Phil for Humanity
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The Pros and Cons of Corporal Punishment


Corporal Punishment is the intentional act of disciplining by inflicting physical pain as retribution for an offense or wrongdoing. The purpose of corporal punishment is to prevent the offense or wrongdoing from happening again by instilling or associating fear with these undesired acts.

Quite a few people support corporal punishment as a valid form of education. On the hand, there is also a large number of people who denounce corporal punishment as cruel and inhumane. And of course, there are people who are undecided.

The purpose of this article is to list both the advantages and disadvantages of corporal punishment, so that you can decide for yourself if you are supporting or against corporal punishment.


Reasons Supporting Corporal Punishment
  1. Deterrent: Corporal punishment is usually an effective behavior deterrent.
  2. Compliance: Increases immediate short-term compliance.
  3. Cost: With little or no cost, corporal punishment is affordable to everyone.
  4. Quick: Corporal punishment is both quick and saves time, therefore allowing both parties to return to their tasks (such as a child returning to the classroom to resume learning).
  5. Right/Wrong: Corporal punishment definitely teaches both right and wrong.


Reasons Against Corporal Punishment
  1. Self Esteem: Corporal punishment can lower self esteem to both the punisher and punishee, and may have longer term psychological impact too.
  2. Unnecessary: There are other means of education that are effective too. A common alternative is to educate why the action was wrong to the point of invoking empathy or shame.
  3. Hostility: Those people receiving punishment are more like to be instilled with rage and hostility even into adulthood.
  4. Violence: Are you familiar with the old adage: "monkey see, monkey do"? Well, corporal punishment trains children to be violent to other children and educates them that it is an acceptable means of education. This will carry on into adulthood too.
  5. Child Abuse: For corporal punishment to typically continue working, more punishment, pain, or force maybe be necessary. As a result, child abuse typically starts as corporal punishment.

Now, it is up to you to decide if corporal punishment is right or wrong.

by Phil B.

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