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Finnish women use physical discipline on children more often than men
According to a recent survey, commissioned by the Central Union of Child Welfare and conducted by the research company Taloustutkimus, Finnish women resort to the physical punishment of children more frequently than do Finnish men.
The survey indicates that more than half of Finnish mothers have pulled their children’s hair and one in three has rapped her child’s fingers. More than 70 per cent of all mothers have used some sort of violence.
Somewhat surprisingly, women actually use corporal punishment, even though they adopt a much more negative attitude towards physical discipline in general than men do.
Scientist Heikki Sariola from the Central Union of Child Welfare can find many reasons for women’s violence. The physical violence by mothers is an issue that is not spoken of. Hence little or no attention is being focused on the prevention of the corporal punishment of children.
"These attitudes do not cease to exist without conscious self-control training and conviction", argues Sariola.
One of the reasons for the violence used by mothers is women’s increased use of intoxicants, notes Sariola. A hungover mother is likely to be nervous, stressed, and to have a low threshold level for lashing out when things go wrong.
On the whole, one in four Finns regards the physical discipline of children as acceptable - at least in exceptional situations. The attitudes have improved noticeably in recent years. Still three years ago, one in three Finns approved of corporal punishment.
Even though the attitudes of Finnish parents are gradually changing, the majority of them are nonetheless still using corporal punishment on their children.
The researcher says that 73% of women and 68% of men reported that they have sometimes used physical punishment.
"Many still regard physical discipline as a behavioral modification technique, even though corporal punishment has been banned in Finland already for 25 years", Sariola concluded.
The survey involved 1,000 respondents aged 15 to 79 in 91 locations across Finland.