CORPORAL PUNISHMENT - philosophical study

There is a possible response to my arguments. Perhaps it is true that, conceptually, the message that punishment conveys is more sophisticated. Nevertheless, those who are beaten do commit violence against others. It might not be that they got this message from the punishment, but that being subject to the willful infliction of pain causes rage and this gets vented through acts of violence on others. This brings me to my third response. There is insufficient evidence that the properly restricted use of corporal punishment causes increased violence. Although Murray Straus's study suggests that there is a correlation between rare corporal punishment and increased violence, the study has some significant defects, as I noted earlier, and the significance of his findings has been questioned in the light of other studies.20 Nevertheless, Professor Straus's findings cannot be ignored and they suggest that further research, this time of an experimental sort, should be conducted. Note again, however, that even if it were shown that there is some increase in violence, something more is required in order to make a moral case against the corporal punishment that causes it. On a consequentialist view, for example, one would have to show that this negative effect is not overridden by any benefits there might be to corporal punishment.

Corporal punishment - Wikipedia

Philosophical study demolishing the arguments usually put forward against corporal punishment.


It is, of course, a concern that some parents or teachers might derive sexual gratification from beating children, but is it a reason to eliminate or ban the practice? Someone might suggest that it is, if the anticipated sexual pleasure led to beatings that were inappropriate -- either because children were beaten when they should not have been, or if the punishment were administered in an improper manner. However, if this is the concern, surely the fitting response would be to place limitations on the use of the punishment and, at least in schools, to monitor and enforce compliance. Here we are not without examples to follow. For example, given the intimacy of a medical examination, the doctor-patient relationship is one that is prone to sexual undercurrents. Needless to say, it is a disturbing thought that doctors may be sexually aroused while examining patients, but we cannot (easily) monitor that. Our response then, is to lay down guidelines to curb any abuses that might ensue. I am aware that medical examinations are necessary in a way in which corporal punishment is not, but corporal punishment might nonetheless fulfill an important function.

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The arguments raised by those who believe that corporal punishment should never be inflicted are that corporal punishment 1) leads to abuse; 2) is degrading; 3) is psychologically damaging; 4) stems from and causes sexual deviance; 5) teaches the wrong lesson; 6) arises from and causes poor relationships between teachers (or parents) and children; and 7) does not deter. I shall now consider each of these arguments in turn.4

Web links on official school corporal punishment in countries other than UK and USA
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I have no hesitation in joining the opposition to such practices, which are correctly labeled as child abuse. Where I believe that opponents of corporal punishment are wrong is in saying that physical punishment should never be inflicted. The popular as well as the educational and psychological debates about corporal punishment are characterized largely by polarization. Those who are opposed want to rule it out entirely. Those who are in favor tend to have a cavalier defense of the practice that is insensitive to many reasonable concerns about the dangers and abuses of this form of punishment.

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School Corporal Punishment | StateImpact Florida

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there are moves to ban all corporal punishment of children even in ..