"In many cases, the avowed disciplinary value of flagellation in schools and colleges was a mere pretense to enable sadists to secure sexual titillation." (1886) George Ryley Scott, historian, sociologist, anthropologist. The History of Corporal Punishment.

"When a child is hit on the buttocks...this kind of violent touch can be sexualized in the child's mind not only because of a real flow of blood into the genitalia, but also because of a longing for intimacy with the parent: if painful physical touch is the only fulfillment of that longing, then this can `feel good'." (1995) Shere Hite, sex researcher, sociopsychologist. The Hite Report on the Family.

"These are the realities that most of us remain eager to deny... So long as children are beaten by adults, the obsessions with domination and submission, with power and authority, with shame and humiliation, with painful pleasure -- all hallmarks of sadomasochism - will remain an enduring consequence of the ordinary violence and coercion done in the name of discipline... Sadomasochism is not an aberration; it is inherent in corporal punishment..." (1990) Philip Greven, professor of history. Spare the Child

"I have had constantly to do with neurotics in whom sadistic feelings were first aroused by corporal punishment; after the sadistic impulse thus awakened has been repressed and forms the starting points of very malignant aberrations about which it would be very disingenuous to aver that they would have developed without the free use of the rod... The number of those who are harmed through beating, especially upon the buttocks, is undoubtedly very great... Even one who passionately contemns sexuality will hardly be inclined to deny that the corporal punishment induced well-marked sexual stimulation -- although the gluteal region is not within the domain of the genital organs." (1924) Oskar Pfister, physician, psychoanalyst. Love in Children and its Aberrations.


"Frequent spankings, too, may have a negative impact on sex development. Because of the proximity of the sex organs, a child may get sexually aroused when spanked. Or he may so enjoy the making up that follows the punishment that he will seek suffering as a necessary prelude to love. There are many adult couples who seem to need a good fight before a good night." (1966) Dr. Haim G. Ginott, child psychologist. Between Parent and Child.

"Advocates of corporal punishment in schools should examine very carefully the weight of evidence now available and, particularly in light of the pornographic component, consider whether they can justify the continuation of a system with such a capacity for exciting unhealthy interest." (1980) British Psychological Society, "Report on Corporal Punishment in Schools."

"Being beaten excites children sexually because it is an intense excitation of the erogenous zones of the skin of the buttocks and of the muscles below the skin..." (1945) Otto Fenichel, M.D. The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis

"Ever since Jean-Jaques Rousseau's Confessions, it has been well known to all educationalists that the painful stimulation of the skin of the buttocks is one of the erotic roots of the passive instrument of cruelty (masochism)." (1905) Sigmund Freud. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

The adult flagellant fantasy, in short, always derives from the infantile one. As with all sexual perversions, we are dealing with a variety of arrested development...that puberty and subsequent experience have been unable to dislodge... We need to examine its roots in childhood..." (1979) Ian Gibson, The English Vice

"But what you would not so readily believe upon my Affirmation, was that there are Persons who are stimulated to Venery by strokes of Rods, and worked up into a flame of Lust by blows... A strange instance what a Power the force of Education has in grafting inveterate ill Habits on our Morals." (1629) Johann Heinrich Meibom, physician. De Flagrorum su in Re Veneria & Luborum Renumque Officio. Leyden


The New York Times (12/22/92)

The director of a Manhattan junior high school for children at risk of dropping out was arrested yesterday and charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy who was a ninth-grader at the school, officials said... In addition, [Robert Viteretti, deputy commissioner of investigation for the New York City School District] said that after reports of the arrest spread yesterday, two former students telephoned his office to say that they had also been abused by the director. .. Mr. Viteretti said that on two occasions [the director] asked the boy into his office, then closed and locked his door and pulled down the boy's pants and underwear. 'He would start spanking the boy for his own sexual gratification, and stroking and caressing his genitalia,' he said... [The director] has admitted touching and spanking the boy.


A dozen Roman Catholic priests sexually abused 34 boys over two decades at a now-closed seminary, a three-year investigation by the Franciscan Order has found... The abuses included nude games, spanking, fondling, masturbation, and oral sex, a panel of six investigators found. The Sacramento Bee (3/26/95)

PHOENIX -- The headmaster of a private school has been arrested and accused of forcing a 15-year-old girl to remove her clothing and kneel in prayer while he struck her with a wooden paddle. The girl's mother witnessed the paddling, too frightened to do anything to stop it, Phoenix police said. The three swats left bruises and welts on the girl's buttocks. The teen's 6-year-old sister, waiting in the next room, also heard her sister's cries for help, police said. The teen was not even a student at the school. Her mother had brought her there to consider enrolling her in September. Police say Michael William Wetton told the girl during her 75-minute ordeal on Feb. 24 that he wanted her to understand corporal punishment, which is used to discipline students at the school... This is not the first time Wetton has been accused of child abuse. He is facing trial next month for allegedly leaving bruises on the buttocks of a 9-year-old student after a paddling in August. Arizona law allows parents and others in authority to paddle children, as long as they do not use inappropriate force. After Wetton's arrest, some parents directed anger at the police. The parents said they consider Wetton, an English citizen, a superior teacher who has improved their children's manners and academic performance. "I'm not sure these aren't trumped-up charges," said Rosemary Rice, a board member of the school and parent of a student. Cookie O'Kelley, another board member, also is angry over the police action. "It was ludicrous," she said. "It makes absolutely no sense." Rice and O'Kelley are defense witnesses for Wetton in his upcoming trial. O'Kelley, Rice and other parents say they enrolled their children at the academy because they wanted stricter discipline and higher academic standards than public schools provide. Parents must sign a release acknowledging paddling is part of the discipline. "The Bible says to use the rod," Rice said, adding that the arrest "is an assault on Christian beliefs."... As part of the orientation, Wetton reportedly took the girl to a room alone and told her to take off her clothes. Crying, she removed everything but her bra and panties. Wetton then struck her once with a wooden paddle. Wetton then reportedly forced the girl to disrobe completely, made her kneel as if in prayer and struck her across the buttocks. Then, police say, he forced her to grab the edge of a table, spread her legs and submit to another swat. Finally, he made her bow down to him and recite the Lord's Prayer.

BRITAIN -- We reported last month that Colin West, Headmaster of the Lower School, St. Aiden's, Carlisle, would be retried on charges of indecently assaulting girl pupils. The Crown alleges that Mr. West spanked girls, ages 11 to 14, on their bare buttocks with a shoe and then rubbed their buttocks with antiseptic cream... The court heard in March, 1982, two girls were called to West's office because they were not wearing full uniform. West told one to go back to class, but detained the other. She told the court the following: "He dragged me into his office and slammed the door behind him and said, 'I'm going to teach you a lesson.' Then he slapped me across the face. I started crying. He pushed me by the throat and I fell back against the bookcase. He pulled me by the arm and pulled me over his knee. He was kneeling on the floor. He pulled my skirt up and hit me about twice. Then he pulled my knickers down. He hit me across my bare bottom. He kept hitting me until I said I'm telling my mum and dad about you. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, 'I love you more than any other kid in this school. You need not tell your mum what happened.' "


A letter read on BBC Radio

"My partner is a retired headmaster of a prep school where he had the power to beat any small boy. He now spends a great deal of time and energy in contacting young men and women who are willing to be beaten, as this is the only way he can get sexually aroused."