Corporal Punishment is physical abuse
Corporal punishment is the execution of a judicially imposed sentence that inflicts a manner of physical pain upon the offenders body without killing him. In the past corporal punishment included flogging, whipping, branding and facial or bodily mutilation of all types. Corporal punishment also refers to the discipline of children at home and in schools but it was made illegal for punishing schoolchildren in 1986.
Historically, corporal punishment was used in the ancient law codes of Hammurabi and Moses, in laws of Sparta and other Greek city states, in early Christian church teachings and in Anglo-Saxon common laws. It is still used in many parts of the world and remains in the criminal codes of several European communities. In the twentieth century, corporal punishment has received severe criticism. Many people believe it is a barbaric relic of a bygone age, completely opposite with present day humanitarian ethics.
With a rising crime rate many are favouring the reinstitution of physical punishment for very wicked crimes. It has been shown that many adults in England want the restoration of corporal punishment for certain crimes, hoping that it will effect the reaction against an ever increasing amount of crime.
The use of corporal punishment on children has also dropped sharply. In many school systems of the United States, for example, corporal punishment has been outlawed, it is also illegal in countries such as Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.
Corporal punishment for certain offences is very effective, because it's done quickly and feared by all. Not only will it teach the offender not to repeat his violent actions but it will also discourage him. It teaches the school boy or convict that doing wrong will be followed by pain and suffering. When used justly and without anger the giver is not brutalised. In many independent schools where it still occurs it is thought of as a final punishment. It accustoms the pupils to the hardships of real life and no bitterness is left after it has been used for good reasons. It is always impossible to make the punishment fit the crime, with corporal punishment the amount can be adjusted to suit the offender. It is much better than other punishments which are deadening to the mind and the body. Schools which don't find corporal punishment essential, especially for young children, substitute it with other methods which are equivalent to terrorising. Detentions are also harmful because they increase the number of hours a boy is forced to spend indoors in physical inactivity. His restlessness is increased by the enforced restraint which leads to further offences against discipline.
Corporal punishment is humiliating and harmful to the sensitive victim, while it is no discouragement to the hardened culprit who often boasts about it to his friends and girlfriends trying to impress them as though it were a battle of honour. It appeals to the strain of cruelty that exists somewhere in everyone. If it were true that corporal punishment accustoms children to life's hardships then every boy should receive it's benefits daily. Corporal punishment is an excuse for laziness in teachers. By using terror instead of discipline, a bad teacher can continue his work when otherwise the impatience of the students would force him to change his method. Detentions are more effective because they interfere with the boys leisure time , which worries him far more than physical pain, and may give him an opportunity for impression. In modern schools there are many opportunities for physical exercise and its nonsense to imply that depriving a boy of this is physically harmful. The infliction of corporal punishment on a person who regards violence as a means of achieving his ends is not likely to have any correct action; on the contrary, past experience has shown that it will lead to a deeper feeling of hatred towards authority and society.
I believe that discipline is necessary in the raising and teaching of children so they can become social, productive and responsible adults. Punishment is a method of disciplining and corporal punishment is only one aspect of punishment.
Parents and teachers who lower themselves to physical violence and aggression in order to control children are setting an example that children may try to follow (Bandura, 1967). This is the hypocrisy of "Do what I say, not what I do," but the actions are often louder than the words. By refusing to use physical punishment, perhaps we can refine and develop other techniques which may prove more beneficial than the easy and quick brutality. Punishment does nit have to be physical; it can be social, emotional or mental. "One form of punishment is the administering of an aversive stimulus contingent upon disapproved behaviour. The other is the removal of a reward or positive reinforcer" (Skinner, 1938).
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