Apparently THIS was an acceptable topic for newspaper polls in the 1950s

Open any newspaper today and you'll find reader polls touching on everything from climate change to fashion trends. Yet one topic that would never be up for discussion is when it's okay for husbands to spank their wives.

This wasn't necessarily the case back in the day. The image above, believed to be a clipping from the New York Daily Mirror tabloid circa 1950s*, has been doing the rounds on Twitter this month after being shared by History in Pictures. The article depicts four Brooklyn men - a counterman, a barber, a parking lot attendant and a toy factory owner - weighing in on a question submitted by a reader, Herman Martin.

The issue in question is discipline in the home - more specifically, whether a woman should be spanked if she "needs it". You know, just regular dinnertime conversation fodder.

As if the question itself isn't disturbing enough, all four men emphatically justify the right of husbands to strike their wives.

Miguel Matos reasons, "If they don't know how to behave by the time they're adults, they should be treated like children and spanked," while Teddy Gallei believes spanking teaches a lesson in respect to women who have forgotten that "this is a man's world".

William Davis prescribes that "most of them have it coming to then anyway" and barber Frank Desiderio admits to having "a lot of faith in the hairbrush" - presumably as a weapon.

Here's a final shocker - if the article footer is to be believed, Herman Martin received $10 for submitting his question to the "You Said It" section.

*There has been speculation over the authenticity of the clipping, with many suggesting it is in fact a well-executed hoax. If you know anything more, we'd love to hear from you.