Law and Politics

Start Free Trial

Disadvantages Of Corporal Punishment

What are some disadvantages of corporal punishment?

Corporal punishment may be divided into three main types:

  • parental or domestic corporal punishment: within the family -- typically, children punished by parents or guardians;
  • school corporal punishment: within schools, when students are punished by teachers or school administrators;
  • judicial corporal punishment: as part of a criminal sentence ordered by a court of law. Closely related is prison corporal punishment, ordered either directly by the prison authorities or by a visiting court

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One major disadvantage of all types of corporal punishment is the use of it when the administrator is angered. That is when the line moves from punishment to abuse. Being so difficult to tell where that line is after the incident has occured, corporal punishment is rarely used.

Another disadvantage is its swift execution. Once administered, the individual is rid of their consequences for a behavior and feel freedom. This may indeed cause them to act inappropriately again because the pain is bearable.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Judicial corporal punishment doesn't fit with American society at all.  It's just not in our culture.  We view a government that can punish prisoners in this way as tyrannical, and put in the 8th amendment to protect us from such punishment.

As someone who is trained to be an educator, I am not trained to administer corporal punishment, nor would I want to be.  Since its purpose is fear, that also goes contrary to the educational process and distracts students from why they are there.  Plus, how would that function in today's lawsuit-happy society, where grabbing a student's arm can be cause for dismissal of the teacher?

Any number of parenting studies suggest that any control or conditioning achieved with kids through corporal punishment can also be achieved in other ways, and usually more effectively.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I do not really see any good to the idea of either judicial or school corporal punishment.

In the case of school punishment, I do not want someone else deciding when to hit my kid.  I trust my kids' teachers, for the most part, but not to the point of making that kind of a decision for me.

As far as parental corporal punishment goes, you can definitely argue that it is counterproductive.  You can say that a parent who hits their kid has lost control of their emotions.  You can say that they are only teaching their kid that violence is the solution to problems that you are unable to deal with in a better way.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team