Spare the Child: Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physic

Philip Greven, Author
Philip Greven, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-394-57860-6
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
Paperback - 284 pages - 978-0-679-73338-6
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Greven marshalls a wealth of clinical evidence to show that beatings and spankings administered in childhood have long-lasting harmful consequences, including suppressed anger, self-hatred, recurring depressions, apathy, and stifling of compassion for oneself and others. A Rutgers history professor who teaches courses on the family, Greven maintains that the violence against children endemic in our society contributes to adults' unquestioning obedience to authority and to the oppression of women. He traces support for physical punishment to the Protestant belief that use of the rod is necessary to break the child's will; he also briefly outlines nonviolent alternatives to corporal punishment. Although this is more sociological treatise than childrearing guide, parents will benefit from this wise and liberating book. (Feb.)
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