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Results

Just under 2150 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in April 2016.  Around three‑quarters of survey respondents (76%) identified as female, with more females than males responding in every age group (see figure 1 below).  Just under 90 per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, and just under 50 per cent of respondents comprised women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).  A higher proportion of women aged between 20 and 29 years responded to the April survey when compared to previous monthly online surveys.

As for previous surveys, the demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

 

Survey respondents reported significant, but minor, levels of agreement with a range of questions about the usefulness of corporal punishment in disciplining children, with a significant majority not agreeing that corporal punishment was a helpful method of disciplining children (figure 2).  There were also significant differences observed between the reports of men and women.

Men (21%) were more likely than women (11%) to report that they thought that corporal punishment works in a more effective way to discipline children than other disciplinary methods that don’t involve physical pain such as time-outs, grounding, taking away privileges and extra chores, with the significant majority of survey respondents reporting that they did not consider corporal punishment more effective than other forms of discipline.  Thirty-two per cent of men compared with eighteen per cent of women reported that they considered corporal punishment helped in teaching children to respect authority figures, and significant minorities of men (30%) were also more likely than women (14%) to report that corporal punishment leads to the development of good character.

When asked whether corporal punishment is an effective method of disciplining a child, only one‑third of men (33%) and women (20%) agreed.   Similarly more than one-third of men (37%) and one-fifth of women (22%) reported that parents should be able to use corporal punishment to discipline their children.

 

 

In contrast to the differing responses of men and women, parents and non-parents responded similarly in their answers to each of the questions posed in the monthly survey (figure 3 below).

 

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites