Why Hitting Your Daughter Can Accelerate Puberty

child discipline hitting

Speaking from personal experience, many black parents think beating kids will protect them from state-sanctioned police brutality, the streets (drugs and jail), and sexual assault. However, spanking/beating children may put them at risk for the same things that parents and caregivers are trying to avoid.

A common goal for parents is to govern their children's sexual development from infancy through puberty. In some aspects, a young woman's virginity reflects her family's morality.[1] .

Many homes have strict rules regarding what is and isn't permitted. No makeup until a particular age. No dating until a certain age. No short skirts or tight tops. Slow down. Avoid risk. And certainly don't bring any babies home.

child discipline hitting

These laws are universally applicable to all races and socioeconomic groups. Others may claim that black parents should be more stringent due to the apparent consequences. We have all heard the cautionary tales about squandered opportunities, bad choices, not listening to parents, and the importance of keeping legs firmly closed.

Despite universal acceptability, sex is seldom discussed in our homes, churches, or the black community. It is full of taboos and detrimental racial and gender stereotypes. Gynaecological abuse and forced sterility by white medical practitioners, sexism, and sexual objectification in popular culture have all influenced how black girls are reared by their parents and other guardians.

child discipline hitting
Our society's majority believes that raising good children entails coercing their bodies. However, decades of research on the biological effects of spanking a child has proven that hitting a child may expedite a girl's puberty and sexual development.[2] [3]
Ongoing research has shown that childhood experiences, especially parenting techniques, may alter the physical structure of developing brains as well as their social and emotional functions.[4]. As a consequence, we beat our children to maintain control while still teaching innocence.
We discovered that drinking and smoking while pregnant are harmful.[5] Breastfeeding is good for a baby's mental health.[6] We've also learned that good nutrition is vital for child brain development.[7] Paediatricians and other biological specialists have included spanking in the list of practices that should be carefully evaluated due to probable harm to children's developing brains.[8]
child discipline hitting

The pain and stress of a strike may change the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a network of neurons and hormonal channels that governs stress responses and regulates physiological functions including digestion, immunity, mood and emotions, as well as sexuality. While early exposure to stress might help young individuals establish lifelong tolerance to stress, chronic stress can cause the HPA axis to become hyperactive. In other words, parents who smack their children to punish misbehaviour are unaware of the immediate biochemical response as well as the potential long-term mental and bodily damage.

This video explains what happens in a child's brain during traumatic experiences.

Like a youngster who is fed junk food and subsequently gets obesity or diabetes as a consequence. In other words, the body keeps score.

Using brain scans of maltreated (emotionally, physically, sexually or neglected) and non-maltreated children, Harvard Medical School researchers evaluated the emotional and physiological well-being of groups of females from infancy to maturity.[9] Researchers have focused on the stress hormone cortisol, which is related to violence when young children are threatened or hit by their parents.When the pituitary gland is activated, cortisol is released, triggering the fight-or-flight response.

This video highlights what stress hormones do to a developing brain.

Those beaten have no option except to resist or flee. To completely immerse themselves in the experience, they must not grip, hinder, or guard their own bodies. This triggers the release of cortisol, which helps young people deal with pain and stress. High cortisol levels for a short period are harmless, but frequent exposure to fear may harm a growing brain.

Researchers think that regular cortisol surges may desensitise children to fear, making it easier for them to accept danger and discomfort, as well as normalise aberrant behaviour.[10] How many adults who were abused as children cannot remember the pain and anxiety they felt but say that being beaten was helpful to them because they only hold onto the rationalisations used to explain the violence they endured as children.

child discipline hitting

Regularly triggering the cortisol response is highly efficient and useful. "When children are exposed to chronic violence, adversity, threats, fear, and hitting, too much cortisol accumulates and becomes poisonous, impairing their psychological functioning as well as their physical health," says Jay Belsky, professor of human development at the University of California.

According to Belsky, persistent cortisol release weakens the system's stress response. Hitting kids isn't only unpleasant, it's dangerous. Parents strike their kids to make them fearful. 'I want people to fear me,' they say. The fear of being hit does not end there. Anxiety, tension, and hypervigilance are caused. Many parents are unaware that they are jeopardising their child's future ability to cope. Managing real-world situations is difficult.

child discipline hitting

As a result of the body's physiological reactions, beating and terrorising children has biochemical repercussions remarkably similar to experiencing subtle and not-so-subtle racial discrimination. "Your body is absolutely unconscious of the alteration," says Belsky. In other words, a child's body responds to a parent's strike in the same way a black adult reacts to white racism.

