Spank Me, Daddy – How Beating Children Fucks Them Up Long Term

The Pandemic – A Litmus Test For Idiocy

The Pregnant Hooker – Establishing Workplace Dominance

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While it is (or should be) widely known that abuse has long-term repercussions that reverberate throughout the life of the abused, the permanent effects go deeper than previously thought. There is a direct correlation between the abuse of children (including the act of spanking), and the development of PTSD that mirrors military veteran trauma developed in war zones.

This becomes doubly true when the abuser’s target of choice is a child as it is guaranteed to fuck with the psyche of that child for the rest of their lives, permanently altering behaviors that assure long-standing difficulties that can undoubtedly outlive the abuser. A study from University College London, conducted in 2011, shows similarities between maltreated children and soldiers that experience combat, linking the formation of PTSD from traumatic events regardless of context.[1]

Shell Shocked Babies

PTSD can be quite the bitch, causing an influx of problems that last for decades. Also known as shell shock or combat stress, PTSD occurs after you experience severe trauma or a life-threatening event. It’s normal for your mind and body to be in shock after such an event, but this normal response becomes PTSD when your nervous system gets “stuck” in a state of survival. While PTSD develops differently in each veteran, there are four symptom clusters to be cognizant of:

  1. Recurrent, intrusive reminders of the traumatic event
  2. Extreme avoidance of things that remind you of the traumatic event
  3. Negative changes in your thoughts and mood
  4. Being on guard all the time, jumpy, and emotionally reactive [2]

What’s interestingly is the PTSD isn’t only caused by physical trauma; verbal and/or emotional trauma are similarly damaging – so don’t think you found a loophole if you call your eight-year-old daughter a whore 😠 for trying on makeup, you’re just shitty in a different sense.

The Neighbor

Like many people, my family lived in an apartment for a few years while becoming financially settled – or as settled as plausible in the modern era of ‘grind ‘til you die.’ Years ago, we had a downstairs neighbor who was a total piece of shit, as the mother would audibly yell at the little girl for damn near anything. 

One morning, the daughter got into make-up and the mother spent the greater part of the time before school calling her a whore. I didn’t alert Social Services as I was concerned that the foster care would be far worse – at least she wasn’t being raped in her current predicament, as far as I could tell. This still keeps me awake at night. (One-third of children within foster care have been abused by caregivers, and over half of human trafficking in the United States were from foster care or group homes.) [3]

The spanking of children is shown to alter neural functions of children in much the same way as more severe forms of abuse; journals have confirmed that, as far as the child’s psyche is concerned, there is very little difference between spanking your child and pushing them down a flight of stairs.

A study supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, in collaboration with the Society for Research in Child Development, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Washington found a concerning link to brain patterns from those who were ‘simply spanked’ and those who were, for lack of a better comparison, woken up at midnight with a fist to the face.[4]

Further, the maltreatment of children shows an increased neural activity within parts of the brain, increasing the risk of anxiety and ‘amplified emotional reactivity’. This heightened reactivity damages the victim’s ability to gauge, receive, and anticipate pain, which can damage the ability for abused children to properly integrate into society with a far greater risk of psychopathy.

But Everyone Else Jumped

Now, some people taken aback by this are likely going to argue that spanking has been done for generations (like racism and sexism, for a fun comparison) or bring up the classic adage from the epicenter of crimes against humanity, religious scripture, with some ‘spare the rod spoil the child’ bullshit as though words cannot impart the same level of obedience 😠 as physically hitting your child. 

Anecdotes for Doting Dolts

Not once have I successfully developed discipline after being beaten by my parents – I was taught to fear the shit out of them, however, which is not the same as discipline. Some may read ‘fear the shit out of them’ and think to themselves as though that’s the ideal result, which will eventually turn into adherence to the demands from the parental unit. 

What this is teaching them is that the usage of violence is an acceptable, or at least normal, means of ensuring others obey. Words have far more power and depth than violence ever possibly could.

Abuse likely stems from generations prior to this even becoming a talking point within your life. Your parents were spanked, because their parents were spanked, and so on – escalations above spanking (punching, throwing things towards others with intent to harm, etc.*). Sexual abuse can also stem from abuses received, although this does not condone abusers in their actions – merely explain the catalyst for abuse. It’s the definition of normalcy that has corrupted multiple family trees at the root.

This has been repeated for years at this point – the American Psychological Association resolution adopted in early 2019 shows that physical punishment causes lasting harm. Through other papers, we can identify that this harm can be as damaging as surviving through war zones – an interesting proponent when racist Uncle George begins a new social media tirade announcing how kids these days have it easy and they need a hard beating.

It’s like fucked up investing for psychopaths – you put in a bit of effort (such as waking a child up at midnight by punching their faces, gaslighting them, tossing them downstairs, spanking, and other creative means of working out your personal insecurities) and you get to harvest the long-term dividends of having an extremely abnormal child. While one may question the tangible profits of such an investment, long-term thinking is not a common strength of abusers.

The Way Out

Thankfully, in the common era of online interconnectivity, many of us have an opportunity to interrupt the familial abuse paradigm which has become systemic and, in some cases, readily defended as a bizarre tradition, or rite of passage. It is relatively easy to look back and presume that it’s too late to change behaviors and familial strategies, but that’s the beautiful shit about being scientifically minded.

Just by reading this, you’ve managed to take a fantastic first step towards drawing your family closer to the end of violence. Future generations within your lineage could look at this very day as the catalyst for bringing your legacy towards greatness, and there is no level of empirical data that could argue against that.

When science is confronted with new evidence that explains a phenomenon, science shifts to adopt the evidence. Facts are not explained away with terms of magic and voodoo, it evolves to become a more perfect version of understanding the world around us. In this, parents must also be scientifically minded – always striving to be better than our forebears, to ensure our children can offer something even greater for theirs.


1.  Ucl. (2018, November 15). Maltreated children show same pattern of brain activity as combat soldiers. UCL News.

2.  Melinda. (2021, April 19). PTSD in Military Veterans.

3. Tittle, G., Garnier, P., & Poertner, J. (n.d.). Child Maltreatment in Foster Care: A Study of Retrospective Reporting

4. Cuartas, Jorge; Weissman, David G; Sheridan, Margaret A; Lengua, Liliana; McLaughlin, Katie A (2021) Corporal Punishment and Elevated Neural Response to Threat in Children

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