Corporal Punishment : Its Harm And Its Alternatives

1068 Words5 Pages
Jordan Roberts
Mr. Campbell
PreAP 9th Grade English
9 December 2015
Corporal Punishment: Its Harm and its Alternatives Corporal punishment is one of the most common forms of discipline used in history to straighten out unruly children. It is defined as any non-injurious bodily punishment that is performed with the intention of correcting perceived misbehavior (Paolucci and Violato 198). Since the very late 1970s, research and studies have increasingly shown that corporal punishment, even if it is physically non-injurious, carries many risks of harm, including aggression, mental illness, decreased relationship with parents, and increased long-term misbehavior. Several international organizations have taken a stance against it, and
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However, in 2008, only two-thirds of toddlers received corporal punishment, even though by fifth grade eighty percent of children report being physically punished at some time in their life (Gershoff 2008, 10). This high amount results from an attempt to make children comply, as corporal punishment is typically employed both to elicit immediate compliance from the child and to inspire future compliance. In the short term, it is effective at achieving compliance (Elliman & Lynch 196); however, this is more due to the threat of force than the wish to comply, and long-term compliance with demands is actually damaged by corporal punishment (Gershoff 2008, 13). This means that corporal punishment, which is mean to incite positive behavior, instead incites misbehavior (Elliman & Lynch 196). Furthermore, corporal punishment’s effectiveness in the short term can easily be met by other methods such as a special time-out area barred from the outside by a gate. (Gershoff 2010, 35-36). Indeed, these methods are superior to corporal punishment, which is highly correlated with mental health complications in later life. One meta-analysis of twelve studies showed this correlation, especially with depression (Straus & Kantor, 548). Other issues include damaged self-esteem (Paolucci & Violato, 201), increased ego-centrism (Paolucci & Violato, 201), stunted cognitive development (especially in the areas
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