'Big Bang Theory' star uses science to explain why hitting kids is bad

Credit: Christopher Polk

Credit: Christopher Polk

Mayim Bialik is best known for her roles on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blossom,” but she is so much more than that: she is also a neuroscientist, activist, founder of Grok Nation and a mom with a wildly popular YouTube video series. In a new vlog, Bialik spoke out against parents using spanking to discipline their children.

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“Animals generally seek out pleasure and avoid plain. That’s called the ‘pleasure principle,'” she explained. “When any animal experiences a strong, aversive, or negative stimulus, such as a smack, hit, or even a punch, the brain quickly learns to avoid the source of that pain in the future. This tends to be very efficient. Once you hurt a child, they will seek to avoid having that pain again. So essentially hitting teaches avoidance, rather than obedience.”

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Occasional spanking may not have a lasting impact on some children, but Bialik said that that form of discipline may have “a tremendous impact on their brain and on their psyche.”

“Hitting these children can be traumatizing for them even if you don’t think it should be, and there’s no way to know by looking at a child which reaction they’re going to have,” Bialik said. “A child may be impacted forever by being hit and you can think all you want that they shouldn’t have that reaction, but you can’t control it. It’s science.”

She went on to explain that being physically hurt by a loved one makes no more sense to a child than it does to an adult.

“You can’t hit your spouse. you can’t hit your student, you can’t hit a stranger, you can’t even hit your dog,” she said. “Yet, we have laws protecting, defending and justifying hitting a child. It makes no sense and it’s time to stop pretending it does.”

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