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The Harms Of Physical Punishment In Our Society Today And Describes The Effects That It Can Leave On Young Children Later In Life.

1324 words - 5 pages

Don't Make Me Count or Else!Almost every child has heard the quote: " Don't make me count or else," or at least a similar threat. Throughout the US and other countries, the use of corporal punishment has been a common and integrated part of rearing children; however, the topic has collided into a highly heated debate about the effectiveness. How effective is corporal punishment in our society today? Corporal Punishment is defined as "an act by a parent or other caretaker, which is intended to cause physical pain, but not injury, for purposes of correction or control" (Straus). Many may argue that spanking is a practice that is accepted in our society. What worked in the past should work now. In fact, corporal punishment leads to many psychological and behavioral problems later on in life, which include, but are not limited to, aggression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug use.Today many people question the effectiveness of corporal punishment and whether or not to practice this age-old act. Up until the late nineteenth century when the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted, slave owners could whip their slaves as punishment, and then the same slave owner could come home and beat his wife with either little or no recourse. Surprisingly, "the public could commit violence against people found guilty and held captive in a pillory. This was abolished in most US states in 1839; in 1905. Delaware was the last state to eliminate stocks"(Religious Tolerance). Looking at these examples, much of corporal punishment has come to a narrowing end, all except that of corporal punishment used against children. Even so, "the use of violence against students in US public schools dropped from 1.4 million students in 1981to 500,000 in 1991. 27 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently (1999-AUG) ban corporal punishment in their school systems" (AAP). Some would argue that teachers need the right to use corporal punishment to protect themselves. In reality, "using physical force for self-protection is not considered corporal punishment. School employees have the right to use force to protect themselves or other people from bodily harm, to gain control of a dangerous weapon or to protect property from damage" (PTA). Comparatively, parents have mirrored the same decision as the school systems. "A survey of US parents shows a drop in the use of spanking as the main disciplinary method from 59% in 1962 to 19% in 1993. Parents now prefer using time-outs (38%) and lecturing (24%)"(Religious Tolerance). Obviously, there has been a substantial decrease in this method of punishment throughout the US and the world. There must be some reason(s) for this choice.From many studies, the affects of corporal punishment lead to negative problems. Spanking a child is supposed to teach the child by negative reinforcement much like conditioning of lab rats or other test animals. If the child commits a certain action, then they will incur the consequence, a spanking. Children...

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