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However, it's legal in the United States for parents to physically punish their children at home, and most think that's exactly as it should be.

Some of its position papers state, for example, that homosexual parenting is harmful to children, gender dysphoria in children will be outgrown by adolescence and cohabitation before marriage will negatively impact any children born before, during or after cohabitation. Den Trumbull, concluded that "it's okay for parents to spank," but with some conditions: Parents should ensure children know it's "motivated by love and concern for their well-being" and be certain "they do not use disciplinary spanking too severely." Spanking should always be used in a manner that reduces the need to use it in the future, the paper said.

Spanking also should only be used when children fail to respond to milder disciplinary tactics (e.g., time out) or fail to stop harmful misbehavior (e.g., running into a street).

Calling any form "invariably degrading," the committee's Global Initiative has persuaded 53 countries since 2001 to pass laws banning corporal punishment, even in the privacy of a home.

"Regardless of whether someone experienced child abuse or not, spanking alone was predictive of dating violence."The result was no surprise to Dr.

"We thought maybe we would find that in some studies, but we did not," Gershoff said.

In a study in 1975, US soldiers who said they had been spanked as kids were less likely to report opiate use, but Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor point out that this group might not represent the general population.

"Corporal punishment confuses the boundaries between love and violence for children while they are learning how to treat others."Boston University Associate Professor Emily Rothman, an expert in dating and partner violence, agreed: "The experience of having someone direct aggression to you increases the likelihood that you'll fall back on aggression when in a flight or fight moment.