Spanking may lead to risky sexual behaviour later: study

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Washington, Feb 29 (UNI) Children who are spanked or inflicted with physical punishment are likely to develop abnormal sexual behavoiur later in life, a new study claims.

The analysis of four studies by a New Hampshire doctor suggested that children who were spanked, slapped or hit with objects hurled at them were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour or masochistic sex.

The study by Dr Murray Straus, presented yesterday to the American Psychological Association, further said such children had a greater chance of physically or verbally coercing a sexual partner, the USA Today reported.

''It increases the chances of sexual problems, though it's not a one-to-one causation,'' Dr Straus said.

Ackowledging the linking of sexual problems with spanking as a ''big leap'', human-sexuality researcher John DeLamater of the University of Wisconsin said it was probably one of the many elements that might contribute to sex problems or risky sex, the report said.

Elizabeth Gershoff, a professor of social work who reviewed 80 years of spanking research in 2002 said the problems may depend on how children process the spanking.

Children may justify the spanking to mean that in loving relationships sometimes there's pain or physical aggression or may consider it as the stronger and more powerful person using physical aggression to control the other person's behavior, she noted.

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