Corporal Punishment Essay

1501 words - 6 pages

Over the years, the use of corporal punishment or physical punishment, which is also known as spanking, has been argued and debated upon. Children need to be disciplined and though there are different forms of discipline, sometimes all a child needs is a little spanking to set them straight. Corporal punishment is the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offense, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behavior deemed unacceptable.
The argument over whether to spank or not to spank usually devolves into two points of view. The “No Spankers” contend that spanking is child abuse, and that it is associated with various adult pathologies. They have consistently argued that there is "always an alternative" to spanking, and that spanking teaches children that ‘might’ is right. They believe that spanking teaches children that violence is an acceptable way of getting one's way, and that since most of the same adults who spank also teach that violence is not generally acceptable, spanking "confuses" children.
Many experts have argued that children who are spanked are likely to be more aggressive and may have sexual problems later in life (Web). A study conducted by Murray Straus shows that spanking hinders the development of empathy, remorse or compassion in toddlers. The study also shows that toddlers who are spanked do not develop a conscience of what is right or wrong, but rather will stop the negative behavior for a short time to prevent getting spanked. The study argues that spanking chips away at the bond between parent and child. She also believes that children who are spanked will develop trust issues, will be more likely to become anxious or depressed, more likely to have lower self-esteem and more likely to victimize or become victims of violence later in life.
Personally, I do not believe spanking is abuse; there is a fine line between spanking and abuse. Spanking, when it is done for the right reasons, that is, for wrong done by a child, does no harm but rather helps to strongly send a message to that wayward child that you as a parent are serious and that negative behavior has to stop. Though I am at an age where my parent spanking me is totally inappropriate, I survived the spanking of my early years and I believe I am a better adult because of it. I turned out to be a law-abiding citizen, who, as insignificant as it might be, has never seen the insides of a police car, let alone a police station.
I believe that the effects of spanking a child cannot be decided through study or research. People are born with different characteristics; some children do not have to be spanked before doing what they are asked to do, while some children are belligerent and need that pat on the butt now and then to put them on the right path. I completely disagree that children who are spanked turn out to have trust issues or lose sight of the differences between right and wrong. The fact that...

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