Corporal Punishment Is Physical Abuse Essay Research

Corporal Punishment Is Physical Abuse Essay, Research Paper

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


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

nu mber 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 c orporal

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


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).

Bibliography :

Beck, S, Alternatives to corporal punishment (internet)

Danellan, C, Crime and punishment (1991)

Great, B, Supervision and punishment in the community, HMSO, 1990

Pros and Cons, RGB, 1992


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