The Child Emotion Lab at the University of Wisconsin has been studying how stressful parent-child interactions may lead a child's body to become overwhelmed with stress hormones.[11]

The study focused on her daughters' experiences in the Madison neighbourhood, which comprised girls of many ethnicities who had been severely abused. Seltzer noticed that females who had previously been severely physically punished did not have the expected cortisol jump. In lab tests, she stressed young ladies and collected saliva and urine. They had high levels of oxytocin, often known as the "comfort" or "love" hormone, which is responsible for making people feel emotionally connected and serving as the body's built-in stress-relief mechanism while they were near.

Check out this video which describes how oxytocin is linked to pleasure,

The researchers observed that when females who had been subjected to strong physical punishment were put in stressful situations, their oxytocin levels tripled, compared to baseline levels of girls who had never been subjected to harsh physical discipline. Love, trust, security, connection, comfort, and protection occupy our bodies and trigger the production of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is released when we hug, kiss, have intercourse, birth, or are nursing. A girl's levels of a hormone linked to sexual pleasure rise when her parents threaten or strike her. This is not what you expect to happen to her.

Children who are mistreated create oxytocin when they are disturbed in the lab by a stressor, such as a loud noise. Contrast this with non-abused females who produce cortisol in response to stress.

The hormone oxytocin is known to promote social interaction and regulate sexual behaviour. "When you threaten or hit your daughter, the part of her brain that handles emotions, memory, and arousal becomes hyperactive, ready to respond to any danger. The amygdala in her brain reacts to the threat of danger by releasing oxytocin. The hormonal changes generated by the ripple effect may irrevocably rewire her brain as she grows and develops. Her nervous system will also be on high alert all day as she anticipates new risks.

child discipline hitting
That's precisely what happens when a girl's caregivers use beatings to discipline her.

The stress of being threatened and attacked has damaged her brain. Oxytocin increases early puberty and reduces inhibitions around dangerous sexual behaviour. These women have more intrusive sexual thoughts, watch more pornography, and masturbate more often than their counterparts. They may also struggle to compartmentalise their sexual preoccupations, control their urges, and avoid the same temptations as their parents.
Don't get me wrong: none of these hobbies are "destructive" in and of themselves. Concerned about a girl's seeming promiscuity, parents may not realise that their smacking, yelling, and threatening her may have planted the seeds for it. Parents who beat their daughters to instil family values of chastity should realise they are working against themselves. Threats and physical violence against girls increase their risk of risky sexual behaviour, teenage pregnancy, and aggressive, violent relationships later in life.
child discipline hitting

According to Dr Weissberg, a stressful, fearful home environment sends a message to the child's body that their future is at risk. " "It tells the child that he or she may not live to reproduce.' "So I should develop quickly to increase my chances of reproducing before I die.' All living things have one goal: to pass on genes and reproduce. Female offspring grow faster when this is threatened.
The body recognises the danger of having to hurry up and expand.

Most parents who smack their girls to reprimand them do not consider the ramifications of their behaviour. The science, however, is indisputable.
Everyone's child needs to learn good manners, but punishing kids by altering their physical and mental hard drives makes it impossible for them to function normally. According to scientific findings, spanking is not the most efficient way to "train up" a girl to build healthy, happy relationships at a suitable age and stage of life.

The determination of black parents to dispel white stereotypes about black male "thugs" and protect their sons from the police, courts, and a life of crime has long-term consequences, as does the determination of their daughters to beat sexuality and potential reinforcement of disreputable stereotypes out of themselves. Our bodies and sexuality are objects of shame and disease that should be punished and punched, and this contributes to a culture that opposes violence against black girls and women.

Finally, I recommend any parent or soon to be parent to grab a copy of this book .

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1.) https://www.jstor.org/stable/350880

2.) https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/21/04/effect-spanking-brain#:~:text=Research%20has%20long%20underscored%20the,and%20increases%20perception%20of%20threats.

3.) https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking

4.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225562/

5.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312313/

6.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6096620/

7.) https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/72/4/267/1859597

8.) https://brill.com/view/journals/chil/25/1/article-p165_165.xml?language=en

9.) https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/toxic-stress/

10.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666764/

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