What is Corporal Punishment?

It is 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 a child. Corporal punishment can included: hitting, spanking, or even using an object to strike a child, etc.

History of Corporal Punishment

What does the phase “Corporal Punishment” even mean? Simply put, it is the physical punishments causing pain or disfigurement to the body. This term is the umbrella to a wide and complex network of meanings. Corporal punishment ranges from the spanking of children all the way through the death penalty of our own government.  Click here to read more on History of Corporal Punishment

Effects of Corporal Punishment on Children

The vast majority of America today uses conditional corporal punishment when it comes to correcting their children. There have been many studies conducted of corporal punishment wielding some starling outcomes. All testing found some level of the following negative effects, emotional problems, developmental problems, behavior problems as adolescents and behavior problems as adults. Research by Gagne, Tourigny, Joly, and Pouliot-Lapointe found in their 2007 project, that adults receiving corporal punishment in children hood were very likely to use it on their own kids. They saw found that 30% of parents believed that spanking was not harmful to there children were 60% believed it harm children mildly sometimes. Only 10% believed it would lead to serve problems. 70% believed that spanking caused to long term effects of children at all. These statistics raise a starling flag when you think of the nature of this form of correction.  Click here to read more on Effects of Corporal Puishment on children.

The use of corporal punishment can lead to the following negative effects on children:

1.      Increased risk of being a victim of more severe physical abuse

2.      Decreased mental health

3.      Less developed consciences

4.      Higher rate of depression and suicidal thoughts

5.      Lower self-esteem

6.      Greater Alienation from peers and family

7.      Lower IQ

8.      Increased aggression

9.      More likely to assault a sibling or a child outside the home

10. Increases the probability of a child assualting a parent

As a Teenagers corporal punishment can lead to:

1.      Skipping school more often.

2.      Increase in underage drinking

3.      Increase in stealing or selling drugs

4.      More likely to be arrested for a violent and nonviolent crime

5.      Likely to start having sex at an earlier age

6.      More likely to become pregnant as a teenager

7. The more corporal punishment a teenage boy expereinces, the greater the chance that they will assualt ther girlfriend

The effects of spanking on Adults

It is a common acceptance that corporal punishment is a way of life. It is the one form of punishment that will get a child to do exactly what you want them to do. Numerous studies show that not only is corporal punishment more damaging in the long run for a child but it will follow children well into their adult years. Read more about the effects of spanking on adults. 

1.       Children who were more frequently spanked when they were teens are almost four times more likely to assault their spouses when they are

2.       The more frequently a child was spanked, the more likely they are to abuse their own children.

3.       Children who were spanked by their parents are more likely to assault their elderly parents as adults.

4.       Children who were spanked experience greater depression and Increased suicidal thoughts as teenagers and adults.

5.       The more frequently a child is corporally punished the more likely that child will fantasize or engage in masochistic sex when they are older.

6.       The frequency of a child being spanked is related to a decreased achievement and income among high achievers later in life.

7.       The use of corporal punishment results in higher chances of committing a violent or non-violent crime as an adult.

Changing Opinion

A smaller and smaller percent of the public agree with the use of corporal punishment. The percent of parents that use corporal punishment has dropped by half since 1975.  Yet in 1995 Gallup national survey of parents we see:

·         Almost all parents of toddlers (94 percent) used corporal punishment in that year.

·         Parents who spanked their toddler, did it an average of three times a week

·         28 percent of parents of children age 5-12 used an object such as a belt or hairbrush

·         Over a third of parents of 13-year-old children hit them that year.

The public opinions are changing but yet we still have such high numbers of corporal punishment occurring. This may be attributed to the lack of knowledge in the alternative to Corporal Punishment. Please see alternatives to corporal punishment to find out more.