Physical Child Abuse

Essay by healthygirlCollege, Undergraduate March 2002

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When thinking about statistics on child abuse, it is helpful to know that the very idea of "child abuse" is controversial. Only recently, and in particular countries and cultures, has the abuse of the children come to be seen as a major social problem and a main cause of people's suffering and personal problems. Of course, children have been abused throughout human history. But for people to think about child abuse as we do now, to create legal definitions and government agencies that can remove children from their homes and to conduct thousands of research studies on the effects of abuse; these are historically and culturally embedded developments. It is clear that some very large context and controversies shape debates about particular issues about child abuse. Reasons for being in favor of disciplining a child are: the child becomes

better behaved, he or she may be able to distinguish the difference between right from wrong, and discipline may provide a firm foundation for the development of a child's character.

When referring to a hot topic such as child abuse there will of course be opposition involved. Arguments for opposition would be: it may

not be physically healthy for the child; the child often becomes abusive as they are taught to imitate their parental figure while growing up, and in the long run the child if exposed to child abuse could become emotionally scarred for the rest of their life. There are hundreds of thousands of children who are physically abused each year. It is sad to say that thousands die. For those children that do survive, the emotional trauma lasts long after the external bruises have healed.

There are no two people who will probably see eye to eye on the benefits of child abuse, but as far as...