Last updated: July 12, 2019
Topic: FamilyChildren
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Parents all around the world have different methods of correcting their children after a bad behavior. “Corporal punishment or physical punishment refers to “the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child pain, but not injury, for purposes of correction or control of the child’s behavior”” (Turner, Finkelhor Par. 1). “Almost all children in the United States are spanked by their parents at some point in their lives” (Giles-Sims, Straus, Sugarman Par. 1). This type of punishment has had different outcomes on the children.

Some of the children actually end up learning a lesson and changing their behavior from good to bad, but then there are those who suffer a terrible trauma and end up being then they were at first. The use of corporal punishment has various factors depending on the parents’ ethnicity, marital status, geographic region, sex/age of the child, and religion. The majority of the people believe that spanking is only used for little children, but their wrong. “Two studies show that over half of American children ages 13 and 14 are still being spanked” (Giles-Sims, Straus, Sugarman Par. ). As well as the age, more people think that boys are spanked more than girls, but research says that there is a small difference in the percentage. “Research focused on rates of severe violence toward children (physical abuse) by marital status has found higher rates among single parents and stepparents” (Giles-Sims, Straus, Sugarman Par. 12). African Americans are long known for their slavery, but researches have seen than European American parents are more likely to use corporal punishment than African Americans.

Spanking also results from the parents income; parents with a low income are more favorable to spanking because of desperate need of money and worriedness. “Hitting children is intertwined with religious beliefs, cultural views, government, law, and social policy and has enormous implications for mental and physical health throughout the world” (Kazdin, Benjet Par. 2). Using spanking as a form of discipline has a received support based on family traditions and positive effects of corporal punishment on children. However, research indicates that spanking increases a child’s risk of both short- and long- term negative side effects” (Giles-Sims, Straus, Sugarman Par. 1). These risks include psychological problems and a higher chance of being depressed or having suicidal thoughts. “Several studies have reported that individuals who were subjected to severe physical discipline as children are at risk for utilizing similar parenting strategies with their own offspring” (Simons, Johnson, Conger Par. 4).

While the kids are at such an undeveloped time of their life, they are not cognizant of what is going on outside of their home and they think that being spanked is something common, so they are more likely to use it when they are parents as well. A couple of years ago, Straus and Yodanis did a research on couples to see their relationship and how corporal punishment has affected it. “The results supported the original hypothesis: Physical punishment in childhood contributed to deviant behavior in adolescence and is a predictor of intimate violence in adulthood” (Clenoweth, Just Par. ). Researchers found that children who are spanked are more aggressive, angry, and more stressed. Corporal punishment can also lead to problems in the brain. Whenever a child experiences stress and fear because of corporal punishment, that child becomes biologically alarmed. “Corporal punishment can lower self-esteem and cause feelings of helplessness and anxiety. Children who are hit even a few times are more likely to develop depressive symptoms in adulthood” (Stokely Par. 5).

Parents have a habit of telling their children that hitting others is bad, yet they punish their children by spanking them, they’re not learning a lesson that way. “Based on assumption that children see their parents as good, what happens to a child’s thought process when a parent gives pain for punishment” (Chenoweth, Just Par. 2)? Murray Straus has done many experiments in which the outcome of using corporal punishment, leads to violence. “Straus recalls an experiment when he interviewed 270 college students about their responses to being spanked.

The most used response they could remember was anger and rage. Straus hypothesized that this anger from corporal punishment opens the door way into violence towards society” (Chenoweth, Just Par. 1). In 1999, MacMillan did a study of how corporal punishment leads to people psychiatric disorder. “Psychiatric evaluations were given to everyone in the study and found that those who experienced the most corporal punishment had the highest rates of anxiety and addictive disorders than those who were never spanked” (Chenoweth, Just Par. 1)

Besides depression, suicidal thoughts, and future aggressive life, corporal punishment affects the relationship between the parent and the child into a bad one. Once the parent starts spanking the kid for every bad behavior they will start fearing them and their relationship won’t be able to grow. The child will view the parent as a bad parent and will always be against them because they are hurting them. Their relationship will eventually deteriorate. Now the question is, if people are aware of all the side effects corporal punishment brings to the child, why is still being used?