Assault or Discipline
When describing a physical altercation between two adults, the term is assault and battery. Assault on an individual has more than immediate effects; the effects can last a lifetime in severe cases. In all fifty states, it is a crime to hit, strike or use corporal punishment in any deliberate manner towards any person over the age of eighteen. However, this law does not apply to physical force being used on minors. Spanking, whipping, and paddling are among a few common references to this form of punishment. Physically disciplining children has had many names over the years. No matter which term is used, corporal punishment has a negative impact on every party involved. It is a widely used, socially accepted method of discipline. “Approximately 94% of three and four-year old children have been spanked in the past year (Slade & Winssow 1321). Although spanking is a widespread practice, it is becoming more controversial. The negative effects of spanking greatly outweigh the benefits. Spanking is a socially tolerated view promoting abusive patterns, and has a negative psychological impact in teaching children that pain, fear, and confusion promote conformability.
Social tolerance of spanking has been the norm for thousands of years. The most widely accepted source coming from the bible. He who spares the rod hates the son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline (New International Version, Proverbs 13:24). Religion and culture have been a very common excuse for the spanking of children world-wide. “Hitting children is intertwined with religious beliefs, cultural views, and social policy… (Kazden & Benjet). However, the world has changed and evolved into a much more civilized society. In this country alone, the government has provided a constitution that provides its citizens with the freedoms that the citizens of other countries can only dream of. America no longer holds executions in the street, no longer condones segregation, and even gives animals the right to not be mistreated. It has strived to become a country of equal opportunity and treatment. Yet, America allows the injustice of children being mistreated within its borders everyday. Most parents do not see the injustice that they are imposing upon their children, or the negative influence they are portraying.
The continuing pattern of injustice is seen in the opposition. The opposing side argues the fact that they were spanked as children and this action has done no long term damage to them. The damage they are looking for is unseen. It is in the way they function as a parent, spouse, co-worker, and even affects their sub-conscious thinking. The fact that these people were subjected to spanking as children is the reason they have justified their argument for hitting their children. It creates a pattern and increases the likelihood the children in these situations will continue that pattern (AAP 725). Most parents do not know how to stop the cycle. Parents...