RCL #4

Corporal punishment, a form of as physical punishment used to discipline children, has had an active part in the culture of many American families. Most often in the form of spanking, corporal punishment has been used by parents to curb the misbehaviors of children for decades. Many parents believe that physical discipline is an effective way to punish children and help them learn that behaviors such as stealing and lying are unacceptable. The debate on corporal punishment has recently resurfaced in the last few years, with NFL player Adrian Peterson coming under fire in 2014 for spanking his son with a switch. Despite spanking’s prominence as a form of discipline in American family culture, parents should not use corporal punishment on their children as there are several more effective disciplinary alternatives and the long term psychological effects of corporal punishment can be damaging to children.

Many parents resort to spanking or other forms of physical discipline because they view it as an effective way to teach children right from wrong. Many who use corporal punishment on their children experienced it when they were kids. Because of these experiences, the all too common phrase “I was spanked as a kid and I turned out fine” comes about. This thought process that gets passed down from generation to generation is part what perpetuates the notion that corporal punishment is an effective way to discipline. While laboratory research has shown that corporal punishment is effective in the short term, many studies have shown that it is ineffective in the long term, possibly leading even to delinquent behavior.

  • I’ll continue then discussing studies of how corporal punishment has been proven to be ineffective in behavior modification.
  • In the following paragraphs I will provide alternatives with scientific research explaining how they’re more effective

The use of corporal punishment on children can have lasting psychological effects that are quite damaging.

  • There are several sources and studies that I will be able to discuss. I could likely break these into multiple paragraphs.

I would like to come up with at least a 3rd point for my essay. I’ve looked at the possibility of discussing how corporal punishment is often a slippery slope that leads to abuse. I’ve found some sources on this but am still debating the effectiveness of this point in my essay.


Audience: Parents


Pies, Ronald W. “Spanking Children Is Ineffective in the Long Term.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PHIMQD952187570/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=5313df82. Accessed 27 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Is it OK to Spank a Misbehaving Child Once in a While?” The Conversation, 25 Jan. 2016.

Gershoff, Elizabeth, and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. “The Evidence Shows that Spanking is Bad for Kids.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/BZVQLN902019565/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=8f9f19be. Accessed 27 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Hard Evidence: Spanking Could Lead to Health Problems, Antisocial Behavior,” The Conversation, 11 May 2016.

Thomas, Paul. “There is No Justification for Spanking at Home or at School.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/RDPAFP024529733/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=fa558a12. Accessed 27 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “There Is No Debate About Hitting Children—It’s Just Wrong,” The Conversation, 24 Oct. 2014.

Cody-Rydzewski, Susan. “Corporal Punishment in Families.” In Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, ABC-CLIO, 2018. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://issues.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1700962.

Barwick, Melanie. “Corporal Punishment Is Ineffective and Abusive.” Parenting, edited by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010863206/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=3813b4f2. Accessed 28 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Parenting: The Line Between Punishment and Abuse,”, 24 June 2008.


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