New research by a University of New Hampshire domestic abuse expert says spanking children affects their sex lives as adults.

Professor Murray Straus, at the University of New Hampshire renews the debate over spanking today with a study that says spanking children affects their sex lives as adults. Straus found that people who were spanked as children were more likely to coerce their partner into having sex.

One has to be careful about these sorts of studies that ask two questions and then create a cause and effect. Unless other questions are asked, the link can be questionable. We saw this a few months ago with a terribly flawed study that suggested people without children are happier.

Add the study on spanking as a datapoint to all the other — occasionally contradictory — studies on the subject, such as:

* Children who are spanked tend to be more anxious and aggressive than those who aren’t, but this is less true in cultures where physical punishment is common. (2005)

*An occasional swat, when delivered in the context of good child-rearing, has not been shown to do any harm. (2001)

* Children spanked by their parents are twice as likely to develop drug and alcohol problems in adulthood. (1999)

* Parents who spank their children risk causing long-term harm that outweighs the short-term benefit of instant obedience. (2002)