Quoting Quiverfull: Spanking Doesn’t Create Criminals?

Quoting Quiverfull: Spanking Doesn’t Create Criminals? April 8, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Michael Pearl of No Greater Joy in part five of his new foreword for his book “To Train Up A Child” – Attack on Traditional Child Training

Editor’s note: So what does Michael do to disprove all those studies that claim hitting your children increases their tendency towards violence and possible criminal behavior? Does he compile the studies of others to refute it? Does he look at statistics and crunch the numbers? Nope, he goes to his prison ministry group, the bunch of guys that would do or say anything to please him and get possible brownie points/ time shaved off their sentences, his captive audience, and he polls them. He comes to a conclusion after a tiny sampling of data! He clearly does not understand that most studies involve months if not years of research and the pool of people studied is far larger than 36 people. Failure again on his part.

 In a state prison chapel with 36 prisoners in attendance, I conducted an informal survey. I asked, “How many of you experienced some sort of physical discipline as children?” All but one responded in the affirmative. At this point, one who was so inclined could say that the survey proves that “hitting children” will result in criminal activity—35 out of 36 were spanked. But I went on to ask how many felt their spankings were justly administered. Twenty-eight felt the spankings they received were just and appropriately administered. Six said they were “beaten” as well. But thirteen said they were not spanked enough. When I asked how many felt that the “spankings or beatings” they received played some part in their crimes, none raised a hand. Since more than 80% of parents spank, one can expect that 80% of all juvenile offenders will have been spanked. However, correlation is not causation or even association.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nea

    Adrian Peterson claims that the whippings he took as a child made him the man he is today.

    … A man whose calm scourging of his 4-year-old left bruises and blood on his thighs, butt, hands, and scrotum; made him infamous for all the wrong reasons, and lost him a lucrative endorsement.

    Michael Pearl says the whippings he gave his children made them the successful people they are today.

    … “Successful people” who none of them can keep a job on their own.

    I could keep going for a very long time. So many “just” punishments. So many disaster stories.

  • Brennan

    Gotta love how he imagines that academics, whose careers live and die based on the quality of their studies, lack a middle school understanding of how representative samples and control groups work. He assumes stupidity when it comes to both his critics and his target audience.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Hitting a kid doesn’t create criminals, no. The reason it doesn’t is because this country doesn’t respect children’s rights.

  • Friend

    Yup. “’Hitting children’ will result in criminal activity” each and every time an adult assaults a child.

  • Mel

    I’ve yet to find a human being who agrees that putting a desired object in front of an infant, then hitting the baby when they reach for it is appropriate…ever.

    Likewise, people who I know are horrified when I describe the appropriate use of 1/4 inch plumbing line as an object to hit with…..before I explain the age range is for infants and toddlers.

    This includes parents from lower SES areas where spanking with a bare hand is viewed as a matter of course.

    Yes, Mike, even the parents of your inmate crew would be horrified by your book.

  • Jayn

    Gotta love how he throws a bunch of stuff in here and hopes we don’t figure out that none of it proves a damn thing.

  • Baby_Raptor

    This is the man who thinks he’s an expert simply because he has a dick. He doesn’t know squat about how real academics works.

  • ShaLaLa

    Best response I’ve seen to date to the whole “I was soanked and I turned out just fine!” line of argument (which is basically Pearl’s argument here), and I’ve seen it a couple of times now, so this is paraphrased: Well, no, clearly not if you think it’s okay to hit a child.”

    If you think domestic violence is an acceptable way to resolve a situation, then something is wrong. If you can’t think of a better way to guide your child toward adulthood, then there are some basic interpersonal tools that you should have gained growing up but didn’t. And if your parents relied on hitting to guide your behavior, well no wonder.

    Children are people, living individual beings, and as such they are entitled to basic bodily autonomy. If you hit your child, you are violating their consent, and teaching them that they (and eventually others they are given some sort of authority over) do not have a right to their own bodies. That other people have a right to touch them in violent non-consensual ways.

    That’s not parenting, it’s grooming.

  • Nea

    The grooming is even worst when you teach them that they must obey ANY command immediately or else.

  • Nea

    He always does. Google is totes as good as real learning, which he considers scary and too hard anyway.

  • Nea

    He does. They don’t seem to be any more successful than the daughters.

  • ShaLaLa

    Yupp, there’s a reason the words “punish,” “control,” and “obedience” give both my mom and me the heebie jeebies.

  • jennabobenna

    I think I need to take a course in Pearlian Logic because the college course I took on Real Logic is not helping me make sense of his argument here. You’re completely right. He’s been going on for pages about how NOT spanking your kids turns them into criminials, and yet, here, his criminals were actually spanked at a rate significantly higher than the national average…zero sense this makes.