, posted in four parts, originally appeared in the
 Spring 1992 issue of _Mothering_ magazine (pp. 42-49). I am posting it on
 the internet with permission from the author. 
 By Prof. Adrienne A. Haeuser
 Swedish parents rely on a variety of alternatives to physical punishment
 to discipline their children. 
 Can you bring up children successfully without smacking and spanking?
 Sweden appears to be doing just this only a decade after passing a law
 which stipulates that a child may not be subjected to physical punishment
 or other humiliating treatment. Initially somewhat skeptical, Swedes now
 take the law for granted, and Swedish children are thriving.
 Sweden's example has inspired passage of similar laws prohibiting parental
 use of physical punishment in Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Austria. These
 and many other European countries had banned corporal punishment in
 schools many years before -- Austria, for instance, in 1870. In England,
 where corporal punishment in schools was banned as recently as 1987,
 advocates have embarked on a campaign to prohibit physical punishment in
 the home through a project called EPOCH (End Physical Punishment of
 Children). EPOCH-USA is now taking root in the United States [see "For
 More Information"]. Here, not even corporal punishment in schools has been
 federally banned (1). 
 To research the backround, implementation, and outcomes of the pioneering
 1979 law, I visited Sweden in 1981 under a grant from the Swedish
 Bicentennial Fund. I replicated this study in 1988, under a grant from the
 National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (2). In a variety of Swedish
 localities, I conducted extensive and intensive interviews - currently
 known as "oral histories" - with government authorities, human services
 professionals, teachers and daycare personnel, child welfare organization
 leaders, parents, and some children. In the 1988 study, for example, I
 included structured interviews with 16 national authorities and 46
 locally-based human services professionals. In addition, although I
 conversed with numerous parents and children at daycare centers, schools
 playgrounds, and in private homes, I also conducted formal interviews with
 16 native Swedish parents.
 Sweden's 1979 laws reflects a sociopolitical and economic evolution, as
 well as an evolving value system. Prior to the First and even the Second
 World War, Sweden was essentially a poor, agrarian society significantly
 influenced by German authoritarianism and Lutheran dogma. Childrearing
 included regular - often weekly - harsh beatings to "drive out the devil