Corporal punishment

Essay by kevmaltCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2014

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Since the mid-1950s, parents and psychologists have been battling over the topic

concerning corporal punishment. The parents were raised in homes where corporal punishment

was used, and they feel that it was a successful technique that raised them well. Psychologists, on

the other hand, conducted research; a lot of which was biased and false, telling parents that

corporal punishment was bad for their children. After years of researching and studying the

effects of corporal punishment, the most popular theories stating that it is a helpful method, were

proven wrong. Despite the severity of a situation, even with the right motives, corporal

punishment is found to be a bad technique.

Corporal punishment is generally used by parents in the US specifically from the pre-

school years until the child reaches eight to ten years old. Although there has been several

discussions and debates focused on the effectiveness of spanking, parents still use such method

in disciplining their children. Currently, only two states in the US view corporal punishment as

child abuse. The other states maintain that spanking or slapping that result to zero physical harm

is legal. According to statistics, 90% of American parents support the use of physical punishment

on their children. The spanking usually occurs when the children are already four years old. The

study also shows that corporal punishment is more common among minorities and poor families.

Aside from physical punishment, yelling and swearing in front of the children are also

considered as harmful.

Kevin Malter! October 3rd, 2014

English 151! Professor. Silletti

One of the negative effects brought by corporal punishment is the strong tendencies of

children to develop anti-social behavior. The notion of corporal punishment is based on

aggression and such leads to violent behavior both exhibited by the parent and eventually the

child. Also, the child could channel the aggression to other people for instance bullying their

classmates in school. Other counter-productive behavior such as lying, cheating, and stealing

could be traced to a child history who suffered from corporal punishment (Strauss 55). Another

aspect that needs to be considered is that the development of anti-social behavior encompasses

all socio-economic groups.

According to some studies, the intended impact created by corporal punishment

(discipline) is reversed in the long run. Spanking and slapping are proven to be ineffective

strategy in promoting discipline. In extreme cases, corporal punishment results to anger,

resentment, low self-confidence, and worst children just repeat the cycle of violence to

themselves and to others. In reality, children who are inflicted of pain in the form of spanking

and slapping have shown the highest tendencies of suffering from behavioral problems. When

parents use harsh methods discipline, children could exhibit anxiety, helplessness, and


Child abuse is often used as a counter argument to the rampant use of corporal

punishment. As it is usually done to children, such method would impede the development of

Kevin Malter! October 3rd, 2014

English 151! Professor. Silletti

young bodies. Moreover, children are not capable of absorbing pain, which in some instances

lead to injuries. Most of the reported injuries have been due to parents losing their control or

parents underestimating their strength. There is also no direct evidence showing children fearing

their parents when subjected to corporal punishment. The most common response from children

includes isolation and rebelling from their parents. Instead of building a bond with their children

corporal punishment could destroy relationships and lasting effects on the psyche of the children.

Corporal punishment tends to decrease the moral values and pro-social behavior of

children. At an early age, children perceive the solution to all problems should involve violence

and physical pain. Another critical element of corporal punishment is its impact to the mental

health of the children being subjected to it. Some parents misconstrue obedience and discipline

with fear. There is the possibility that children become more secretive and this affects the

dynamics of a parent-child relationship.

In a nutshell, the disadvantages of corporal punishment outweigh by a huge margin the

benefits of spanking. Instead of promoting good behavior and discipline, corporal punishment

produces adverse effects. Parents have embraced tradition by using such methods, but evidence

through the years suggests that corporal punishment is one tradition that needs to end.

Kevin Malter! October 3rd, 2014

English 151! Professor. Silletti