Essay spanking


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Essay spanking

  1. 1. Stephanie M. Delgado<br />December 20, 2010<br />English 3231<br />Section 111<br />Dr. Gonzalez <br />The Pros and Cons of Spanking as a Method of Discipline<br />37909502636520 In the United States, spanking is a socially acceptable form of correcting behaviour or disciplining a child. A survey done by a non-profit child development organization, in conjunction with the non-profit Civitas, and Brio, found that more than half of Americans approve its use to punish children CITATION Rea10 l 9225 (Reaves). Should spanking a child be allowed in this country? The answer to this question depends on who you ask. There are differing views on this subject, but both sides claim to have logical and well-reasoned arguments to support their position. In this essay, the most important arguments for and against spanking will be discussed. <br />Figure 1All over the world, there is a heated controversy about the efficiency and wisdom of spanking children. In twenty-four countries, including Sweden, Austria, Poland, Israel, Greece, Denmark, and Venezuela corporal punishment is unlawful CITATION Tos09 l 9225 (To spank or not to spank?). In the United States, corporal punishment of children, provided that it doesn’t result in child abuse or assault, is lawful in all states. Despite the controversy on the subject, in some states it is still legal for schools to use spanking as a form of punishment (Figure 1). Although still existent, physical punishment in school is declining, but studies reveal that the majority of parents still use physical punishment to discipline their children CITATION Lym06 l 9225 (Lyman). Almost two-thirds of parents of very young children (1- 2-years) reported using physical punishment, and by the time children reach 5th grade, 80 percent have been physically punished. This number rises to 85 percent in high school CITATION Ger08 l 9225 (Gershoff, Report on Physical Punishment in the United States: What Research Tell Us About Its Effects on Children). What are some of the arguments these supporters of spanking provide on behalf of their behavior?<br />Advocates of the use of spanking argue that it is an immediate form of punishment. The child can see the result of what he did, and the connection between his misconduct and the punishment. Some parents believe that when the child is a toddler and can’t understand reason or logic; this is the best method to show them that what they did was wrong. Other parents argue that they were also spanked as children and turned out just fine, so why wouldn’t their children? In addition, some parents claim that other forms of punishment can be even more psychologically damaging, and that they love their children and have no intention of hurting them, they’re just punishing them for an offence. There are also those who think that the increase in discipline problems and violence on schools is directly related to the ban of corporal punishment in many schools. Moreover, there are those who refer to the Bible in justification for spanking a child. They refer to specific passages in the Bible, like Proverbs 22:15, which mention a rod being used to discipline a child. They believe that “God Himself declared in the Bible that spanking is the basic way to discipline children. Therefore, those who refuse to spank their children are in rebellion against God.” CITATION 10De l 9225 (Is Spanking Kids Better Than Not Spanking Them?). <br />Detractors of spanking children mostly argue that spanking can cause permanent, lifelong damage, such as poor school performance, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, etc. Detractors base their arguments on a number of studies, like the meta-analysis of 62 years of collected data done by Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff CITATION Ger02 l 9225 (Gershoff, Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review). Gershoff looked for associations between parental use of corporal punishment and 11 child Figure 2behaviors and experiences. She included several childhood behaviors (immediate compliance, moral internalization, quality of relationship with parent, and physical abuse from that parent), three behaviors in both childhood and adulthood (mental health, aggression, and criminal or antisocial behavior) and one in adulthood alone (abuse of own children or spouse). Findings can be seen in Figure 2, along with the papers she -1619251438275used to draw her conclusions. Gershoff found "strong associations" between corporal punishment and all eleven child behaviors and experiences. Ten of the associations were negative such as increased child aggression and antisocial behavior. The single advantageous association was between corporal punishment and increased immediate compliance on the part of the child. Other studies like one conducted in Duke University, support these findings CITATION Doe09 l 9225 (Does Spanking Work?). Other arguments include: spanking only teaches kids that violence is acceptable, it can cause physical injury, and it can damage the relationship between the child and the parent. In addition some consider that “spanking on the buttocks, an erogenous zone in childhood, can create in the child's mind an association between pain and sexual pleasure, and lead to difficulties in adulthood” CITATION Joh94 l 9225 (Johnson). <br />From Gershoff’s study, we can see how the only thing achieved by spanking a child is to get him to do what you want straight away, but the long-time effects are very damaging. I think that there are better ways to discipline a child, like talk about what behavior should be changed in a way that they understand. Psychologists, even recommend giving a positive reinforcement (praise, reward) instead of a punishment CITATION Mor01 l 9225 (Morris and Maisto). Spanking can transmit the idea that inflicting pain on others is justifiable; in this manner we are involuntarily teaching children an aggressive behavior. Most of what I have read, doesn't recommend using physical punishment at all. Instead you should eliminate something the child likes, like a trip to the mall, or watching his favorite TV show. <br />In conclusion, I don't approve the use of spanking as a form of punishment, because it can essentially do more harm than good. There are better, proven ways to correct the behavior of a child. Supporters of spanking may think that this is the most efficient punishment, but perhaps we keep doing the same because it is what we learned from our parents. This might even be the reason why the United States has such high levels of violence. Spanking a child is one of the cruelest forms of punishment, and should never be used, not even on the most extreme cases.<br />Works Cited<br /> BIBLIOGRAPHY l 9225 Does Spanking Work? 14 September 2009. 16 December 2010 <>.<br />Gershoff, Elizabeth T. "Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review." American Psychological Association (2002): 539–579.<br />—. Report on Physical Punishment in the United States: What Research Tell Us About Its Effects on Children. 2008. 16 December 2010 <>.<br />Is Spanking Kids Better Than Not Spanking Them? 16 December 2010 <>.<br />Johnson, Tom. The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children. 1994. 16 December 2010 <>.<br />Lyman, Rick. "In Many Public Schools, the Paddle Is No Relic." 30 September 2006. New York Times. 16 December 2010 <>.<br />Morris, G. Charles and Albert A. Maisto. Psicología. Mexico: Pearson, 2001.<br />Reaves, Jessica. "Survey Gives Children Something to Cry About ." 5 October 2000. TIME Reports. 16 December 2010 <>.<br />"To spank or not to spank?" 39 July 2009. CBC News. 16 December 2010 <>.<br />