I am not certain how controversial this is in this forum, but it has been getting a lot of play on different Facebook pages I frequent. It looks like reams of research on the subject of "spanking" shows that it is indistinguishable from abuse and that parents continue its practice because they feel it is functionally different. Mostly, the justification for this is the anecdotal statement made by many that "I was spanked and I turned out okay".
It is hard for folks to admit that something as integral to their upbringing seriously limited their potential. It is viewed as a personal failure that an individual allowed hardship to hold them back. This is especially true when you have choruses of folks swearing on stacks of bibles that they had it worse and it didn't affect them the same way as it did you.
I can say with near certainty that a great deal of my struggling through my adolescence and early adulthood was directly attributable to social anxiety created and reinforced by pretty savage beatings received at the hands of my parents whose motivations were all too often just frustration and feelings of powerlessness of their own. It didn't make me a better person. It wasted decades of my potential.
To their credit, years ago, they admitted to recognizing their error. And in fairness, it was a lot more "normal" back then.