What are some positives/advantages of corporal punishment?Corporal punishment may be divided into three main types: parental or domestic corporal punishment: within the family -- typically,...

What are some positives/advantages 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

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missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From a parent to a child, corporal punishment can be used effectively for a child to whom it causes changed behavior. When safety is at work, corporal punishment is often necessary. For example, if a child is to run out into the street and the child is just 2-3 years old still learning language, the idea of the sidewalk as a boundary must be made clear before the child gets hit by a car. This is an advantage of corporal punishment, saving the life of a child by intstilling the fear that a child will feel a sting if not following the stated rule.

Another positive is the quick execution. Once administered, a conversation of loving expectations must ensue. The child needs to know punishment is done out of love, not anger. Then, there are no lingering feelings, the child doesn't suffer weeks of being grounded, and understands not to repeat that behavior.

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

One of the positives seen in corporal punishment is the severe imposition of order in a setting that lacks elements of it.  The proponents of corporal punishment argue that it is a great deterrent of misbehavior.  Students learn quickly that they feel pain for transgressions, literally.  It is argued that, if part of a larger scheme, corporal punishment can help to remedy children's poor decisions and can teach them structure and discipline.  The arguments against it are fairly evident.  Hitting a child is not something that should be embraced for it moves individuals closer to abusing a child, causing long lasting scars in them and forging greater resentment within them.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Fear is a powerful motivator.  If I was to argue that corporal punishment had value in any of these three areas, I would argue that it can be a powerful tool to condition behavior, and serves as a deterrent against potential future criminal or deviant behavior on the part of students, prisoners or children.

Corporal punishment is simple and direct, and almost impossible to misinterpret.  As the consequences of breaking the laws or rules are then known to everyone, without question or ambiguity, society in general, and kids especially, are more likely to follow the rules.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You can make the argument for all of these kinds of corporal punishment, and the arguments are pretty much the same for all of them.

To me, the main argument for corporal punishment of all sorts is that it really catches the attention of the person who is being hit.  When people misbehave in ways that are quite serious, they must be shown that their parents or teachers (or even society) take their actions very seriously and that those kinds of actions are not tolerated.

You can argue that physical pain makes that point more clearly than other forms of punishment and in a way that cannot be ignored.

discussion1984's profile pic

discussion1984 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

That's horrible. I'm with Nietzsche. Punishment is the right to be cruel. We should aim for a society without punishment, where people act rationally and kindly.

bonfils's profile pic

bonfils | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

hitting a child is in order to tell him that what he did is not good as it needs to change and do not repeat

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