Pro- and anti-spanking advocates disagree about whether spanking is harmful or desirable, and whether it is an effective means of disciplining children. Much scholarship has found that, for some children, corporal punishment has lasting negative effects including: increased anger, depression, and aggression low self-esteem and reduced academic achievement increased risk for drug use and mental illness a weakened parent-child relationship, and a propensity for violence towards others.
Those favoring corporal punishment argue that: spanking is an effective means of discipline studies showing negative effects are inconclusive or just plain wrong, as evidenced by generations of children spanked with no harmful effects people have a right to discipline their children as they see fit, and other factors related to discipline, including its frequency and severity, are more important than whether spanking is used. A conviction for assault, battery, or child abuse can have serious consequences.
Depending on the circumstances, a conviction can result in time in prison or jail, a fine, probation, and counseling.