I was not spanked as a kid. My older brother was spanked once, it did nothing and so my parents abandoned the idea. Both of my parents were spanked throughout their childhood.
I respect the idea of trying it to see what the results are and then moving forward based on those results. At the same time though, I can't help but think I would be hitting my kids. Now I don't have children and so I might be completely oblivious and maybe I'll have an itching desire to spank them... though that just seems ridiculous to me.
An old roommate of mine was very firm with the idea of spanking. No questions, he is spanking his kids. His argument was that as a parent you need to state the roles of the household very clearly. Parents are boss, kids follow parents rules. While this does make sense I can't help but compare it to dog training. Dogs are pack animals and it is very important that you state your superiority to the dog. The dog is part of your pack and if the dog doesn't feel this then the dog will likely act out.
However... this is a dog. Not a child.
Sidebar... I am by NO MEANS violent with my dog. I love him to death and yes, he gets a smack on the head once in a while when he jumps on the counter but otherwise my dog leads a pretty cushy life. Also, dogs are tough cookies. Yes, there are other methods of disciplining a dog but I genuinely tried many others (formed my opinion based on research!) and giving him a smack is the only one that works. I feel like I'm digging myself into a hole here... bare with me!
In any case, I feel that there are much less-harmful ways of disciplining a child. Taking away favourite items (TV, video games, etc) or giving a time-out or sending them to their room. I do not think that spanking your child is a mature method of discipline.
I think my opinion (at this point in my life) on this comes from a few things:
1. The way my parents disciplined me (no spanking)
2. The fact that I don't have kids yet and thus cannot form a complete opinion.
3. My complete lack of understanding and hatred towards violence.
I admit my opinion is not completely formed and there are holes to my argument but I'm interested in other peoples thoughts on this. Do you have kids and do you spank them? Were you spanked? What led you to the opinion you have on spanking?