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DALLAS – So how does the word spanking hit you?

A new study by Southern Methodist University bets there are no hard feelings when it comes to getting spanked.

Psychology  Professor Alan Brown says the word spank sounds more acceptable to people than saying a kid is getting a slap, a hit or a beating as punishment.

Even though hitting or slapping as punishment may be the same as a spanking, the professor says spanking sounds less harsh.

But parents say it may depend on where you’re spanked. “We got our butts spanked, our butts, not out backs, not our legs,” said Renee Hudspeth. “Even if we did get hit on the arm or the leg, it`s because we were trying to run from our parents.”

The professor says even swatting a kid sounds better than other words for corporal punishment, like beating.

Of course, some people say it’s never okay to hit a child. But a lot of parents believe spanking  isn`t behind them.