Michael Calwell (Letters, 12 September) says “that corporal punishment, unlike actual physical abuse, causes no detectable physical, psychological or emotional harm, and has no detectable negative behavioural consequences”.
He could not be more wrong. Research studies made over a long number of years and one involving more than 160,000 children, clearly indicated children who are smacked are more likely to exhibit higher levels of aggression and mental health problems.
Other research indicates that children who are smacked are more likely to be abusive to their partners as adults.
In this context, it was with some surprise that I noted that Alexander McKay (the man with an impressive array of invective directed at the SNP) supports the policy to ban smacking. With that in mind, it might seem a bit churlish to point out that it isn’t actually an SNP policy. It was proposed by the Green MSP and ex policeman, John Finnie, and somewhat belatedly adopted by the government.
Mr McKay says that because 53 countries have banned smacking, doesn’t make it right. I think the point here is that their example shows that the introduction of the legislation in conjunction with education of its existence along with alternative discipline strategies, has meant that parents have not been “criminalised”. I’m pretty sure that if the police in countries with the “draconian laws” Mr McKay refers to, can cope without wholesale prosecutions, the Scottish police will manage to approach this issue with sensitivity.