Corporal Punishment Of Children Should Be Banned

2447 words - 10 pages

The term corporal punishment is defined as the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, "for the purpose of correction or control of the child’s behavior" ("A Report" 18). In America, parents' use of corporal punishment in homes have been defined legally by the states as “encompassing ‘reasonable’ force with some states adding qualifiers that it must also be ‘appropriate’ (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CC), ‘moderate’ (AR, DE, SC, SD), or ‘necessary’ (MT, NH, NY, OR, TX, WI). Three states see the need to clarify that corporal punishment is limited to ‘nondeadly force’ (AK, NY, TX)” (Gershoff, "Corporal" 540). Currently, over 90% of US families report having used corporal punishment as a means of discipline at some time ("Physical"). Parental corporal punishment is usually restricted to physical contact "with an open hand, and to contact on extremities or buttocks", as in spanking, strapping, smacking, beating, or whipping (Remus 22). Behaviors that do cause risk injury (e.g., punching, kicking, burning) are considered physical abuse (Gershoff, "Corporal" 540). Parents punish their children physically for discipline. However, parents' corporal punishment may inadvertently result in child physical abuse administered by their anger. Sometimes they even intended to harm a child. In my opinion, physical abuse can be a potential outcome of corporal punishment. Parents' use of corporal punishment in homes are likely to have few intended positive effects and many unintended negative effects. Besides, hitting children frequently may worsen parent-child relationship as well as children's future character flaw. In this case, corporal punishment of children in homes needs to be outlawed in America.
Firstly, banning corporal punishment of children in homes would greatly reduce the rate of parental physical abuse in America. In fact, most physical abuse cases result from parental attempts to punish or control the child, however it ends up producing physical harm of their children (Delaplane 43). The current statistics is quite disturbing. By high school, "85 percent of adolescents report that they have been physically punished [at home], with 51 percent reporting that they have been hit with a belt or similar object" (Gershoff 10). Also, according to the Institute for the Prevention of Child Abuse, it is reported "85% of all cases of physical abuse result from some form of over-discipline through the use of corporal punishment" (qtd. in Wegner 719). For example, conventional level of spanking may work for a while. But with parents' frequent use of spanking whenever the child misbehaves, parents may use harsher means to discipline their children "which can exceed the 'reasonable force' threshold and become abuse" (Robinson). This problem has now become more pressing and serious that the more corporal punishment someone experienced as an adolescent, the greater the likelihood of physically abusing his children as well as...

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