Girls and boys

In most of the stories I have read on your excellent site, I notice that in most of the families mentioned, both girls and boys are subject to the same sanctions, whether that’s mother’s hairbrush or father’s slipper. However, in my own experiences of corporal punishment as a child, the sexes were treated quite differently – and not just in terms of who smacked your bottom.

Of course, that was perhaps the most immediately obvious differentiator. When we were little, Mother did most of the spanking simply because she was a housewife and therefore able to be involved in our discipline in the moment, as it were. Only for very grave offences – and only when it was one of my three brothers who been naughty – was the threat of ‘wait til your father gets home’ invoked.

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