Spanking can hurt children's development and lower their IQ, according to new study

The "Spare the rod, spoil the child" defense for spanking children with behavioral problems doesn't fly with experts who say corporal punishment can cause developmental damage or even lower a child's IQ, according to a Reuters report.

The latest publication of Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed its findings based on 20 years of research this week.

The recent studies found that spanking reduces the brain's grey matter in areas related to intelligence.

However, Joan Durant, a professor at University of Manitoba and one of the authors of the study says the facts are trumped by the notion that parents should have the right to choose the method of discipline appropriate for their children.  

"We're really past the point of calling this a controversy. That's a word that's used and I don't know why, because in the research there really is no controversy," she said in an interview.

"If we had this level of consistency in findings in any other area of health, we would be acting on it. We'd be pulling out all the stops to work on the issue."

Read Reuters report here:

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