Diz - there is a world of difference between hitting another adult in anger and using corporal punishment as a learning tool in raising a child. But most adults I've seen hit their kids aren't doing it as a disciplinary tool - they do it because they're angry and they briefly lose control of themselves. In the case of my parents, especially my father, they could get frighteningly out of control when angry enough, or even when they just happened to be in a bad mood because of a rough day. There were times I was truly terrified of him... really, truly terrified of what he might do. He only actually hit me on a handful of occasions, but he had plenty of equivalent ways of being just as physically scary and potentially hurtful. Often the offenses on my part were rather minor. I wasn't at all a bad or disrespectful child; if anything, I think I was more obedient and submissive than most kids are. But he just wasn't rational about things like that. I firmly believe that the reason I'm a liberal is I'm reacting to my parents by trying to swing to the opposite extreme. In my case, at least, the only thing their rage and, at times, abuse (though it was generally more emotional than physical) did for me was leave me with no sense of self-esteem and a constant fear of trusting others lest they might violate my trust by hurting me. I'm all in favor of letting parents raise their children however they choose - but there's one caveat. You're only free to do what you want as long as your actions won't hurt anyone, and in the case of hitting children, there's a definite risk of the child being hurt in the long run. Not all parents can control themselves when they're angry. There are plenty of punishments other than hitting (or any other sort of cruelty that comes from the mind of an angry parent) that are quite effective. Give your kid a time out, temporarily confiscate a toy he or she likes, ground them for a while. My point is if you ever hurt your child or make them afraid of you, you'll risk damaging the mutual attitude of trust and respect that needs to exist between parent and child. When your kid gets older and you want him or her to tell you the truth about various things you'll be worrying about in their life, having maintained that sense of trust will prove important. Plus there's this: corporal punishment doesn't actually work as a learning tool. It's been proven again and again, so why do it even if you don't think it's any different? Precisely, because even if they're spanked for a legitimate reason, they only remember the spanking, not the lesson.