Corporal Punishment- Is It Necesssary?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Corporal Punishment- is it necessary? There are many different ways of disciplining a child. Each parent must choose which method best works for he or she. One of the most controversial and unnecessary methods of discipline is corporal punishment, the most common form being spanking. According to the dictionary, the definition of "spanking" is "To slap on the buttocks with a flat object or with the open hand, as for punishment"(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language). Spanking, though extremely popular in the 1930's, has decreased in the past years. In the 1930's surveys showed that over 90% of parents spanked their children (Maurer, A. 1984.) However, studies have also shown that corporal punishment is not a necessary or a long-term effective form of discipline.

According to a 1995 survey done by the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, 47% of parents did not use spanking as a form of discipline that year.

Of the people that do spank their children, many do not realize the long-term effects it will have in the future. Many child psychologists such as Berry Brazelton, Penelope Leach, and Benjamin Spock have agreed that spanking is ineffective. Spanking a child will halt the misbehavior for a short time; however, studies have shown that the child will have learned his or her lesson for only a short time ("Spanking, Facts and Fiction). An observation that I have found with pet owners who use corporal punishment helps to explain this concept. I found that spanking does not work as a disciplinary method because it merely teaches the children to avoid trouble and bad behavior when the parent who spanks is near the child. I had a friend who was training her new dog, named Fluffy. When Fluffy would do something wrong such as go...