United States of America
The United States of America (abbreviation: U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (abbreviation: U.S. or US), is a country in North America. It has a very diverse population of more than 314 million, comprising citizens of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and making it the third most populous country in the world. It does not have an official language, but the de facto national language is (American) English. It is governed by a federal constitutional republic, with the President as the head of state and the head of government. It comprises 50 states and a federal district, where its capital, Washington, D.C., is based. Its largest city is New York City.
The two continents of North and South America were inhabited by Native Americans and had been isolated from the rest of the world until Europeans settlers arrived in the 1500s. The USA was derived from 13 British colonies, and it gained independence in the late 18th century after defeating the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) with help from France and other European countries. After independence, the USA embarked on an expansionary campaign in North America, displacing native tribes and acquiring territories such as Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Alaska, which are now part of the modern USA. Tensions between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery in the 19th century led to the American Civil War (1861–1865), which concluded with a North (Union) victory. The USA emerged as a global military power in the 20th century after the two World Wars and became the first country to be armed with nuclear weapons. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the USA as the sole superpower in the world until today. The USA currently has the world's largest economy and has very strong economic, political and cultural influences in many parts of the world.
The USA is colloquially referred to as America, but this is confusing as 'America' is also the name of the double continent on which the USA lies. The adjective American has both meanings:
- referring to the continents of North America and South America, collectively known as the Americas
- referring to the USA
Spanking in the USA
The history of the USA dates back only a few hundred years; the country's culture was formed by mainly immigrants from Europe. Therefore, American traditions are largely based on a mixture of European traditions, including the use of corporal punishment in parenting, education, and judicial punishment.
In addition to these European roots, and similar to European colonies in the rest of America, Africa, and Asia, American culture included the concept of slavery until the late 19th century, and slaves of both sexes and of all ages were subject to whippings and other severe punishments in the USA, especially in the southern states. While not alone in its history of slavery, the American version, however, was noted for being particularly brutal.
While historically, c. 1700 to 1900, the hickory stick and other switches were used in American village schools, much like in Europe, these implements gave way almost completely to wooden paddles in the 20th century, such that "school corporal punishment" in the United States nowadays always means a paddling.
The stereotypical American spanking implement is since the wooden paddle. It was, and still is, in use in domestic spanking, school spanking, and in fraternity and sorority spanking, as well as in domestic discipline and BDSM/erotic spanking.
The hairbrush is also popular in American spanking culture, as well as straps, belts, and other implements. Implements that have little or no tradition in the USA are the (mainly Eurasian) birch and cane, the British tawse or the French martinet.
Non-abusive spanking of children is still allowed by American law. To get a feeling for how widespread parental spanking in the U.S. is, a survey conducted 2006 in North Carolina resulted in the following figures:
- 26.4 % of all parents reported that in the past month their child had been spanked on his/her bottom with a bare hand.
- Broken down by the child's gender, 28.2 % of boys were spanked in the past month, and 24.4 % of girls.
- Broken down by age group, 36.4 % of children from birth to age 5 were spanked in the past month; 24.1 % of of children aged 5-10, and 8.7 % of children aged 11-13.
- Broken down by parent educational attainment, the figures are: 17.9 % < High School, 25.5 % High School, 32.8 % > High School, 24.6 % College Graduate.
- Broken down by child race/ethnicity, the figures are: 25.3 % of "White" children were spanked, 32.3 % of "African American" children were spanked, and 19.8 % of "Other Minorities" children.
- This survey did not include children who were spanked in the past month with an implement, so the actual figures of spanked children would be higher.
School corporal punishment
School paddling is still permitted in 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. As of 2011, about 12 % of schools in the USA still use corporal punishment.
Police supervising parental spanking
In some states such as Florida, parents nowadays occasionally ask a police officer to watch while they are spanking their children, to ensure that the spanking is within legal bounds and not abusive.
American spanking art
This detail of a 19th century engraving of a slave being paddled was recreated in the film Mandingo.
American spanking authors include John Benson, Bookbabe, Mary Catherine, Daria Little, Carolyn Faulkner, Flogmaster, Hal, Adrian Hammersmith, Eve Howard, Kelley, Don A. Landhill, Mija, SamPast, and Laura Werner.
American spanking actors and actresses include Jennifer Brooks, Tom Byron, Greta Carlson, Courtney Chambers, Belinda Clark, Beverley Cocks, Iris Cunningham, Dallas, Danielle, Venus De Light, Debbie, Tony Elka, Sarah Gregory, Ashley Fires, Niki Flynn, Clare Fonda, Tanya Foxx, Steve Fuller, Amber Gray, Eve Howard, Keith Jones, Kailee, Katarina Kaufmann, Kiri Kelly, Paris Kennedy, Audrey Knight, Francesca Le, Lisa, Stephanie Locke, Suzi Martell, Sharon Mitchell, Jacqueline Omerta, Bettie Page, Alexis Payne, Chelsea Pfeiffer, Phoenix, Anastasia Pierce, Gia Regency, Ashley Renee, Amelia Jane Rutherford, Sierra Salem, Erica Scott, Arthur Sire, Dana Specht, Bobbie Tawse, Amber Wells, Abigail Whittaker, Samantha Woodley.
American spanking companies, magazine publishers and video producers include ABCD Webmasters, Amateur Spankings, B&D Pleasures, Bizarre Video, Bobbie's DropSeats, Bon-Vue Enterprises, Brooks Applications, Bum Rap Productions, California Star, CF Publications, Chelsea Pfeiffer Entertainment, Cinema Swats, Sarah Gregory Spanking, Clare Fonda Productions, Dallas Spanks Hard, Far East Media, Firm Hand Spanking, GwenMedia, Nick Harmon, Harmony Concepts, House of Milan, Eve Howard, Kshara Productions, London Enterprises, Nu-West/Leda Productions, Ohh Tee Kay Productions, Pacific Force, Chelsea Pfeiffer, Punished Brats, Raven Hill Studios, RealSpankings.com, Redboard Video, Shadow Lane, Southeastern Woodshed, Spanking Epics, The Real Spanking Court. Many of these businesses are located in the state of California.
- North Carolina. Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, Child Health Assessment and Monitoring Program (N.C.): Child Spanking in the past month: 2006 Child Health Assessment & Monitoring Program (CHAMP)
- 'Spank me': Catholic schoolboys rally in SUPPORT of paddling as corporal punishment is debated, Daily Mail, 5 March 2011
- Matt Agorist: Nanny Police State? Parents Are Calling the Cops to Supervise them Spanking their Children on The Free Thought Project, January 3, 2015
- Paddling at a Fort Worth, Texas school (video, CBS News)
- Minorities, Kids With Disabilities More Likely to Be Paddled (article on Foxnews)
- Americans’ Opinions On Spanking Vary By Party, Race, Region And Religion (chart)