One of Jayman's recurring themes is to employ an American Nations paradigm when evaluating social phenomena. The GSS doesn't allow quite that level of granularity, but it does break survey participants up by census region. The percentages of respondents who either "agree" or "strongly agree" with the statement "It is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good, hard spanking". For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward. Here is a map of said regions for those who are unfamiliar with them:
|1) East South Central||85.9|
|2) South Atlantic||80.0|
|3) West South Central||78.5|
|4) East North Central||72.9|
|6) West North Central||71.4|
|7) Mid Atlantic||68.2|
|9) New England||46.9|
Most acceptable in the South, least so in the Northeast. Embers of the Civil War burn on.
And the same, by reported ethnicity. Minimum sample size of 50, though N is much exceeds that for most groups:
|3) Native American||79.0|
|5) Puerto Rican||78.3|
|18) Indian (dot)||59.7|
White liberals, black rednecks. Those who refer to themselves as "American" are largely Scottish, and unsurprisingly express attitudes similar to those who consider the highlands to be an ancestral homeland. Most people in the US of Russian national descent are Jewish, not little Putins. No idea about the Slavs!
Parenthetically, regarding the question of ethnicity, people much smarter and far more perspicacious than myself have said that in the contemporary US it is basically meaningless. Perhaps as a biological marker, okay, though it does track geographically and it seems to provide some insight into cultural characteristics. My working assumption is to treat it as good--or at least useful--information, and not an enemy of the perfect even if it falls well short of being as much.
Finally, in the comments section of Jayman's post, there is some incredulity about the use of corporal punishment among readers who are from states where it is legal. I suspect that in these states it occurs almost exclusively in private schools, though few if any of the state laws distinguish between public and private in questions of the legal permissibility of the practice.
GSS variables used: SPANKING(1-2)(3-4), YEAR(2000-2012), REGION, ETHNIC(1)(5)(6)(7)(10)(11)(14)(15)(17)(18)(19)(20)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(30)(31)(97)