Spanking: Pros and Cons

Essay by cowboy_yeehaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2004

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Spanking is one of the most controversial discipline methods. On one side of the debate are parents who believe it is all right to spank their children. On the other side are those who think that children should never be spanked. Somewhere in the middle are parents who believe that spanking should only be used in particular instances such as when the child runs into the street. Part of the reason for the debate is that parents and experts often define spanking differently. To some, spanking means "slapping a child on the buttocks" (Straus, 1995, p. 5), while others consider spanking a generic term for any corporal punishment that does not cause an injury, such as slapping a child's hand for touching something forbidden or dangerous.

The purpose of this is to explore some of the reasons for spanking to examine the effectiveness of spanking and why we should still enforce spanking children today.

While many adults would argue that hitting people is wrong, spanking children continues to be used as an acceptable form of discipline because many parents think spanking will teach children not to do things that are forbidden, stop them quickly when they are being irritating, and encourage them to do what they should. Some parents also believe that the nonphysical forms of discipline, like time-out, do not work. Spanking is also a practice used more in some areas of the country than others, primarily in the southern United States, and in some cultures more than others.

Now let's look at the people that are against spanking and what they say as their argument. Hitting is wrong. To hit someone is a violent thing to do. Violence is a thing one person does to make another person hurt. We want to treat children in ways...